HHS Revises Provider Relief Fund Reporting Guidance
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on June 19, 2020 which described the types of expenses that would be permissible uses of Fund distributions. This FAQ also stated that Provider Relief Fund (PRF) could be used in place of lost revenue.
HHS sought to balance distributions by providing general distributions and various targeted distributions to recognize that some providers are hit harder than others. As a result, some providers became more profitable during 2020 than the preceding year. HHS concluded that it was unfair to allow some providers to be more profitable in 2020 than 2019 while so many other providers struggled. Therefore, HHS issued instructions on September 19, 2020 for reporting on the use of PRF distributions which limited the use of funds to an amount that would allow providers to be no more profitable in 2020 than in 2019.
However, these instructions resulted in significant attention and opposition from providers, associations and Members of Congress who urged HHS to allow PRF payments against all lost revenues without limitation (as opposed to lost margin). On October 22, 2020, HHS amended its reporting instructions to provide for the full applicability of PRF distributions to lost revenues.
The October 22, 2020 Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements can be found here.