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Federal Government Releases Additional Provider Relief Funds (PRF)

Last week the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced that it is making $25.5 billion in new funding available for health care providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding includes $8.5 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) resources for providers who serve rural Medicaid or Medicare clients and an additional $17 billion for PRF Phase 4 for a broad range of providers, including care centers, assisted living and adult day services, who can document revenue loss and expenses associated with the pandemic.

PRF Phase 4 payments will be based on providers' lost revenues and expenditures between July 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. PRF Phase 4 will reimburse smaller providers—who tend to operate on thin margins and often serve vulnerable or isolated communities—for their lost revenues and COVID-19 expenses at a higher rate than larger providers. PRF Phase 4 will also include bonus payments for providers who serve Medicaid and/or Medicare patients, who tend to be lower-income and have more significant and complex medical needs.

HRSA will make the targeted rural payments to providers based on the amount of Medicaid and Medicare services they provide to clients in those areas that have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Both pots of funding will be made available through a single application which will be live on Wednesday, Sept. 29. For more information about eligibility requirements, the documents and information providers will need to complete their application, and the application process for PRF Phase 4 and ARP Rural payments, members should visit https://www.hrsa.gov/provider-relief/future-payments.

HHS also recently released detailed information about the methodology utilized to calculate PRF Phase 3 payments. Providers who believe their PRF Phase 3 payment was not calculated correctly according to this methodology will now have an opportunity to request a reconsideration. Further details on the PRF Phase 3 reconsideration process are forthcoming.

Additionally, in light of the challenges providers across the country are facing due to recent natural disasters and the Delta variant, HHS announced a 60-day grace period to help providers come into compliance with their PRF Reporting requirements if they fail to meet the deadline on Sept. 30, for the first PRF Reporting Time Period. While the deadlines to use funds and the Reporting Time Period will not change, HHS will not initiate enforcement actions for non-compliant providers during this grace period. Only providers who received PRF funding in the first half of 2020 are required to report by Sept. 30.

This announcement comes on the heels of significant advocacy efforts led by our national affiliates Argentum and LeadingAge. Thank you for engaging in this conversation with the lawmakers that represent you in Washington - your advocacy was critical in ensuring that the PRF is available to providers to aid in caring for Minnesota’s seniors.

For more information, we invite you to join the Coaching Room on Sept. 21 at 3 p.m. Jeff Bostic will share the most update-to-date information and then answer your questions. Register today!

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