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Legal Update: Remain diligent in tracking relief funds

Legal Update: Remain diligent in tracking relief funds

Q. Where are we with the Provider Relief Fund and what should I be doing? 

A. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 contains key provisions that appear to be at least partially responsible for the continued delay in a comprehensive Provider Relief Fund reporting program. While the Department of Health and Human Services issued updated reporting requirements, the reporting portal remains open only for registration purposes. There is still no indication about when providers will be required to begin reporting data under the new guidelines. For now, if you received PRF monies and have not registered in the portal, you are encouraged to do so. 

HHS’s Jan. 15, 2021, guidelines do, however, provide us with more detail on what to expect when reporting data. An important update includes reverting to the lost revenue calculation previously issued in June 2020. Recipients can use any of the following methods to calculate lost revenue: 

Difference between 2019 and 2020 patient care revenue; 

Difference between 2020 budgeted patient care revenue and actual 2020 revenue using a budget that was created and approved prior to March 27, 2020; or  

Another reasonable method provided that the PRF recipient provides HHS with a full explanation of the methodology and its appropriateness. 

Suppliers are encouraged to carefully track use of PRF-eligible fund expenses and to plan to exhaust the use of funds by the now-current deadline of June 30, 2021. At a summary level, acceptable use of funds includes: health care related expenses attributable to coronavirus that are not reimbursed from other sources; and lost revenues, up to the difference of 2019 and 2020 actual patient care revenues. 

With little guidance available, it is important to remain diligent in tracking the use of funds and monitoring new guidance. 

Kelly T. Custer is a shareholder with the Health Care Group at Brown & Fortunato. Reach him at [email protected]

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