An Important Announcement Regarding the Provider Relief Fund Program

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released important updates regarding its Provider Relief Fund (PRF) program. The announcement covered two key areas:

A Grace Period for Reporting Period 1

The 60-day grace period begins on October 1, 2021 and ends on November 30, 2021. It applies exclusively to Reporting Period 1. While providers that fail to report by September 30 will be considered out of compliance, no enforcement of non-compliance consequences will occur during the grace period. Despite the grace period, those who are able to meet the September 30 deadline are strongly encouraged to do so.

$25.5 Billion in New Funds to Become Available

Starting September 29, 2021, an additional $25.5 billion in relief funds will become available. The funds are intended to be disbursed in two areas:

  • $8.5 billion from the American Rescue Plan is designated for providers who serve individuals enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare, and/or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in rural areas
  • $17 billion is designated for Phase 4 of the PRF program, which delivers funding for providers experiencing pandemic-associated revenue loss and expenses from July 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021

The two programs will use a unified application; the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will be responsible for allocating funds from the correct area(s) to applicants. The HRSA is instructed to concentrate funds towards smaller providers and disburse “bonus” payments based on the number of individuals enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare, and/or CHIP that the provider serves.

For further clarification on this release or for help with gathering the information needed to complete an application, please contact your Lewis & Knopf accounting advisor.