Most healthcare providers have received one or two “Provider Relief” payments from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) pursuant to the CARES Act. Providers were required to sign an attestation regarding the Terms and Conditions, which included a statement that providers would be required to make a report on their uses of the funds no later than 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter; however, no information was given at that time on what the required format of that report would be other than that it would be “in such form, with such content, as specified by the Secretary in future program instructions . . . .”
However, we now have some additional information on what will be required (and more to the point, what won’t be required, at least for now). On June 13 and 30, HHS updated the “CARES Act Provider Relief Fund FAQs” to include the following questions and answers:
What are the audit requirements that need to be met to comply with Terms and Conditions of the Provider Relief Fund payments?
- HHS will have significant anti-fraud monitoring of the funds distributed, and the Office of Inspector General will provide oversight as required in the CARES Act to ensure that Federal dollars are used appropriately. HHS will notify recipients of applicable audit requirements in the coming weeks.
The Terms and Conditions for all Provider Relief Fund payments require recipients who receive at least $150,000 in the aggregate from any statute primarily making appropriations for the coronavirus response to submit quarterly reports to HHS and the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. This requirement is from section 15011 of the CARES Act. What do providers need to do in order to be in compliance with this provision in the Terms and Conditions?
- Recipients of Provider Relief Fund payments do not need to submit a separate quarterly report to HHS or the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. HHS will develop a report containing all information necessary for recipients of Provider Relief Fund payments to comply with this provision. For all providers who attest to receiving a Provider Relief Fund payment and agree to the Terms and Conditions (or retain such a payment for more than 90 days), HHS is posting the names of payment recipients and their payment amounts on its public website Tracking Accountability in Government Grants System (TAGGS). HHS is also working with the Department of Treasury to reflect the aggregate total of each recipient’s attested to Provider Relief Fund payments on USAspending.gov. Posting these data meets the reporting requirements of the CARES Act. See Appendix A of OMB Memo M-20-21 – PDF [Implementation Guidance for Supplemental Funding Provided in Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)].
- However, the Terms and Conditions for all Provider Relief Fund payments also require recipients to submit any reports requested by the Secretary that are necessary to allow HHS to ensure compliance with payment Terms and Conditions. HHS will be requiring recipients to submit future reports relating to the recipient’s use of its PRF money. HHS will notify recipients of the content and due date(s) of such reports in the coming weeks.
While it still appears that there will eventually be requirements for recipients of Provider Relief Act funding to submit some sort of report(s), for now providers can just continue recording their expenditures to document that the money was only used “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, and [to] reimburse the Recipient only for health care related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus.”