HHS Posted Reporting Guidance for Provider Relief Funds

Reporting Requirements and Auditing

All recipients of Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments are required to comply with the reporting requirements described in the Terms and Conditions and specified in future directions issued by the Secretary.

For Recipients of Payments more than $10,000

Final Reporting Data Elements – PDF: This document provides the complete, detailed information on provider reporting guidelines, including intent, use of funds, and data elements requested. The purpose of this notice is to inform Provider Relief Fund (PRF) recipients that received one or more payments exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate of the data elements that they will be required to report as part of the post-payment reporting process. This is a supporting document to the July 20, 2020 Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements (General and Targeted Distribution Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirement – PDF). The reporting system will now be available in early 2021.

Please note that these reporting requirements do not apply to the Nursing Home Infection Control distribution or the Rural Health Clinic Testing distribution. Separate reporting requirements will be announced for these distributions. These reporting requirements also do not apply to reimbursement from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Uninsured Program. Additional reporting may be announced in the future for these payments.

Auditing

The recipients of Provider Relief Fund payments may be subject to auditing to ensure the accuracy of the data submitted to HHS for payment. Any recipients identified as having provided inaccurate information to HHS will be subject to payment recoupment and other legal action. Further, all recipients of Provider Relief Fund payments shall maintain appropriate records and cost documentation including, as applicable, documentation described in 45 CFR § 75.302 – Financial management and 45 CFR § 75.361 through 75.365 – Record Retention and Access, and other information required by future program instructions to substantiate that recipients used all Provider Relief Fund payments appropriately.

Upon the request of the Secretary, the recipient shall promptly submit copies of such records and cost documentation and the recipient must fully cooperate in all audits the Secretary, Inspector General, or Pandemic Response Accountability Committee conducts to ensure compliance with applicable Terms and Conditions. Deliberate omission, misrepresentation, or falsification of any information contained in payment applications or future reports may be punishable by criminal, civil, or administrative penalties, including but not limited to revocation of Medicare billing privileges, exclusion from federal health care programs, and/or the imposition of fines, civil damages, and/or imprisonment.

For more details, please refer to the Terms and Conditions associated with each payment distribution and the Reporting Requirements and Auditing FAQs.

https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/reporting-auditing/index.html

post-payment-notice-of-reporting-requirements 9.19.20.pdf

Webinar: Approaches to Transform American Health Care and Delivery in the Wake of COVID-19

Date: September 24, 2020

Time: 10:00 AM Central

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Leadership Consortium will host a webinar on Thursday, September 24, 11 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. EDT. This HRSA-supported webinar will explore approaches and sector-by-sector opportunities to strengthen, transform, and reimagine how health care is delivered across the nation in the wake of COVID-19. U.S. Surgeon General VADM Jerome M. Adams will kick off the webinar with a keynote address. A webinar recording will be posted on the NAM website.

Register to attend

Technical Assistance Application Period Now Open for the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program

The competitive application period is currently open for technical assistance support under the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program. The program provides technical assistance to eligible health care facilities located in the 252 counties and parishes served by the Delta Regional Authority (a HRSA partner), and supports capacity building for health care facilities around quality improvement, financial and operational improvement, telehealth, community care coordination, workforce, emergency medical services, and population health.

Interested applicants that meet program readiness and project requirements can submit a notice of intent now through November to be considered. A new cohort of eligible health care facilities is forming now and will begin programming in winter 2020.

HHS Invests Nearly $115 Million to Combat the Opioid Crisis in Rural Communities

September 14, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded approximately $25 million to 80 award recipients across 36 states and two territories as part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP). RCORP is a multi-year HRSA initiative to reduce morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD) in high-risk rural communities. The announcement builds upon HRSA’s RCORP awards made this August, reflecting a total fiscal year 2020 investment of nearly $115 million.

“The Trump Administration continues to provide historic levels of support for Americans with substance use disorders, especially those in rural areas, because the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t put a pause on our country’s opioid crisis,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “These grants are part of the Rural Action Plan that HHS launched in response to President Trump’s Executive Order on rural health, which lays out a path forward to transform and improve rural healthcare in tangible ways.”

Read the release

HHS Awards $79 Million to Support Health Center Response to Emergencies

September 8, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded over $79 million in construction and other capital support for 165 HRSA-funded health centers impacted by Hurricanes Florence and Michael, Typhoon Mangkut, and Super Typhoon Yutu, and wildfires and earthquakes occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019.

“HRSA-funded health centers play a vital role on the front lines in their communities every day, and even more so during a crisis,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “This funding is the latest in the Trump Administration’s efforts to support Americans affected by the past several years of hurricanes, wildfires, typhoons, and earthquakes, and builds on other HHS investments to strengthen health centers’ readiness to serve their communities after disasters.”

Read the release

CMS Releases CHART Model Notice of Funding Opportunity, Encourages Rural Communities to Apply

September 15, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model Community Transformation Track. The Community Transformation Track will provide up-front funding to up to 15 rural communities across the country. The rural communities will be awarded seed money to work with health care providers and payers across the community to design systems of care that improve access to high quality care that is sustainable and value-based.

CMS announced the voluntary CHART Model on August 11, 2020. In addition to the Community Transformation Track, the CHART Model offers another participation option through the ACO Transformation Track, which will advance value-based care by providing upfront shared savings payments to rural accountable care organizations. The Model projects to reduce Medicare spending by over $80 million over 7 years while improving the quality and coordination of care for up to one million beneficiaries.

These actions deliver on President Trump’s Executive Order on Improving Rural Health and Telehealth Access as well as the President’s Medicare Executive Order and CMS’s Rethinking Rural Health initiative. Collectively, the Administration aims to ensure individuals in rural America have access to high quality, affordable health care.

For more information about the NOFO or the CHART Model, please visit: https://innovation.cms.gov/innovation-models/chart-model.

The NOFO is posted at https://www.grants.gov or https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html?keywords=93.624

HHS Invests Nearly $115 Million to Combat the Opioid Crisis in Rural Communities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded approximately $25 million to 80 award recipients across 36 states and two territories as part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP). RCORP is a multi-year HRSA initiative to reduce morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD) in high-risk rural communities. The announcement builds upon HRSA’s RCORP awards made this August, reflecting a total fiscal year 2020 investment of nearly $115 million.

“The Trump Administration continues to provide historic levels of support for Americans with substance use disorders, especially those in rural areas, because the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t put a pause on our country’s opioid crisis,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “These grants are part of the Rural Action Plan that HHS launched in response to President Trump’s Executive Order on rural health, which lays out a path forward to transform and improve rural healthcare in tangible ways.”

HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) awarded nearly $15 million to 30 award recipients through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (RCORP-NAS). Each recipient will receive up to $500,000 over three-years to reduce the incidence and impact of neonatal abstinence syndrome in rural communities by improving systems of care, family supports, and social determinants of health.
 
In addition, through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Planning (RCORP-Planning), $10 million is being awarded to 50 award recipients to strengthen and expand the capacity of rural communities to provide SUD/OUD prevention, treatment, and recovery services to high-risk populations. Award recipients will use the funds to build partnerships and develop comprehensive plans to address SUD/OUD workforce and service delivery challenges in their communities.

“We are excited to celebrate these awards during National Recovery Month,” said HRSA Administrator Tom Engels. “RCORP-Planning will continue to help rural communities build the coalitions needed to fight opioid use disorder, and RCORP-NAS will provide needed funding to rural residents grappling with the opioid epidemic to help many people reach recovery.”

Through the RCORP initiative, the funding will help rural communities address barriers to care and additional strains that COVID-19 has placed on both rural individuals with SUD and on rural organizations providing prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

For a list of today’s award recipients, visit HRSA’s RCORP-Planning and RCORP-NAS pages.

To learn about HRSA-supported resources, visit HRSA’s Opioid Crisis page.

For more information about the national opioid crisis, visit: https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/.

Question: Should PRF payments offset expenses on the Medicare cost report?

8/26/20

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Billing

Question: Should PRF payments offset expenses on the Medicare cost report?

Answer: No, providers should not adjust the expenses on the Medicare cost report based on PRF payments received. However, providers must adhere to HRSA’s guidance regarding appropriate uses of PRF payments, in order to ensure that the money is used for permissible purposes (namely, to prevent, prepare for, or respond to coronavirus, and for health care related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus) and that the uses of the PRF payments do not violate the prohibition on using PRF money to reimburse expenses or losses that have been reimbursed from other sources or that other sources are obligated to reimburse.

Recipients may find additional information on the terms and conditions of the PRF at https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/for-providers/index.html. Questions regarding use of the funds, pursuant to the Fund Terms and Conditions and any questions about overpayments should be directed to HRSA.
 

CMS Interim Final Rule: Hospital & CAH COVID Reporting

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted an interim final rule (IFR) related to COVID-19 surveillance with new reporting and testing requirements for nursing homes and other providers, including hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs). The new rules make reporting a requirement of participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs for both hospitals and CAHs. The IFR states: “Should a hospital or CAH fail to consistently report test results throughout the duration of the PHE for COVID-19, it will be non-compliant with the hospital and the CAH CoPs” (Conditions of Participation) “set forth at §§ 482.42(e) and 485.640(d), respectively, and subject to termination as defined at 42 CFR 489.53(a)(3).“

Hospitals and CAHs

Hospitals and CAHs will be required to report data daily, including but not limited to elements such as the number of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 positive patients, intensive care unit beds occupied, and availability of essential supplies and equipment such as ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE).

In March, Vice President Pence sent a letter to all hospitals requesting that they provide the results of COVID-19 tests performed in their in-house laboratories to help better understand and track disease patterns. CMS’ new rules require such reporting of test results in order to ensure a more complete picture in the nationwide surveillance of COVID-19, as well as a more efficient allocation of PPE and other vital supplies.

More Information

Please see the links below to a brief fact sheet about the IFR and the full IFR, that pertain not only to hospitals and CAHs, but also to labs, nursing homes, and physician and pharmacist orders for COVID-19 testing.

 Comments

This is an interim final rule with a comment period. Comments must be submitted electronically or by mail as outlined on page A3 of the IFR “60 days after publication in the federal register.”

Phase 2 General Distribution Funding Application Deadline Extended September 13, 2020

On July 20, 2020, HHS issued a public notice about forthcoming reporting requirements for certain providers that accepted one or more payments exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate funding from the Provider Relief Fund program. The reporting notice initially advised recipients that additional details regarding data elements would be provided by August 17, 2020. HRSA is continuing to refine its data elements and will provide those additional details at a date later than August 17, 2020. Providers will still be given the detailed PRF reporting instructions and a data collection template with the necessary data elements they will be asked to submit well in advance of the reporting system being made available – which is currently targeted for October 1, 2020. Providers should continue to check this website for the latest updates.

https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/for-providers/index.html