HHS Provider Relief Funds

Reporting Requirements – HHS has delayed the release of reporting requirements for recipients of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Provider Relief Fund (PRF), originally expected by August 17th, until further notice.  HHS provided an update on their website:

HRSA (Health Resources and Service Administration – a division of HHS) is continuing to refine its data elements and will provide those additional details at a date later than August 17, 2020. Providers will still be given the detailed PRF reporting instructions and a data collection template with the necessary data elements they will be asked to submit well in advance of the reporting system being made available – which is currently targeted for October 1, 2020. Providers should continue to check this website for the latest updates.

Second Chance at PRF funds for Medicare Providers – HHS reopened the application process for the Medicare general distribution, allowing providers another opportunity to submit revenue data and potentially receive additional funds.  HHS clarified that providers in the following situations are eligible to apply:

  • Providers who were ineligible for the Phase 1 General Distribution because:
    • They underwent a change in ownership in calendar year 2019 or 2020 under Medicare Part A; and did not have Medicare Fee-For-Service revenue in 2019.
  • Providers who received a payment under Phase 1 General Distribution but:
  • Missed the June 3 deadline to submit revenue information – including many Medicaid, CHIP, and dental providers with low Medicare revenues that assumed they were ineligible for additional distribution targeted at Medicare providers or had planned to apply for a Medicaid and CHIP specific distribution; or
  • Did not receive Phase 1 General Distribution payments totaling approximately 2 percent of their annual patient revenue.
  • Providers who previously received Phase 1 General Distribution payment, however, they rejected and returned the funds and are now interested in reapplying.

Medicare providers have until August 28th, 2020 to submit their data through the application portal, available HERE.

For more information on the Provider Relief Fund, CLICK HERE.

Paycheck Protection Program

The application window for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) officially closed on August 8th, allowing the SBA to transition towards the forgiveness phase of the program.  As of August 10th, the SBA has started accepting forgiveness applications and issued a set of FAQs on the process shortly thereafter.

The newest guidance addresses two items of importance for borrowers:

  • Payments for vision/dental benefits and insurance premiums are eligible to be paid with PPP funds
  • Borrowers who also received a grant via the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program will have their PPP loan forgiveness reduced by the amount of their EIDL grant
    • EIDL loans offered applicants the option to secure a grant equal to $1,000 per employee up to 10 employees, or $10,000. EIDL grants were given out as advances on their associated loans, and don’t need to be repaid.

At this time, there is no deadline to apply for loan forgiveness.  However, the SBA generally expects borrowers to apply following the loan’s covered period of either 8 or 24 weeks depending on when the loan was dispersed.  Lenders are required to render a decision on forgiveness within 60 days of receiving the application.

The program is currently operating under parameters modified by the PPP Flex Act, which eased the program’s forgiveness rules.  Further legislation modifying the PPP, such as blanket forgiveness for loans under a certain amount, has been discussed but no action was taken prior to Congress taking recess.

As always, ADVOCATE will continue to keep you informed on the issues impacting medical groups as they develop.

Kayley Jaquet
Manager, Regulatory Affairs