Provider relief fund reporting extensions are available

2020 07 31 22 16 0362 Dollar Money Coronavirus Mask 400

By now, practices that received grants under the Provider Relief Funds (PRF) program are familiar with the process of reporting on those funds. Reporting on the initial round of funding that came in April to June 2020 (period 1) was due by November 30, 2021. The second reporting period, for funds received July to December 2020 (period 2), ended on March 31, 2022.

Rebecca Farrington.Rebecca Farrington.

However, the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) recently announced that providers will be able to submit a request to report late due to extenuating circumstances for any reporting period. The request for period 1 was April 22, 2022; while no request deadline has been announced for period 2 reporting, providers who missed the March 31 reporting deadline are also eligible to apply for the extenuating circumstances extension.

Extenuating circumstances for which an extension will be granted include the following:

  • Severe illness or death of a provider or key staff member responsible for reporting
  • The impact of a natural disaster that occurred during or in close proximity of the end of the reporting period, that damaged the organization's records or information technology
  • The lack of receipt of reporting communications due to an incorrect email or postal mailing address on file with Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • Failure to click "submit" after completing the online portal information prior to the deadline
  • An internal miscommunication or error regarding the individual who was authorized and expected to submit the report
  • Incomplete Targeted Distribution payments not reported on by a subsidiary after completed by the parent entity

Providers whose request is approved will receive notification from HRSA and will have 10 days to submit a report in the PRF Reporting Portal.

The result of not reporting on the use of PRF grants, or if a reporting extension request is denied, is that the funds will have to be returned to HRSA within 30 days. Similarly, any remaining unused funds shown in the completed report for the period will have to be returned. HRSA will initiate debt collection and recovery action for failure to return funds, and the provider will be ineligible for future PRF payments.

The next reporting period, for funds received between January 1 and June 30, 2021 (period 3), will be open from July 1 to September 30, 2022. Funds received during period 3 must be utilized by June 30, 2022. Reporting is required for any period in which the aggregate of funds received during the period is $10,000 or more.

The last tranche of funds available to providers was PRF phase 4, in conjunction with the American Rescue Plan (ARP) rural distribution. The ARP rural distribution was made in November 2021, followed by the PRF distribution in December 2021 and January 2022. The deadline to use phase 4 funds received in 2021 is December 31, 2022, with reporting due January to March 2023, if $10,000 or more was received.

Funds received in the first half of 2022 may be used through June 30, 2023, with reporting to be done presumably between July to September 2023 based on the scheduled timing for previous periods.

An additional round of phase 4 funding took place in April 2022, bringing the total to approximately 92% of all phase 4 applications having been processed, according to HRSA. Although some funds remain available, there is no additional opportunity for providers to apply.

While there are no additional phases of the PRF announced at the present time, there is some legislative traction for another round of funding. According to the HRSA announcement, there is approximately $4.5 billion in remaining funds that are still untapped from the most recent allocation.

There are also reports of specialty society requests that have included an additional infusion of $20 billion for distribution to providers due to continued COVID-19 related losses.

Rebecca Farrington serves as the chief revenue officer for Healthcare Administrative Partners. She has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare sales and management roles, focusing on hospital-based and physician revenue cycle management.

The comments and observations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of

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