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Providers Still Waiting for Guidance on the Provider Relief Fund Reporting System

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) is setting up a new reporting system through which recipients of payments under the Provider Relief Fund (“PRF”) will be required to submit reports on their use of the payments. The reporting system is set to become available for reporting on October 1, 2020. Despite the reporting system opening in less than 30 days, providers are still waiting to learn what specific information they will be required to report.

On July 20, 2020, HHS amended the reporting requirements for PRF payment recipients. Pursuant to this amendment, any recipient of more than $10,000 in aggregate payments from the PRF will be required to file a single report regarding all expenditures of PRF payments in calendar year 2020. This report will be due February 15, 2021. A second report regarding any expenditures of PRF payments in calendar year 2021 will be due on July 31, 2021. At the time, HHS indicated that additional details regarding data elements that recipients would be required to report would be released by August 17, 2020.

However, HHS has since indicated that instead it will release reporting instructions and a data collection template on an unspecified date after August 17, 2020. HHS has also indicated it will release these instructions “well in advance” of the reporting system being made available. The system is set to become available on October 1, 2020, although HHS now characterizes this as a “targeted” date to make the reporting system available. HHS recommends providers simply continue to check their website for more updates regarding the reporting system.

While the specific reportable data elements have not yet been released, providers and recipients of PRF payments should maintain careful records of any use of the PRF payment. Many of the specific allocations under the PRF contains terms and conditions that require the recipient to maintain appropriate records and cost documentation as described in 45 CFR § 75.302 and 45 CFR § 75.361 through 75.365. Further, careful documentation of the use of a PRF payment can be key to responding in case a recipient’s use of the payment comes under audit in the future.

For over 30 years, Wachler & Associates has represented healthcare providers and suppliers nationwide in a variety of health law matters. If you or your healthcare entity has any questions pertaining to Provider Relief Fund reporting, audits, or healthcare compliance, please contact an experienced healthcare attorney at 248-544-0888 or wapc@wachler.com.

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