On July 1, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (“HRSA”) notified recipients of Provider Relief Fund (“PRF”) payments via e-mail that the PRF Reporting Portal is now open for providers who are required to report on the use of funds in Reporting Period 1
Congress passes legislation impacting the Provider Relief Fund
In the evening of December 21, 2020, both Houses of Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, H.R. 133. The sprawling, 5,593-page legislation includes the most significant health care-related provisions to be passed since the CARES Act. The President is expected to sign the legislation shortly. Of note, in the course of appropriating billions of…
CMS finalizes rule to ensure no-cost COVID-19 vaccine
On October 28, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule with comment period (IFR) in an effort to ensure that participants in CMS programs have no-cost access to any forthcoming Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.
The IFR governs any vaccine that…
HHS releases final rule and fact sheet to clarify Part 2: Standards for Substance Use Disorder Record Protection, Disclosure, and Registry
After nearly a full year of public comment consideration, last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced and published a Final Rule and Fact Sheet addressing 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (Part 2). Generally speaking, Part 2 affords privacy protections to patient records pertaining…
HHS announces another round of CARES Act funding for Medicaid and CHIP providers as well as Safety Net Hospitals
On June 9, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced additional distributions from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund to several groups of providers, totaling approximately $25 billion. $15 billion of these funds is targeted towards eligible Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) providers participating in state Medicaid and CHIP…
OIG releases strategic plan for oversight of COVID-19 response
Following the distribution of billions of relief aid to healthcare providers and amidst the guidance issued around reopening of nursing homes throughout the country, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) unveiled a COVID-19 Response Strategic Plan on May 26, 2020 after updating its Workplan a few days earlier.…
CARES Act Relief Funds: HHS continues rolling updates to FAQs and extends attestation deadline by another 45 days
On May 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued additional guidance, by again updating its FAQs, for Medicare providers and suppliers (collectively, providers) receiving relief from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund. Of the $175 billion appropriated by Congress, HHS has allocated $50 billion for general distribution to providers impacted by COVID-19, $12 billion for hospitals in COVID-19 high-impact areas, $10 billion for rural providers, and $4.9 billion for skilled nursing facilities. HHS has continued rolling updates to its FAQs since our May 15 post and the key updates since that time are set forth below. On May 22, HHS also announced another 45-day extension for Provider Relief Fund recipients to attest to payments received and accept the Terms and Conditions governing the use of those funds. However, the interplay of that extended deadline with a previously stated deadline of June 3 to submit revenue information remains uncertain.
Uncertainty regarding June 3 deadline
In a May 20 press release, HHS advised providers that they have until June 3 to accept the Terms and Conditions and submit their revenue information in the General Distribution Portal to support receiving an additional payment from the $50 billion general distribution. HHS instructed that all providers who automatically received an additional general distribution payment prior to 5:00 p.m. EST on April 24 must provide HHS with an accounting of annual revenues by submitting tax forms or financial statements and agree to the Terms and Conditions. In addition, for those providers that have not already received an additional general distribution payment, the submission of tax forms or financial statements serves as an application for additional funding. Providers that do not submit revenue information by June 3 will no longer be eligible to receive additional funding from the $50 billion general distribution. HHS has instructed providers to follow these steps:
- Confirm receipt of previous funds through the Provider Relief Fund payment Attestation Portal, including agreeing to the Terms and Conditions; and
- Submit revenue information through the General Distribution Portal for consideration to receive additional general distribution funds.
Although the interplay between the June 3 deadline and the new 90-days-from-receipt deadline remains unclear at this time, it appears that the June 3 deadline remains in place, at least for providers that did not automatically receive an additional general distribution payment. We expect HHS to release additional guidance on this issue.
Continue Reading CARES Act Relief Funds: HHS continues rolling updates to FAQs and extends attestation deadline by another 45 days
CMS releases additional COVID-19 blanket waivers for health care providers
On May 11, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new suite of blanket waivers for hospitals and other health care providers in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The blanket waivers have a retroactive effective date of March 1, which extends through the end of the public health emergency declaration and, in CMS’s view, “provide the flexibilities needed to take care of patients during the COVID-19 public health emergency.” The new blanket waivers relate to the following:…
Continue Reading CMS releases additional COVID-19 blanket waivers for health care providers
CARES Act Relief Funds: HHS updates General Distribution Fund FAQs and extends attestation deadline from 30 days to 45 days
On May 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued additional guidance, by way of updated FAQs, for providers receiving relief from the $50 billion general allocation of the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (known as the Provider Relief Fund) that was appropriated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. And on May 7, HHS announced a 15-day extension for Provider Relief Fund recipients to attest to payments received and accept the Terms and Conditions governing the use of those funds. This extension comes just days prior to the initial deadline that many providers were facing for submitting attestations.
Continue Reading CARES Act Relief Funds: HHS updates General Distribution Fund FAQs and extends attestation deadline from 30 days to 45 days