Provider Relief Fund Reporting to Continue After the Public Health Emergency

The Provider Relief Fund (PRF) portal currently operates under a public health emergency waiver approved by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.  The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) wants to continue collecting information from providers on relief fund spending through the PRF portal, even after the public health emergency ends, according to a report by Modern Healthcare. HRSA has submitted an information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget, saying that “information reported by providers will allow it to assess if recipients have met statutory and programmatic requirements, conduct audits, gather data on the disbursement of relief funds and identify trends in healthcare metrics and expenditures.”

Due to the COVID-19 surges and natural disasters around the country, HRSA gave providers who did not meet the September 30, 2021 PRF reporting deadline a 60-day grace period, until November 30, 2021, to come into compliance. Accordingly, providers who received payment during Period 1 between April 10, 2020 and June 30, 2020 will be required to report use of their funds by November 30, 2021. See the HRSA webpage on Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements and Auditing. However, in a September 24, 2021 letter, the American Hospital Association (AHA) urged HRSA to establish an ongoing exception process under which providers could request reporting extensions on top of the 60-day grace period “due to extreme and uncontrollable circumstances (EUCs).” Per Modern Healthcare’s reporting, HRSA is asking providers for feedback on “whether the information is necessary for the agency, its estimated burden and how it could make the information more usable.”