HHS Delays Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements

January 15, 2021, Alex Spanko, Skilled Nursing News - The federal government on Friday issued a formal delay of its reporting requirements for health care providers that received COVID-19 financial relief.  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had originally set January 15 as the opening date for its Provider Relief Fund reporting portal, with the first deadline set a month later on February 15.

But the late-December passage of $3 billion in additional PRF funding pushed back the federal government’s timeframe, and there is currently no deadline for compliance. 

“HHS has been working to update the PRF reporting requirements to be consistent with this new law,” the department said in a Friday release.  “That said, as HHS has done in the past, the department wanted to give recipients ample time to familiarize themselves with the updated reporting requirements well in advance of required submission deadlines.”

HHS on Friday still opened its online reporting portal for providers, with officials encouraging providers to establish accounts and begin the reporting process.  Any health care provider that received more than $10,000 in total PRF payments must eventually comply with the reporting rules, though the Friday revision does not apply to the tranche of funding dedicated to nursing home infection control.

“While there is currently no deadline for providers to establish a reporting account in the newly enabled Reporting Portal, all providers will be required to complete this first step in order to advance and fulfill their reporting requirements once HHS announces the new deadline to do so,” the agency announced.

“Provider support and call center resources are currently limited but will be more available to answer providers’ questions once the second phase for reporting submissions is announced.” 

Skilled nursing facilities have been able to access federal PRF relief through a variety of distributions on top of the infection-control support, including blanket payments to Medicare and Medicaid providers and SNF-specific relief tranches.

Through last week, the federal government has doled out more than $116 billion to around 644,000 providers, based on unique tax identification numbers (TINs).

“HHS thanks our heroic health care providers for their tireless efforts combatting this pandemic and will continue to provide timely and transparent communication as it relates to the PRF program,” HHS concluded.