COVID-19: Additional $20 Billion CARES Act Fund Allocation

May 20, 2020

By Joseph Zebrowitz, MD

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes more than $100 billion in aid in a Provider Relief Fund for healthcare organizations. Below is a summary of the information provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)  on how to apply for the distribution of the additional $20 billion in the General Distribution fund as well as the Uninsured Targeted Distribution. The CARES Act Provider Relief Fund website includes all the updates and changes related to how to apply and how the monies will be distributed. Also, I wrote about the Provider Relief Fund Allocations in a previous blog. Providers Must Act by June 3, 2020 to Receive Additional Relief Fund General Distribution Payment.

Additional Funds Distribution

 

Who is eligible?

Any provider who has already received a payment from the Provider Relief Fund, can and should apply for additional funding via the Provider Relief Fund Application Portal.

Requesting Additional Funds

To request additional funds, providers must meet the following eligibility requirements

  • Have received a provider Relief Fund Payment. 
  • Must attest to having received the payment via the Provider Attestation Portal and agree to the Terms and Conditions (30B). Remember: if you received funds, and plan to keep them, the attestation & terms and conditions must be completed regardless of whether you solicit additional monies by June 3, 2020.
  • Must have filed a federal income tax return for 2017, 2018, or 2019. 

The portal to submit this information is live and has been provided to facilities that meet the requirements.

Cares Provider Relief Fund Portal Information

If you meet the eligibility requirements, request funds by submitting additional information to the CARES Provider Relief Fund Application Portal. The information required for submission includes:

  • The Tax Identification Number (TIN) for the organization applying for the relief funds (same TIN that received a portion of the $30 billion distribution). The TINs of subsidiary organizations that have received Provider Relief Funds payments but that do not file separate tax returns. 
  • Amount of payments received in the initial distribution, account numbers for accounts that received the funds, and the Relief Fund Payment transaction numbers/check numbers.
  • An estimate of your organization's lost revenue for March 2020 and April 2020. "Lost revenue can be estimated by comparing year-over-year revenue, or by comparing budgeted revenue to actual revenue. For April 2020, an estimate of the total monthly loss based on data from the first few weeks in April or by extrapolation from March data is acceptable." (Source: General Distribution Portal FAQs.)
  • A copy of the most recent federal income tax return filed by the organization associated with the application TIN. 
  • Provider demographic information such as Medicare and Medicaid identification numbers, tax classification, business name, name shown in Federal Tax Return, and name and email of the individual authorized to sign the consent. 

HHS released a User Guide to help providers with the application process.

A Few Considerations:

  • These funds do not need to be paid back if you meet the terms and conditions. 
  • You should hear back within 10 business days of submission. 
  • A person authorized by your organization should complete the forms. HHS recommends that the form be completed by a corporate officer, specifically, the CFO or other accounting professional. 
  • Providers must agree to a new set of Terms and Conditions (20B), which are slightly different from the original attestation. The new document includes a provision that HHS is making the payments received public, which may allow third parties (i.e., competitors) to estimate a provider's annual revenues. Also, providers must retain documents and agree to cooperate in audits to ensure compliance with terms and conditions. 

Treatment of the Uninsured

  • Providers that treated uninsured COVID-19 patients on or after February 4, 2020, can request reimbursement at Medicare rates.
  • HHS did not specify the total amount of funds available through this allocation.
  • Providers can register for the program on April 27, 2020 and begin submitting claims on May 6, 2020. There will be on demand training available starting April 29. 
  • HHS launched the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portalto facilitate payments to providers when servicing uninsured patients. Information on the program is available on hrsa.gov.
  • Providers who submit claims for patients confirmed as uninsured will be required to follow these steps:
    • Enroll as a provider participant;
    • Check patient eligibility and benefits;
    • Submit patient information;
    • Submit claims; and
    • Receive payment via direct deposit.

Questions? Contact me at 1.866.299.3301 or send me an email.

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