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HHS New Provider Relief Funds Available

Tiffany Karlin

September 13, 2021

Phase 4 Funding:

Last week the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced an additional $25.5 billion in Provider Relief Funds (PRF).  This Phase 4 funding consists of $17 billion for healthcare providers who can exhibit a continued loss in revenue and expenses associate with the COVID-19 pandemic and $8.5 billion to American Rescue Plan (ARP) resources for providers who serve rural patients.

Phase 4 distribution will be based on operating expenses from July 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021.  HRSA distribution will be based on:

  1. 75% reimburse based on lost revenue and expenses and a higher percentage of lost revenues and expenses for smaller providers as compared to larger;
  2. 25% reimbursement “bonus” payments based on the amount of services providers provide to Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare patients to ensure equity for those serving low-income children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and seniors.

HRSA will make the ARP rural payments to providers also based on the number of patients who live in rural areas based on the amount of Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare patients served as defined by the HHS Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

The application portal will be open Wednesday, September 29th and providers can apply in one application for both ARP and Phase 4 Funding.

Note: recipients will be required to notify the HHS Secretary of any merger with or acquisition of another healthcare provider during their Payment Received Period. Providers who report a merger or acquisition may be more likely to be audited to confirm their funds were used for coronavirus-related costs, consistent with an overall risk-based audit strategy.

Phase 3 Funding Reconsiderations:

With many concerns exhibited by providers, HHS released detailed information about the mythology used to calculate Phase 3 funding.

Providers who believe they are still owed additional funding from Phase 3 will be eligible to apply for more funding.

Reconsiderations:

HRSA is developing a structured process to review and reconsider applications and payment determinations. Any corrections to payment determinations are subject to the availability of funds. If after reviewing the above methodology you believe your payment was calculated incorrectly, or if you would like to be notified when more information becomes available regarding the reconsiderations process, please contact PRFReconsiderations@hrsa.gov.

HHS Reporting Deadline:

The Reporting portal is open to register and report for funds received.  The due date to report for Period 1 funding is September 30, 2021. While this deadline has not changed, HHS announced a “grace period” for providers in light of the current surge in COVID-19 and natural disasters being faced around the country. A 60-day grace period is in place, should providers not meet the September 30th deadline to report. 

Please note: While you will be out of compliance should reporting not be completed by the deadline, recoupment or other enforcement actions will not be initiated during the 60-day grace period (October 1-November 30, 2021). 

We strongly advise that if you are ready to report, that you do so by the Period 1 reporting deadline. 

For further details about Period 1 reporting requirements, click here.

If you have general questions about the PRF, please contact the HHS Provider Support Line at 866-569-3522.

Complete list of updated HHS FAQs.

President’s Vaccination Mandate:

Last week President Biden also released his COVID Vaccination Plan.

The plan is aimed with the intent to reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans by using regulatory powers and other actions to substantially increase the number of Americans covered by vaccination requirements.

The plan includes:

  • Requiring All Employers with 100+ Employees to Ensure their Workers are Vaccinated or Tested Weekly
  • Requiring Vaccinations for all Federal Workers and for Millions of Contractors that Do Business with the Federal Government
  • Requiring COVID-⁠19 Vaccinations for Over 17 Million Health Care Workers at Medicare and Medicaid Participating Hospitals and Other Health Care Settings
  • Calling on Large Entertainment Venues to Require Proof of Vaccination or Testing for Entry
  • Requiring Employers to Provide Paid Time Off to Get Vaccinated

Our team is here to advise and get you prepared for reporting requirements. Please reach out to Tiffany Karlin: tiffany.karlin@wipfli.com, for any questions or needs regarding Provider Relief Funds and Reporting Requirements.

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