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September 24, 2021

PRF Updates for Health Care Providers: Phase 1 Reporting Deadline Grace Period and New $25.5 Billion Phase 4

The CARES Act Provider Relief Fund (PRF) was introduced to offer financial relief through direct payments for healthcare providers in the battle against COVID-19. There have been three phases of funding so far, with the reporting deadline for Phase 1 on September 30 with a new 60-day grace period. A Phase 4 was recently introduced and opened September 29 through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Below we cover the details providers need to know going forward.

September 30 PRF Phase 1 Reporting Deadline with 60-Day Grace Period

The PRF provides payments for healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue due to coronavirus. These distributions generally do not need to be repaid, but providers who received over $10,000 during Phase 1 were required to report how they used the funds by September 30, 2021. While this reporting period deadline has not changed, a 60-day grace period was recently introduced in response to Covid surges and natural disasters. This period allows providers to come into compliance with their PRF reporting requirements if they fail to meet the September 30, 2021 deadline.

The HRSA notes the following details about the 60-day grace period for Phase 1 reporting:

  • Providers who are able are strongly encouraged to complete their report in the PRF Reporting Portal by September 30, 2021.
  • While you will be out of compliance if you do not submit your report by September 30, 2021, recoupment or other enforcement actions will not be initiated during the 60-day grace period (October 1 – November 30, 2021).
  • The grace period begins on October 1, 2021 and will end on November 30, 2021.
  • Providers should return unused funds as soon as possible after submitting their report. All unused funds must be returned no later than 30 days after the end of the grace period (December 30, 2021).

Learn more about PRF reporting requirements and how to submit.

Additional PRF Reporting Periods

Deadlines to use funds and reporting time periods depend on when PRF payments were received. Below is an outline of reporting time periods provided by HRSA.

Provider Relief Fund Reporting Periods

New PRF Phase 4 Application Opened September 29

An additional $25.5 billion in new funding is being introduced and available to apply for starting September 29, 2021. This funding includes $8.5 billion for the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and $17 billion for Phase 4 of the PRF.

Phase 4 funding is based on a providers’ lost revenues and changes in operating expenses from July 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. Providers that applied for Phases 1, 2 or 3 can still apply for 4 as long as they haven’t been reimbursed for those expenses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or other funding programs.

Smaller providers will be reimbursed at a higher rate than larger providers. PRF Phase 4 payments will include bonus payments for serving Medicaid, CHIP and Medicare patients. These bonus payments will be reimbursed at Medicare rates.

To prepare to apply, providers should start gathering supporting documentation, such as most recent tax documents and financial statements for the second half of calendar year 2020 and the first quarter of calendar year 2021. Learn more about Phase 4 and how to apply.

Our advisors are closely following COVID-19 relief efforts and will continue to publish insights to keep you informed about potential impacts and benefits. Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for more insights or contact Anders below to discuss how we can help you along the PRF process.

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