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Provider Relief Phase 4 Distribution

On Dec. 16, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), began distributing Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 General Distribution payments to health care providers who experienced revenue losses and expenses related to COVID-19. The Phase 4 payments of approximately $9 billion are being made to providers affected by the pandemic. Roughly 75 percent of Phase 4 applications have been processed. HRSA is continuing to review the remaining applications.

Phase 4 payments contain two sections: base payments and bonus payments. Base payments represent approximately 75 percent of the funding and will be allocated to providers based on their reported changes in revenue and expenses from July 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. Smaller and medium-sized providers (based on annual net patient care revenues) are reimbursed at a higher rate. Bonus payments represent approximately 25 percent of the funding and are based on the volume of services provided in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicare. Applicants receiving payments will receive an email notification with additional detail on their payment. Providers who have not yet received any communication regarding their payment determination will be notified as soon as HRSA completes the review and processing of the remaining applications. For information on how payments are calculated, please visit the PRF Phase 4 Payment Methodology webpage.

Within 90 days of receiving a payment, Phase 4 General Distribution recipients must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agreeing to the Terms and Conditions of payment by re-entering the PRF Application and Attestation Portal. Providers choosing to reject the funds must also complete the attestation and return the funds within 15 calendar days.

Providers receiving Phase 4 or ARP Rural funds should be aware that the Terms and Conditions require recipients to maintain advance payments in interest-bearing accounts, unless the qualifying exemptions listed below are met.

  • The non-Federal entity receives less than $120,000 in Federal awards per year.
  • The best reasonably available interest-bearing account would not be expected to earn interest in excess of $500 per year on Federal cash balances.
  • The depository would require an average or minimum balance so high that it would not be feasible within the expected Federal and non-Federal cash resources.
  • A foreign government or banking system prohibits or precludes interest-bearing accounts.

Those receiving more than $10,000 in aggregate payments must also report the amount of interest earned.

Reporting Period 1 Extension

Members who received more than $10,000 in PRF funding prior to July 1, 2020 are reminded that reporting associated with that funding was due through the PRF Reporting Portal by Nov. 30th. HRSA has reopened the PRF Reporting Portal for the completion or submission of reports for Reporting Period 1 beginning Mon., Dec. 13, 2021 and continuing until Mon., Dec. 20, 2021. This additional reporting window is an opportunity for PRF recipients who submitted a Reporting Period 1 report but need to correct an error or revise their submission. Providers have a chance to revise the report an organization submitted to HRSA on how they spent the PRF funding they received through June 30, 2020. Reporting Period 1 is reopened due to some smaller and rural providers experiencing reporting challenges around the Nov. 30th deadline. However, all PRF recipients have the option to resubmit Reporting Period 1 reports.

Providers wishing to correct a submitted report must contact the Provider Support Line (866-569-3522) to gain access to their submitted report.

HRSA recently stated that there is some flexibility in reporting the use of PRF funds. This may be important for nursing home members who received Nursing Home Infection Control (NHIC) incentive payments because these payments can only be used for infection control expenses and will not be reported until the second or third reporting periods. Homes may have the opportunity to use their PRF General Distribution payments to cover lost revenues and expenses by waiting until the second or third reporting period to report infection control expenses. HRSA also confirmed that PRF General Distribution funds can be used to cover COVID-19 staff testing costs that were not reimbursed or obligated to be reimbursed by another source. Providers should document that the testing expenses were to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus and that they were not reimbursed by other sources. This documentation needs to be maintained by the provider, not submitted as part of the reporting process. For more information on the reporting of NHIC payments, click here.

Contact: Ken Allison, kallison@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8820