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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

UPDATE: Governor Dewine Signs HB 606 Granting Short Window of Immunity from COVID-19 Personal Injury Lawsuits

The Ohio General Assembly, in Am. Sub. H.B. No. 606, is in the final stages of passing a law that will prohibit lawsuits seeking damages from COVID-19. This includes injury, death, or loss to person or property if the lawsuits are based, in whole or in part, on the exposure to, or the transmission or contraction of the coronavirus, unless the defendant in the lawsuit acted intentionally or recklessly. In circumstances where this immunity does not apply, H.B. 606 prohibits such claims being aggregated and brought as a class action.

Revised Department of Labor FFCRA Guidance, Effective September 16, 2020

In response to attacks on the legality of the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Final Rule regarding the Families First Coronavirus Act (“FFCRA” or the “Act”), which took effect in April 2020, the Department of Labor issued new guidance on Friday, September 11th to formally address ongoing questions and concerns related to the COVID-19 legislation.

FCC Adds $198 Million to Strengthen Telehealth for Rural Healthcare Providers

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has added an additional $198 million in funding to its Rural Health Care Program. These funds will be used to increase broadband services and telecommunications to bolster telehealth/telemedicine services for rural healthcare providers. Funding for rural healthcare providers was initially capped at $605 million in 2020, but the added funds will now allow the FCC to provide over $800 million to eligible providers.

Finding Opportunity in Adversity: Optimism for the Construction Industry

Looking for good news? If so, you are not alone. Aside from the collective mental, physical and emotional human toll imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, entire sectors of the economy have been ravaged, and old, familiar ways of doing business have been disrupted. Although deemed essential, the construction industry has not been immune to interruption and uncertainty during these unprecedented times. Amid new health and safety concerns, coupled with financial uncertainty, progress on projects has slowed, and the start dates for a number of new projects slated to begin in 2020 have been deferred. However, resilience has always been a trademark of contractors, subcontractors and other industry professionals. Reports indicate that while the construction industry lost more than one million jobs February through April, at least 600,000 of those jobs had been gained back by the end of June.

Yard Sign Do’s and Don’ts: How to Avoid Legal Challenges to Municipal Sign Codes this Election Season

As the nation heads into the tail end of the 2020 general election, municipalities will inevitably face challenges as they seek to regulate the seasonal proliferation of yard signs on residential property. While the matter may seem trifling, a seemingly benign yet content-based sign ordinance can result in significant legal exposure for municipalities that have not heeded recent Supreme Court decisions on content neutrality.