HHS Extends Timeline for Spending Provider Relief Fund

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Foley & Lardner LLPThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued new guidance extending the timeline for health care providers that received more than $10,000 in payments from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) to expend and report the funds. While the terms and conditions attached to the PRF funds did not specify a deadline for using the funds, HHS had previously informed providers that all funds must be used by June 30, 2021, and that funds not used by this date would be subject to recoupment. The new guidance extends the timeline for use of PRF payments received after July 1, 2020. HHS has also updated its PRF FAQs.

The new deadlines for use and reporting of PRF funds are staggered based on when the funds were received. Funds are available to be expended for at least 12 months and a maximum of 18 months from the date of receipt. Recipients should review their financial records to determine the deposit date for the automated clearing house payment or the check cashed date, which will determine when the payments were received.

PERIOD PAYMENT RECEIVED DEADLINE TO USE FUNDS REPORTING TIME PERIOD
Period 1  April 1, 2020 to
June 30, 2020 
June 30, 2021  July 1, 2021 to
September 30, 2021 
Period 2  July 1, 2020 to
December 31, 2020 
December 31, 2021  January 1, 2022 to
September 30, 2022 
Period 3  April 1, 2020 to
June 30, 2020 
June 30, 2022  July 1, 2022 to
September 30, 2022 
Period 4  July 1, 2020 to
December 31, 2020 
December 31, 2022  January 1, 2023 to
September 30, 2023 

The extended deadlines will be welcome news to many providers that received PRF funds, allowing them to continue funding ongoing operations to prepare for, prevent, and respond to coronavirus. A number of questions remain about the reporting and permissible use of the PRF funds, including whether the new reporting periods will modify prior instructions on calculating lost revenue. Additional information from HHS, including supporting worksheets to be completed by reporting providers, should be released in connection with the opening of the reporting portal on July 1, 2021, for the Period 1 payments.

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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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