April 28, 2020 (*Updated June 9, 2020*)

Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (Provider Relief Fund)

Miranda A. Franco

On April 22, 2020, HHS announced a new distribution methodology for the $100 billion Provider Relief Fund appropriated as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Additionally, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266), among other things, provided $75 billion in addition to the $100 billion provided under the CARES Act.

The chart linked below reflects actual and anticipated distributions from the $175 billion in currently appropriated funding. As of June 9, there is $97.6 billion remaining in the provider relief fund, and there has still been no distribution made to predominantly Medicaid providers.

Click here to view the chart, updated as of June 9.

Terms and Conditions

HHS requires each recipient to complete an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and to agree to the Provider Relief Fund’s terms and conditions. There is a great deal of ambiguity around several parameters of the terms and conditions, and stakeholders are seeking clarity from HHS through additional guidance. HHS and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) will engage in significant auditing and anti-fraud work to ensure that funds are appropriately spent.

A few items to note:

  • HHS notes in the updated Terms and Conditions that “this is not an exhaustive list,” noting that recipients of funding must comply with “any other relevant statutes and regulations, as applicable.
  • The Terms and Conditions include a certification that “the Payment will only be used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, and that the Payment shall reimburse the Recipient only for healthcare-related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus.”
  • The Terms and Conditions provide that recipients of funds over $150,000 are required to report certain information quarterly. However, the form, content, and process for reporting the use of the funds quarterly are not clear.
  • The Terms and Conditions require providers to charge in-network copay levels to out-of-network patients with possible or actual cases of COVID-19.
  • The Terms and Conditions prohibit funds to be used to pay “to pay the salary of an individual, through a grant or other extramural mechanism, at a rate in excess of Executive Level II,” which is currently $197,300.

Additional Resources

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the situation surrounding COVID-19 is evolving and that the subject matter discussed in these publications may change on a daily basis. Please contact your responsible Holland & Knight lawyer for timely advice.

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