HHS Announces June 3 Provider Relief Deadline and $4.9B in SNF Funds Arriving May 22

Regulation | May 21, 2020 | by Nicole Fallon

This article was updated at 9 a.m. Eastern Time on May 23 regarding new extension of attestation deadline to 90 days from receipt of payment.

HHS announced late afternoon on May 20 a new June 3 deadline by which providers must attest to Terms and Conditions for the $50 billion General Distribution payments from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) and submit financial data; and in related news, HHS confirmed $4.9 billion in new PRF payments will begin arriving Friday, May 22 for certified Skilled Nursing Facilities(SNFs) and Medicaid-only nursing homes. However, on May 22 HHS issued a new press release announcing it was extending the deadline for providers to attest to 90 days from receipt of payment.

This is a change from a May 8 HHS announcement that extended the attestation timeline for providers to accept or reject payments from the original 30 days to 45 days from receipt of payment. Under the May 8th announcement, the deadline should have been June 8.  HHS has since issued two additional announcements regarding the deadline.  The first announcement on May 20 established the deadline as June 3. Then in a late May 22 announcement, HHS appeared to shift by extending the attestation deadlines further to 90 days from receipt of payment. This would take the deadlines into July. 

Originally, the June 3 date appeared to be a drop dead date for finalizing payments from the $50 billion General Distribution tranche that went out to providers who are reimbursed by Medicare. Providers who received two payments as of April 24 were to complete the attestation to the Terms and Conditions for both payments and submit financial information including federal income tax forms and March and April 2020 lost revenue information by June 3.  The May 22 announcement appears to change this timeline. It is unclear, however, if the June 3 deadline remains as the last day for providers who have only received one payment as of April 24 from this tranche to submit financial information to see if they may be eligible for a second payment from this tranche. LeadingAge is seeking clarity on this issue and continues to seek confirmation from HHS, in writing. that providers who have multiple lines of business under the one Tax Identification Number (e.g., life plan communities) can use the funds across all of those lines of business for COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenues. We heard a week ago that this was the likely position HHS would take. 

HHS just last week had confirmed that future targeted distributions would be forthcoming for Medicaid-only providers and a Skilled Nursing Facility(SNF)-Only Tranche. SNFs around the country began receiving notice, May 21, that a SNF-only payment was coming. HHS announced on Friday, May 22 that these payments were going out that day to 15,600 certified SNFs and the 333 Medicaid-only nursing homes, who have been waiting for a first payment. 

The payments will be sent to an organization’s central billing office as an via Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment from Optum Bank with the description, “CARES Act SNF-Pmt*HHS.GOV”. HHS announced a slightly different formula for the targeted distribution to nursing homes from the one in the notice received by providers on Thursday, May 21. Providers will receive more under this updated formula. The payments will be calculated to give every certified SNF $50,000 per SNF plus $2500 per bed amount. For example, a 300-bed SNF would be estimated to receive $800,000 while a 25-bed organization would receive $112,500.  

Providers will now have 90 days (per the May 22 announcement) from when the payment is received to accept or reject the payments and corresponding terms and conditions through the Attestation Portal. It is not clear if providers will have to include information from the prior two payments in this attestation, as there are reportedly three lines for payments on the form in the Attestaion Portal. Providers should always read each set of terms and conditions for these payments carefully as they differ sometimes. LeadingAge has reviewed the terms and find only minor, insubstantial changes.