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Did You Miss the HRSA Reporting Deadline for PRF Payments?

on Tuesday, 12 April 2022 in Health Law Alert: Andrew D. Kloeckner, Editor

Did you miss a reporting period for CARES Act Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payment reporting?

As a result, did you receive a notice from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for prompt repayment of funds? If so, you are not alone. It has been reported that approximately 98% of providers were compliant with the HRSA Period 1 reporting deadline. However, HRSA sent notices to the remaining 2% that were noncompliant, which resulted in an attempt to recoup an upwards of $100 million in PRF payments. Providers were expected to return the funds within 30 days, and failure to meet the short repayment deadline initiated recovery of funds and exclusion from future payments.  

Reporting on fund usage was one of the requirements for providers that received PRF payments in excess of $10,000 in the aggregate during Period 1 and providers agreed to the reporting requirement through Terms and Conditions upon receipt of funds. HRSA set concrete deadlines, and providers that failed to submit a timely report fell subject to recoupment of payments for that reporting period, regardless of whether funds were appropriately used. 

With reporting for Period 2 closing on March 31, 2022, it was expected that the aftermath of the Period 1 reporting deadline would soon apply to noncompliant providers for Period 2. Many trade groups have requested that HRSA allow for a process to submit the required report for Period 1 after the deadline.

HRSA recently announced that providers have a limited, one-time opportunity to submit a request to report late if an “extenuating circumstance” prevented the provider from meeting the Period 1 and/or Period 2 reporting deadline. For Period 1 reporting, the request can only be completed from Monday, April 11 to Friday, April 22, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Each request is subject to approval, and denied providers will remain noncompliant and ultimately be required to return all funds to HRSA for the noncompliant reporting period. It is important to note that this process cannot be used to make edits or adjustments to a previously submitted report.     

The provider must attest to a clear and concise explanation related to one of the extenuating circumstance listed below that impacted the provider at the time of the deadline: 

  • Severe illness or death – that a severe medical condition or death of a provider or key staff member responsible for reporting hindered the organization’s ability to complete the report during the Reporting Period.
  • Impacted by natural disaster – a natural disaster occurred during or in close proximity of the end of the Reporting Period damaging the organization’s records or information technology. 
  • Lack of receipt of reporting communications – an incorrect email or mailing address on file with HRSA prevented the organization from receiving instructions prior to the Reporting Period deadline.
  • Failure to click “Submit” – the organization registered and prepared a report in the PRF Reporting Portal, but failed to take the final step to click “Submit” prior to deadline.
  • Internal miscommunication or error – internal miscommunication or error regarding the individual who was authorized and expected to submit the report on behalf of the organization and/or the registered point of contact in the PRF Reporting Portal.
  • Incomplete Targeted Distribution payments – the organization’s parent entity completed all General Distribution payments, but a Targeted Distribution(s) was not reported by the subsidiary.

Supporting documentation does not appear to be required. If the request is approved, the provider will have 10 days from the date of the notification to submit a report.  

It is also important to note that HRSA will not reissue funds to providers that missed a reporting deadline and subsequently returned funds. The late reporting timeframe for Period 2 has not yet been announced.

Providers that missed the Period 1 reporting deadline should work with their professional advisers to evaluate whether extenuating circumstances exist and to develop the necessary attestation to HRSA.  It’s important that providers not delay as there’s not likely to be any further opportunity to avoid repayment.  We’re happy to assist clients with this evaluation and attestation. 

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