HHS Announces Provider Relief Fund Late Reporting Pathway

Overview


Beginning on April 11, 2022, providers that failed to satisfy Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Period 1 or Period 2 reporting deadlines may apply to submit a late report based on one of six extenuating circumstances, including miscommunication and illness. This announcement comes after the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) notified thousands of recipients in March 2022 that they had to return non-compliant funds, which prompted the American Medical Association, Medical Group Management Association and other provider organizations to strongly urge additional reporting time in a March 31, 2022, letter to HRSA.

In Depth


Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements
Providers that received $10,000 or more in aggregated General and Targeted Distribution PRF payments must report on the use of funds in accordance with HRSA PRF reporting requirements. Providers that fail to satisfy reporting requirements may be excluded from receiving or retaining future PRF payments, including applicable Phase 4 payments. HRSA has also published a fact sheet regarding consequences of reporting noncompliance.

The PRF Period 1 reporting deadline for funds received between April 10, 2020, and June 30, 2020, was September 30, 2021 (with a November 30, 2021, grace period). The Period 2 reporting deadline, related to funds received between July 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, was March 31, 2022. Further details regarding the five PRF reporting periods, reporting deadlines and time periods in which recipients may use funds are outlined below. Notably, HRSA recently added a Period 5, which covers more recent distributions paid received from January 1, 2022, to June 30, 2022. Reports for Period 5 are due September 30, 2023.

Payment Received Period
(Payments Exceeding $10,000 in Aggregate Received)
Period of Availability Reporting Time Period
Period 1 April 10, 2020, to June 30, 2020 January 1,2020, to June 30, 2021 July 1, 2021, to September 30, 2021*
Period 2 July 1 2020, to December 31, 2020 January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021 January 1, 2022, to March 31, 2022
Period 3 January 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021 January 1, 2020, to June 30, 2022 July 1, 2022, to September 30, 2022
Period 4 July 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021 January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2022 January 1, 2023, to March 31, 2023
Period 5 January 1, 2022, to June 30, 2022 January 1, 2020, to June 30, 2023 July 1, 2023, to September 30, 2023

*Grace period ended on November 30, 2021.

Request to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances
As announced, the agency will notify noncompliant providers with details regarding the late report application process after the applicable PRF reporting period closes. All requests are subject to HRSA approval and must be accompanied by an attestation regarding the occurrence of an allowable extenuating circumstance, outlined below.

Applications to submit late reports for Period 1 must be submitted to HRSA by April 22, 2022, at 11:59 pm EDT. The submission deadline for late reporting requests for Period 2 has not been announced yet.

Each request must be accompanied by an attestation and “clear and concise explanation” demonstrating that the provider experienced an allowable extenuating circumstance. While the application does not require the submission of supporting documentation, recipients should consider keeping a record of the explanation and supporting documentation along with the organization’s other PRF use, submission and compliance records.

Allowable extenuating circumstances include the following:

  • Severe illness or death of the provider or key staff member responsible for reporting that hindered the timely report submission
  • Natural disaster occurring during or close to the reporting deadline that damaged records or information technology
  • Failure to receive reporting communications due to incorrect email or mailing address on file with HRSA that prevented the recipient from receiving reporting instructions prior to the deadline
  • Technical submission failure for organizations that registered and prepared reports, but did not take the necessary final step of clicking “submit”
  • Internal miscommunication or errors regarding the individual authorized or expected to submit a report for the recipient or the registered PRF point of contact in the portal
  • Incomplete Targeted Distribution report submissions if a parent organization completed all General Distribution reports, but a Targeted Distribution was not reported on by the subsidiary recipient

Providers will have 10 days from the date the late report approval notice is received to submit a report in the PRF Reporting Portal. This timeframe is much shorter than the 60-day timeframe requested by the American Medical Association. Providers whose request is denied must return funds associated with reporting noncompliance. Recipients may not use the late reporting process to request an opportunity to make edits or adjustments to submitted reports. Providers that need assistance with revising submitted reports should contact the Provider Support Line at +1 866 569 3522.

HRSA strongly encourages providers to complete their reports in the PRF Reporting Portal by the original deadlines outlined in the June 11, 2021, Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements to ensure compliance with applicable terms and conditions.

Upcoming Reports and Audits
Period 3 PRF reports for funds received between January 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021, must be submitted by September 30, 2022. Many providers that have expended $750,000 or more in PRF monies may have audits covering prior reporting periods due around this time as well. For more information, see our OTS here and visit the HRSA Independent Audit Requirement Fact Sheet.

Providers should be mindful that American Rescue Plan (ARP) Rural Fund payments are subject to slightly different requirements regarding use among related organizations, and recipients must certify under the ARP Rural Terms and Conditions that they will retain the payment with the provider(s) associated with the applicable subsidiary or billing TIN. The ARP Rural and PRF Phase 4 payments also require disclosure of certain mergers and acquisitions. For more information, see the HRSA Ownership Changes Fact Sheet.

Additional details regarding PRF requirements and HRSA interpretative guidance is available on the HRSA PRF website, PRF Terms and Conditions website, and PRF FAQ pages.