The initial phase of Provider Relief Funds ("Funds") was distributed in April 2020, and since then, many providers have been playing catch up. The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) recently addressed two critical pieces of this "catch up" by offering assisted living operators the opportunity to apply for Funds they were previously denied and by allowing providers that were required to report under Reporting Period 2, but failed to do so, the ability to request to report late in certain circumstances.
1. Assisted Living Operators' Chance for Funding
On April 26, 2022, HRSA quietly released the following FAQ on its website:
Will applicants that did not have their TINs validated but were able to submit a DocuSign application have an opportunity to substantiate their eligibility for Phase 4 payments?
Assisted living facilities ("ALFs") and behavioral health providers that do not participate in Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program ("CHIP") have the opportunity to submit additional documentation in order to be considered for Phase 4 funding. Only ALFs and behavioral health providers that successfully submitted a DocuSign application during the Phase 4 application cycle are eligible for this opportunity. Affected ALFs and behavioral health providers received a notice directing them to submit their state/territorial license or nationally recognized certification (if operating in a state that does not license their profession or facility) via the form available at https://powerforms.docusign.net/34e520cd-7359-4601-956a342821a8ce97?env=na3&acct=dd54316c-1c18-48c9-8864- 0c38b91a6291&accountId=dd54316c-1c18-48c9-8864-0c38b91a6291. ALFs and behavioral health providers have until May 9, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. EST to submit this documentation in order to be considered for payment from this distribution.
Please note that this opportunity is limited to Phase 4 funding; HRSA will not reevaluate eligibility for ARP Rural payments.
The FAQ addresses an issue experienced by many assisted living operators when applying for Funds: because HRSA depended on state licensing and third-party databases to verify applicant information for assisted living facilities that do not participate in Medicaid, many of the assisted living operators could not apply for Funds because the operator entities or their taxpayer identification numbers could not be verified by HRSA. The new FAQ may remedy this by allowing these operators to submit a copy of their state license to confirm eligibility for Funds.
Operators affected by this FAQ were notified of the change. As mentioned in the FAQ above, operators were able to submit their licenses by May 9, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. EST. HRSA has also made clear that the opportunity was limited to Phase 4 Funds and did not apply to earlier phases of Funds.
2. Reporting Period 2 and Requests to Report Late
We previously reported on HRSA allowing Fund recipients to request to report late for Reporting Period 1, where "extenuating circumstances" resulted in the inability to report by the due dates in 2021. HRSA has now updated its "Request to Report Late" website with information on requesting to report late for Reporting Period 2. Requests to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances for Reporting Period 2 must be submitted from Monday, May 2 to Friday, May 13, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
As with the previous round of requests to report late, a provider must attest to meeting an "extenuating circumstance" in order to report late. The following is a list of the "extenuating circumstances":
- Severe illness or death – 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 the 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 on by the subsidiary.
Providers that failed to report on time but believe they meet one or more of the extenuating circumstances should review HRSA's " Process for Submitting a Late Report Request" summary and take steps to file the request as soon as possible. If HRSA responds to the requests on a similar timeline as the previous round of requests, providers should expect to hear back from the agency within 2-3 weeks after May 13, 2022.
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