Provider Relief Fund Resources and Attestation Portal Launched

Planning and Paying | April 16, 2020 | by Nicole Fallon

New information continues to roll out from HHS to assist with the Provider Relief Funds that providers began receiving April 10 as part of the first tranche of dollars from the $100B CARES Act appropriation.

For those providers who have questions about the funds they received or have not yet received funds, HHS has two options for getting answers:

  1. Providers can submit questions to HHS via email at: HOSPITALCOVID19@HHS.GOV
     
  2. In addition, HHS launched a new toll-free CARES Provider Relief line at: 866-569-3522 for providers who believe they qualify for the payments but have not yet received a payment. Providers can find out the status of their payment and an estimated payment amount.

For those providers who have received funds, HHS has now launched the Provider Payment Portal where providers can “sign” their attestation to abide by the Relief Find Payment Terms & Conditions for the Funds received or reject the terms and funds. The Payment Portal walks providers through the 5 steps for completing the attestation:

Step 1: Eligibility

Step 2: Submission of the Billing TIN(s)

Step 3: Verifying Payment Information

Step 4: Attestations

Confirmation.

All providers receiving a payment from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund must complete the online attestation within 30 days of receipt of the funds regardless of whether the provider intends to keep the funds or not. Those who choose to keep the funds must complete the attestation stating that they agree to the Relief Fund Payment Terms and Conditions. Providers who choose to reject the funds must complete the attestation indicating their rejection of the funds. It is not clear yet how the funds will be returned in this case.

Until we are able to obtain further clarification from HHS on how these terms and conditions will be applied, LeadingAge is recommending that providers wait to submit this attestation. LeadingAge and others have observed inconsistencies between information provided on the HHS CARES Act Provider Relief Fund website and the actual terms and conditions to which providers must agree. The earliest providers need to complete the attestation is May 10.

LeadingAge will be seeking clarity from HHS in the next couple of days on a number of questions related to ensuring that all providers are eligible to use the dollars regardless of whether they have a COVID-19 positive patient, seeking examples of qualifying expenses and losses, reporting requirements, among other issues to ensure providers are eligible to use these funds and able to comply with the fund’s terms.

In addition to seeking clarification from HHS, LeadingAge is currently developing tools to assist providers in evaluating the terms and conditions, and an additional backgrounder and FAQ on the program with a goal to release the week of April 20.

Finally, the Provider Relief Funds will require providers to report to HHS qualified expenses and losses for which these funds can be used so providers will need to track and document these items now to be prepared to report later. To assist members with this tracking and documenting task, we will be partnering to develop a tool to assist you in documenting the necessary expenses and losses in order to submit the required reports to HHS and comply with the Terms and Conditions.