This is the first of two posts discussing the June 11, 2021 updates to the PRF reporting requirements and FAQs.

On June 11, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) released revised COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund (“PRF”) Reporting Requirements, superseding all prior versions of reporting requirements issued by HHS, along with associated revised PRF FAQs, Reporting Portal FAQs, and a Reporting Portal Registration User Guide that each make conforming changes. The updated Reporting Requirements come just three weeks prior to when PRF recipients would have been required to expend all received funds and when reporting was scheduled to commence (July 1, 2021).

Significantly, the updates give providers a longer runway to use funds, clarify the definition of “COVID-19 patient”, and provide insight into potential upcoming PRF distributions. The updated Reporting Requirements represent the Biden Administration’s first actions to modify the PRF, which distributes federal grants to help providers offset revenue shortfalls and expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In keeping with past administration of the program, PRF payments remain available for use by recipients only for eligible expenses and lost revenues attributable to COVID-19, although recipients may use funds for costs incurred prior to the receipt of PRF payments. However, the updates clarify that recipients of funds have one year from the end of the “Payment Received Period” – the period in which HHS distributed PRF payments – in which to use funds received during such period, in accordance with timeframes below. HHS calls this period of potential use the “period of availability” and notes that payments are deemed received on the deposit date or check cashed date.

Period Payment Received Period (“PRP”) Deadline to Use Funds Reporting Period (If Payment Received in PRP Exceeds $10,000 in Aggregate)
Period 1 April 10, 2020 to June 30, 2020 June 30, 2021 July 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021
Period 2 July 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 December 31, 2021

January 1, 2022 to March 31, 2022

 

Period 3 January 1, 2021 to June 30 2021 June 30, 2022 July 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022
Period 4 July 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021 December 31, 2022

January 1, 2023 to March 31, 2023

 

Tied to each Payment Received Period is an associated Reporting Period. Recipients who received and retained for use one or more PRF payments (from General and/or Targeted Distributions) totaling more than $10,000 during a given Payment Received Period (as opposed to the previous standard of $10,000 across all PRF payments) must now report on the use of funds in accordance with the Reporting Requirements during the applicable Reporting Period. Importantly, HHS’s updates lengthen each reporting period from 30 days to 90 days. And while the PRF Terms and Conditions always required accurate data submission and reporting, the updates explicitly stress that a recipient’s failure to report within the correct, elongated timeframe constitutes a breach of the PRF Terms and Conditions and provides grounds for recoupment.

These updates to the PRF come following pressure from the provider community for more time and flexibility to use PRF money as they continue to feel the effects of COVID-19. Notably, the updates allude to the potential for additional distributions – approximately $24 billion of the $178 billion allocated to the PRF remain available for disbursement, which may be distributed in the fourth PRP noted in the chart above. The need for such flexibility is a welcome development especially for hospitals that struggled with the uncertainty caused by continually changing PRF use and reporting requirements that were a staple of 2020, as well as the larger provider community that continues to struggle with lower patient volumes. However, only time will tell if this round of PRF updates gives providers enough flexibility to use PRF funds to effectively combat such struggles.

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Proskauer’s cross-disciplinary, cross-jurisdictional Coronavirus Response Team is focused on supporting and addressing client concerns. We will continue to evaluate the American Rescue Plan Act, the CARES Act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, related regulations and any subsequent legislation to provide our clients guidance in real time. Please visit our Coronavirus Resource Center for guidance on risk management measures, practical steps businesses can take, and resources to help manage ongoing operations.

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Photo of Daniel S. Weinstein Daniel S. Weinstein

Daniel Weinstein is an associate in the Corporate Department and a member of the Health Care Group. His practice focuses on representing health care clients, including hospitals and health systems, academic medical centers, physician organizations, telehealth platforms, and digital health companies. Daniel provides…

Daniel Weinstein is an associate in the Corporate Department and a member of the Health Care Group. His practice focuses on representing health care clients, including hospitals and health systems, academic medical centers, physician organizations, telehealth platforms, and digital health companies. Daniel provides legal advice on a wide range of regulatory, corporate, and transactional matters, such as Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement, fraud and abuse compliance, managed care contracting, value-based payment arrangements, HIPAA, practice expansions, and general corporate and business planning.

Daniel maintains an active pro bono practice, which includes representing veterans seeking disability benefits and leading Election Protection call centers. He is also an active member in the NYC Bar Association’s health law committees.

Daniel earned his J.D. from NYU School of Law, where he was President of the Health Law & Policy Society and a Notes Editor for the NYU Journal of Legislation & Public Policy. Prior to law school, Daniel worked as a health care policy consultant at both NORC at the University of Chicago and Navigant Consulting. Daniel received his B.A. in Political Science and Community Health from Tufts University, graduating summa cum laude.

Photo of Ryan P. Blaney Ryan P. Blaney

Ryan Blaney represents health care, life science, and technology clients in a range of regulatory, enforcement, internal investigative and transactional matters, with particular expertise in privacy law, life sciences and digital health. He also has expertise in regulatory compliance, counseling clients on a…

Ryan Blaney represents health care, life science, and technology clients in a range of regulatory, enforcement, internal investigative and transactional matters, with particular expertise in privacy law, life sciences and digital health. He also has expertise in regulatory compliance, counseling clients on a range of matters, including health care fraud and abuse, third party reimbursement, data breach issues, data privacy and security, and FDA regulatory matters. He has substantial experience in pharmaceutical lifecycle management and competition issues, including the Hatch- Waxman Act and Biosimilars Price Competition and Innovations Act.

Ryan serves information technology companies, public and private health care companies, hospitals and physician organizations, manufacturers, medical device companies, and health plans. He guides venture capital groups, private equity funds, investment banks, and other investors on health care regulatory issues in connection with financing, mergers and acquisitions, and restructuring.

Ryan’s work is greatly informed by his experience as a teacher. Prior to attending law school, Ryan earned a master’s degree in education and taught at an under-resourced Catholic middle school. He is known for his ability to communicate clearly and to coordinate large teams working on complex matters. Outside of his health law practice, Ryan has been repeatedly recognized for his public service and pro bono work. He has successfully handled numerous education-related cases, helped establish three nonprofit organizations and defended qualified recipients of disability benefits.