On October 22 HHS announced a new revision to the guidance regarding Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting policies. The new change limits lost revenue to the difference between current and 2019 net patient revenue, but allows hospitals to apply the grant amounts to COVID expenses and revenue losses occurring the first 6 months of 2021, if revenues are less than the corresponding period for 2019. The guidance also allows health systems to move general distribution PRF payments to subsidiary hospitals, even if the subsidiary originally attested to the funds. This flexibility does not apply to targeted distributions. For more information, see the AHA Special Bulletin. On November 2, HHS revised the instructions to clarify that the expense calculation is separate from the lost revenue calculation.
HHS is still accepting applications for $20 billion in Phase III general distribution funds. This distribution is open to all providers but is targeted to providers that were not eligible for the earlier general distributions or have not received up to 2 percent of their patient care revenues in PRF funding. Additional payment may be available for provider that previously received funds, depending on the volume and composition of applicants. More information is here. (Andrew Busz, AndrewB@wsha.org)