The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) opened a new Provider Relief Fund (PRF) portal earlier this month. Providers are working hard to ensure all reports and data are accurately uploaded to help prevent any confusion during audits. Skilled Nursing News reports consultants and skilled nursing advocacy groups are also providing guidance to help providers so accuracy is maintained in this process.
Providers that are struggling the most are those with changes in ownership and management during the last year and a half. Another cause of concern has been the continuous changes made to the guidelines on PRF reporting.
While maneuvering PRF requirements, these providers are also focused on rebuilding streams of income by trying to achieve pre-pandemic occupancy rates.
One of the most important reporting change for the PRF is related to those who received payments of $10,000 or more. Initially, these payments had to be used by June 30 or “returned to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regardless of when they were acquired.” However, this now applies to only those who received payments between April 10 and June 30, 2020. For recipients who fall in-between this timeframe must submit their reports between July 1 and September 30, 2021.
Additionally, providers are recommended to keep all documentation for three years as there is a three-year document retention period for federal grant funds.
Providers should also have documentation to prove COVID-related expenses were for the prevention, preparation or response to the COVID-19 pandemic.