On Friday, June 11, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced four new deadlines for using and reporting on Provider Relief Fund (PRF) distributions. The new guidance was issued through an updated Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements and revised Frequently Asked Questions. The applicable deadlines are now determined based upon when a payment was received, in accordance with the following:
For many PRF recipients, it is worth highlighting that the Period 1 deadlines in this table apply to Phase I and II general distributions (as well as certain targeted distributions). The deadline for using Phase I and II general distributions is still June 30, 2021. However, the deadline for reporting on the use of Phase I and II general distributions has been extended to September 30, 2021. Deadlines for Periods 2-4 relate to the Phase III general distributions and other targeted distributions.
The reporting deadlines above apply to providers who received over $10,000 in the aggregate during any single Payment Received Period. A PRF distribution is considered “received” on the deposit date for automated clearing house (ACH) payments or the date the check was cashed.
Remember, the Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements issued by HHS on January 15, 2021, had referenced two spending periods — the calendar year 2020 and the first six months of 2021. HHS has established four separate periods in which providers must use and report the funds based on when they were received.
Recipients will report on the use of PRF funds in the following order:
1. Interest Earned on PRF Payment(s)
The dollar value of interest earned for PRF payments held in an interest-bearing account will be reported, and this amount will be included in the total reportable use of PRF payments.
2. Other Assistance Received
Other assistance received by a recipient each quarter during the applicable Payment Received Period from the following sources will also be reported:
- Department of the Treasury and/or Small Business Administration assistance (including Paycheck Protection Program)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) programs
- HHS CARES Act testing
- Local, state, and tribal government assistance
- Paid claims against business interruption insurance policies
- Other federal and/or coronavirus-related assistance
Unreimbursed general and administrative expenses and other health care-related expenses paid for with PRF distributions will also be reported.
4. Lost Revenues
PRF payment amounts applied to patient care lost revenues, if applicable, will also be reported. Recipients may choose to apply PRF payments toward lost revenues using one of three options, up to the amount:
- Option i: of the difference between actual patient care revenues.
- Option ii: of the difference between budgeted (prior to March 27, 2020) and actual patient care revenues.
- Option iii: calculated by any reasonable method of estimating revenues.
Many industry stakeholders eagerly anticipated these revised deadlines who were scrambling to prepare for the 30-day reporting window, originally set to run from June 30, 2021, to July 31, 2021.
It is also worth mentioning that HHS’ newest guidance has not substantially altered the definitions and formulas used to determine appropriate PRF expenses and lost revenues. However, there is still concern regarding the practical mechanics of the reporting process, which may not be clarified further until the portal is opened — presumably no later than July 1, 2021, to coincide with the beginning of the first reporting time period.