HHS Extends Compliance Deadline for Providers Receiving CARES Act Provider Relief Funds and Reminds Providers of June 3 Deadline Related to Additional Relief Fund Payments

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On May 22, 2020 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a 45-day extension of the deadline for providers who receive payments from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund to accept the Terms and Conditions attached to such payments. Providers now have up to 90 days from the date a payment is received to accept the Terms and Conditions or return the funds to HHS.  In its announcement, HHS reiterated its prior position that “Providers that do not accept the Terms and Conditions after 90 days of receipt will be deemed to have accepted the Terms and Conditions.”

Previously, on May 20, 2020 HHS issued a reminder to all providers eligible for CARES Act Provider Relief Fund payments that they have until June 3, 2020 to accept the Terms and Conditions and submit revenue information to support the receipt of an additional payment from HHS’s $50 billion General Distribution of Provider Relief Fund payments.  According to HHS, “All providers who automatically received an additional General Distribution payment prior to 5:00 pm, Friday, April 24th, must provide HHS with an accounting of their annual revenues by submitting tax forms or financial statements.” For those providers who did not yet receive an additional payment, the “submission of tax forms or financial statements to the portal will also serve as an application for additional funding.” As background, HHS initially distributed a $30 billion tranche of Provider Relief Funds in early April, and then announced in late April that it would make additional payments from a $20 billion tranche to eligible providers that “submit required revenue information for verification” and attest to acceptance of the applicable Terms and Conditions.

If providers who have not yet received an additional payment from the Provider Relief Fund fail to submit revenue information by June 3, 2020, “they will no longer be eligible to receive potential additional funding from the $50 billion General Distribution.”  Providers should note, however, that in the May 20 reminder HHS indicates that the deadline for accepting the Provider Relief Fund Terms and Conditions is 45 days after receipt of a payment, but that deadline was extended on May 22 by HHS and thus that aspect of this reminder has been superseded.

Finally, providers that accept CARES Act Provider Relief Fund payments would be well-advised to closely review the applicable Terms and Conditions (and be aware that there are separate Terms and Conditions applicable to the initial payment, and the additional payment).  In connection with this, the HHS Office of Inspector General recently announced that it would incorporate an audit of the distribution of the Provider Relief Funds to its work plan for 2020.

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