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Provider Relief Fund Phase 2 & Reporting Requirement Updates – Deadline to Request Phase 2 Funds is August 28, 2020

Phase 2 General Distribution Funding – Deadline August 28, 2020

On July 31, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced that certain Medicare, Medicaid (managed care and fee-for-service), CHIP, and other providers would be given another opportunity to receive additional Provider Relief Fund payments. HHS has allocated around $15 billion for Phase 2 distribution. Providers are eligible for these new distributions if they fulfill the following criteria and have not yet received a Provider Fund payment equal to approximately 2% of their revenue from patient care. 

To be eligible to apply, the provider must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Either
    1. Billed Medicare fee-for-service during the period of Jan.1, 2019-Dec. 31, 2019; or
    2. Be a Medicare Part A provider that experienced a change in ownership and billed Medicare fee-for-service in 2019 or 2020 that prevented the otherwise eligible provider from receiving Phase 1 General Distribution payment; or
    3. Billed Medicaid / CHIP programs or Medicaid managed care plans for health-related services between Jan.1, 2018-Dec.31, 2019; or
    4. Billed a health insurance company for oral healthcare-related services as a dental service provider; or
    5. Be a licensed dental service provider who does not accept insurance and has billed patients for oral healthcare-related services; and
  2. Must have either (i) filed a federal income tax return for fiscal years 2017, 2018 or 2019 or (ii) be an entity exempt from the requirement to file a federal income tax return (e.g. a state-owned hospital or healthcare clinic); and
  3. Must have provided patient care after January 31, 2020 (see our blog post from April 10 on how this is broadly defined); and
  4. Must not have permanently ceased providing patient care directly, or indirectly through included subsidiaries; and
  5. If the applicant is an individual, have gross receipts or sales from providing patient care reported on Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 1, excluding income reported on a W-2 as a (statutory) employee.

HHS released this second round of General Distribution funding to help support as many providers as possible. Note that even if a provider received Phase 1 funding, they may still be able to collect Phase 2 funding if their original distribution was less than 2% of their patient care revenues. This includes providers who returned their Phase 1 checks because they were not sure if they would be able to meet the Terms & Conditions. Providers who apply for and receive Phase 2 funds are subject to the same Terms and Conditions that existed for Phase 1 funding. Providers must use the Provider Portal to request the Phase 2 funds. The deadline for these requests is August 28, 2020 at 11:59pm EST

Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements Update

One of the terms and conditions that providers had to agree to in order to receive Provider Relief Funds was to submit reports to HHS that are in the form specified by the Secretary of HHS. HHS was scheduled to post guidance by August 17, 2020 regarding the format of these reports. However, this date has come and gone without a full update. Instead, HHS posted a Notice entitled “General and Targeted Distribution Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements” on August 14, 2020. This Notice applies to any providers who received Provider Relief Funds exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate. 

The Notice states that detailed instructions regarding reporting requirements for these providers will be “released soon,” leaving providers in a state of suspense for an undefined future period of time. However, the Notice does clarify that the reporting system will become available to recipients for reporting on October 1, 2020. The Notice also provides details regarding the timing of reports for Provider Relief Fund recipients:

  • All recipients must report within 45 days of the end of calendar year 2020 on their expenditures through the period ending December 31, 2020.
  • Recipients who have expended funds in full prior to December 31, 2020 may submit a single final report at any time during the window that begins October 1, 2020, but no later than February 15, 2021.
  • Recipients with funds unexpended after December 31, 2020, must submit a second and final report no later than July 31, 2021. 

Finally, the Notice repeatedly reminds providers to check hhs.gov/providerrelief for the latest updates. Once more specific reporting guidance is released, BMD’s healthcare team will publish another update to inform providers of these reporting requirements. In the interim, if you have any questions about Provider Relief Funds, please contact Ashley Watson at abwatson@bmdllc.com

Vaccination Considerations for Employers

Today, three Covid-19 vaccines have tested as highly effective (90%+ efficacy) and are advancing in the process for emergency use. This is especially welcome news in Ohio, which has skyrocketing cases and our strategic response has been to turn the entire state into the small town of Bomont with strict curfews and bans on social gatherings.

Did You Receive More than $750,000 in Provider Relief Funds?

The Provider Relief Funds (“PRF”) - authorized under the CARES Act - has been a vital tool for health care providers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. These funds have allowed providers to stay open and continue to offer care during these pressing times. While helpful, these funds do come with several important obligations. First, fund recipients are required to comply with certain record-keeping requirements as well as comply with certain balance billing prohibitions. See our Client Alert. Second, fund recipients are required to report their intent, use of funds, and other data elements, which helps promote transparency to the federal government. Please see our Client Alert on provider relief fund reporting requirements. Third, and perhaps a new concept for many providers, fund recipients of more than $750,000 must undergo a “single audit” to ensure program compliance and appropriate use of funds.

Important Updates Every Provider Should Know: Information Blocking

In December 2016, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act (“Cures Act”) which: (1) authorized funding for the National Institutes of Health to promote medical research and drug development, (2) implemented provisions aimed at addressing the prevention and treatment of mental illness and substance abuse, and (3) reformed certain standards of the Medicare program and federal tax laws to foster healthcare access and quality improvement.

PPP Update: Loan Necessity Questionnaires

On October 26, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) published a notice in the Federal Register which foreshadowed the release of two new forms seeking information from for-profit and nonprofit organizations that received Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans of $2 million or more. If approved, the SBA would use information from these forms to evaluate and determine whether economic uncertainty made a PPP loan request necessary.

Exposure to COVID-19 Flow Chart

Exposure to COVID-19 Flow Chart