Provider Relief Funds
On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (H.R. 133), an appropriations and stimulus package that includes changes to the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (Provider Relief Fund) to assist providers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation adds flexibility under the Provider Relief Fund for reporting "lost revenue" to allow providers to keep more of their payments, allows providers to allocate payments among subsidiary entities and creates an additional funding phase.
The legislation, pending subsequent HHS guidance, will likely reduce the number of Provider Relief Fund recipients that will need to return payments. HHS's most recent guidance meant that providers with expected or budgeted 2020 revenue growth through acquisitions, service line expansions or de novo facilities, were capped at 2019 revenue under the "lost revenue" definition. ASPS will be monitoring and analyzing such guidance as it becomes available over the next several weeks and beyond.
Phase 4 – Provider Relief Funds
On September 29, 2021, surgeons will be able to apply for additional Provider Relief Funds to help offset coronavirus related healthcare-related expenses or lost revenues incurred between July 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. Because smaller offices tend to operate on thin margins, HHS will provide a base payment plus a supplement to medium and small group providers, with a minimum payment to larger practices. Learn more here.
Phase 3 Funding
The application deadline for the Provider Relief Fund Phase 3 General Distribution was November 6, 2020. You must have submitted your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for validation by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on November 6, 2020, for Phase 3 relief funds.
HHS has indicated that details on requests for reconsideration will be posted soon.
What is the Provider Relief Fund?
The Provider Relief Fund supports healthcare providers in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PPPCHE), the federal government has allocated $175 billion in payments to be distributed through the Provider Relief Fund (PRF).
Qualified providers of healthcare, services and support may receive Provider Relief Fund payments for healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue due to COVID-19. Separately, the COVID-19 Uninsured Program reimburses providers for testing and treating uninsured individuals with COVID-19.
These taxable distributions do not need to be repaid to the US government, assuming providers comply with the terms and conditions.
Providers that received and retained one or more payments exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate are required to report on the use of those funds. Learn more here.