HHS Releases New Provider Relief Fund Tools & Terms

Regulation | April 25, 2020 | by Nicole Fallon

As promised, HHS updated the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund website on Friday, April 24 to include new terms and conditions related to the latest distribution of dollars to Medicare providers and a new portal for providers to confirm their financial information as a condition of keeping and using the Funds.

LeadingAge learned new information Friday about the steps Medicare providers must take related to the receipt and retention of Provider Relief Funds and has updated its CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Background, Considerations and FAQ document.  Specifically, HHS clarified in an April 24 email  that Medicare providers must attest to separate Terms & Conditions for each payment they receive from the Fund. The Terms & Conditions are slightly different between the first and second round of funds. These differences are detailed in the updated version of the LeadingAge Provider Relief Fund Backgrounder document.

 

Medicare providers who received the second round of funds on Friday, April 24 or after will use the newly-created General Distribution Portal to upload the required financial information. Through this portal, they will need to attest to each payment associated with their billing Taxpayer Identification Number(s) and upload their most recent IRS tax filings as well as estimates of lost revenues for March and April 2020. We do not yet have a definition of what counts for lost revenues but LeadingAge will be following up again with HHS on this issue and other remaining questions. HHS did provide an Application Guide to assist providers with uploading the financial data to the portal. The portal also doesn’t appear to ask for COVID-19 health care related expenses at this time.

Providers still have 30 days from the day that they receive a payment to go to this website to attest to the two sets of Terms and Conditions . For providers who received the first round of funds on April 10, they will need to complete the attestation to the terms and conditions for, at least, Relief Fund Payments for the $30 billion general distribution by May 10. Those receiving the second round ($20B) of general fund distributions on April 24 will have until May 24 to complete the second attestation to the terms and conditions specific to this set of funds.

We are still awaiting additional information abou tthe timing of the distribution of dollars to Medicaid-only providers.