As part of the CARES Act, Congress set aside $100 billion to reimburse providers for lost revenues and increased expenses due to the coronavirus pandemic. As of Friday April 24th, HHS had distributed $30 billion of the $100 billion to healthcare providers, in proportion to providers’ Medicare FFS payments in 2019. Payments were sent directly to providers by automatic deposit or by paper check. Providers were not required to engage in any activity or application in order to get these funds, though providers are required to sign an attestation if they wish to keep the funds. Additionally, some providers were sent a second payment based on their Medicare Cost Reports.
Medicare providers who have already received a payment from the Provider Relief Fund are now eligible to apply for additional funds by submitting data about their annual revenues and estimated COVID-related losses via the Provider Relief Fund Application Portal.
Who is eligible for this latest round of additional funding?
- Medicare providers who have already received a payment from the Provider Relief Fund are now eligible to apply for additional funds by submitting data about their annual revenues and estimated COVID-related losses via the Provider Relief Fund Application Portal.
- Providers who have NOT yet received any payment from the Provider Relief Fund should NOT use the General Distribution Portal. However, providers who have NOT yet received any payments from the Provider Relief Fund may still receive funds in other distributions.
How is eligibility determined?
To be eligible to apply for additional money from the general fund, a provider must have billed Medicare in 2019 and provide or provided after January 31, 2020 diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19. As a reminder, HHS has stated it broadly views every patient as a possible case of COVID-19. $50 billion will be disbursed from this General Distribution.
What information will you need to apply for additional funding if you qualify?
The Provider Relief Fund Application Portal is collecting four pieces of information for use in allocating remaining General Distribution funds:
1) a provider’s “Gross Receipts or Sales” or “Program Service Revenue” as submitted on its federal income tax return;
2) the provider’s estimated revenue losses in March 2020 and April 2020 due to COVID;
3) a copy of the provider’s most recently filed federal income tax return;
4) a listing of the TINs any of the provider’s subsidiary organizations that have received relief funds but that DO NOT file separate tax returns. Each entity that files a federal income tax return is required to file an application even if it is part of a provider group. However, a group of corporations that files one consolidated return will have only the tax return filer apply
What is HHS’s rationale for collecting this information?
“We are collecting the “gross receipt or sales” or “program service revenue” data to have an understanding of a provider’s usual operations. We are collecting the revenue loss information to have an understanding of COVID impact. We are collecting tax forms in order to verify the self-reported information. And we are collecting information about organizational structure and subsidiary TINs so that we do not overpay or underpay providers who file tax returns covering multiple legal entities (e.g. consolidated tax returns).”
When are applications due?
HHS stated it will be processing applications in batches every Wednesday at noon EST. Furthermore, the agency said funds will not be disbursed on a first-come-first-served basis. An applicant should be given equal consideration regardless of when they apply.
Do you have to attest to accept the first distribution before you can apply for additional funding?
Yes. The CARES Act requires that providers meet certain terms and conditions in order to receive Provider Relief Funds. In order to keep the funds already received, and in order to be eligible to receive additional funds, you must attest that you meet these terms and conditions and you must submit your financial and tax information.
How long does it take for HHS to make a decision on additional funding?
For providers submitting tax and financial loss information, HHS said it will distribute additional funds within 10 business days of the submission.
For healthcare providers who have not yet received any distribution of funds, HHS is performing an ongoing assessment of how to distribute relief to these providers.
If you have additional questions about applying for this funding or if you’d like to discuss the terms of acceptance, feel free to reach out to us at 517-486-4262.
Please note: we are a third-party consulting firm that has assisted our current clients in navigating this issue and are now offering free consultations regarding the subject (how to determine whether you’re eligible, what liabilities you may face from accepting this payment, etc). We are not affiliated with HHS or the federal government in any capacity.