CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements Updates

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On June 11, 2021, HHS published an updated Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements (the Notice). Notably, the Notice describes how the period of availability of CARES Act Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments is based on the date the payment is received (rather than requiring all payments be used by June 30, 2021), and it details updated reporting timelines and requirements. This new Notice supersedes all previous versions of the Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements documents, and it applies to all past and future PRF payments. Additionally, last week, HHS released eighteen new and modified PRF frequently asked questions (the FAQs). The FAQs cover reporting requirements, Phase 3 payments, returning unused funds, and more.

Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements

Period of Availability of Funds and Reporting Time Periods

Providers are required to report on their use of funds in each Payment Received Period in which they received one or more payments exceeding, in the aggregate, $10,000, as indicated in the table below. Providers can only use payments for eligible expenses and lost revenues attributable to COVID-19 before the deadline corresponding to the relevant Payment Received Period. These deadlines are based on the date the payments are received (i.e., the deposit date for automated clearing house (ACH) payments or the check cased date). Furthermore, reporting must be completed and submitted to HRSA by the last date of the relevant Reporting Time Period. This is a change from past notices and guidance that required all payments be used by June 30, 2021, regardless of when they were received.

Recipients will have a 90-day period to complete reporting (rather than a 30-day reporting period). The reporting portal is currently only open for registration and will open for the initial reporting time period on July 1, 2021. More information on the Reporting Portal is available here.

Steps for Reporting on Use of Funds

The Notice explains that Reporting Entities will report on their use of funds using their normal basis of accounting (e.g., cash basis, accrual basis) and will submit consolidated reports. Below is a high-level overview of how (and the order in which) data will be reported:

  1. Interest Earned on PRF Payment(s): For Reporting Entities that held the PRF payment(s) in an interest-bearing account, the dollar value of interest earned on those PRF payment(s) must be reported. Interest earned on Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) and Nursing Home Infection Control Distribution payments and interest earned on other PRF payments will be reported separately.

  2. Other Assistance Received: The Reporting Entity will report on other assistance received by quarter during the period of availability. If the Reporting Entity is reporting on behalf of subsidiaries, the assistance received for each category must be aggregated across each of the subsidiaries included in the report.

  3. Use of SNF and Nursing Home Infection Control Distribution Payments(if applicable): The Reporting Entity will report on infection control expenses paid for with payments received through the SNF and Nursing Home Infection Control Distributions (including any interest earned), if the entity received funds from one of these Targeted Distributions.

  4. Use of General and Other Targeted Distribution Payments: The Reporting Entity will report on expenses paid for with payments received through the General and Targeted Distribution payments (excluding SNF and Nursing Home Infection Control Distribution payments). Unreimbursed expenses attributable to coronavirus are considered first in the overall use of funds calculation.

  5. Net Unreimbursed Expenses Attributable to COVID-19: The Reporting Entity will report on unreimbursed expenses attributable to COVID-19 (net after other assistance received and Provider Relief Fund payments are applied) by quarter for the period of availability, broken out as General and Administrative and/or other Health Care-Related Expenses.

  6. Lost Revenues Reimbursement: Payment amounts (excluding SNF and Nursing Home Infection Control Distribution payments) not fully expended on healthcare-related expenses attributable to COVID-19 may then be applied to patient care lost revenues, if applicable. Recipients may choose to apply payments toward lost revenues using one of three options, up to the amount:

    1. Option i: of the difference between actual patient care revenues;

    2. Option ii: of the difference between budgeted (prior to March 27, 2020) and actual patient care revenues; or

    3. Option iii: calculated by any reasonable method of estimating revenues.

The FAQs explain that supporting worksheets will be available to assist Reporting Entities with the completion of reports. In addition, Reporting Entities who are using a portion of their funds for lost revenues may also be required to upload supporting documentation when reporting on their calculation of lost revenues. The documentation required is dependent upon which method of calculating lost revenues providers select.

The Notice is available here.

Frequently Asked Questions

The new modified FAQs broadly discuss the following general categories: (1) Terms and Conditions; (2) Auditing and Reporting Requirements; (3) Use of Funds; (4) Supporting Data; (5) Change of Ownership; (6) Non-Financial Data; and (7) Phase 3. Many of the FAQs overlap with the instructions in the Notice.

Additionally, and notably, the FAQs remind Phase 3 recipients that they are not limited to using Phase 3 funds to cover COVID-19 losses or expenses only experience during the first two quarters of calendar year 2020. While HHS collected information on the losses and expenses associated with the first two quarters of 2020 for the purposes of making additional General Distribution payments to those providers with demonstrated financial need, the Terms and Conditions do not place limits on which quarters these funds must be applied to cover eligible losses or expenses. Furthermore, the FAQs also explain that when the first reporting period begins, providers will be able to return unused funds through the Reporting Portal.

The complete FAQ document is available here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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