Got money from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund? You could be giving it back if you didn’t meet reporting requirements

April 5, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on health care providers and health care costs all over the world. In the United States alone, health care costs skyrocketed to $4.1 billion in the year 2020, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. To help ease the burden of these rising costs, the United States government introduced the CARES Act, also known as the Provider Relief Fund.

This act provided $100 billion to assist health care providers with rising costs and lost revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The money from the CARES Act is considered a grant, and therefore was not intended to be repaid. However, if your practice received funding from the CARES Act, you are required to submit a special report that details how that money was used. Also, practices that have unused funds left over from the CARES Act are required to pay back any funds that were not used.

Providers who fail to properly file a report before the proper deadline will not only be ineligible to receive emergency funding in the future, but may be expected to repay their Provider Relief Fund money in full.

 

What are the requirements for reporting funds from the CARES Act?

If you received relief funds for your practice from the CARES Act, a failure to report could result in having to repay any funds you received. Here are the basic requirements for reporting:

  1. Register for the PRF Portal — The first step to reporting is to register your practice online through the Provider Relief Fund Portal. The process takes about 20 minutes. Your practice’s tax ID number, the payment amount that you received, and the method in which you received it are some of the information required to register.
  2. Read the Reporting Requirements NoticeThis notice outlines the correct way to report your practice’s use of the CARES Act funds. It will include all the information you need to report your use of the funds.
  3. Fill out and submit your report — The third step is to correctly fill out your report. The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) has provided a user guide to help you report your use of funds in the correct way.
  4. Report unused funds — If your practice has unused funds left over from your CARES Act payment, it will need to be repaid. There is a separate portal and report that will need to be filled out in order to return unused funds.

 

Who is exempt from reporting funds from the CARES Act?

Any provider or practice that received funding from the CARES Act is responsible for reporting on the use of those funds. The only practices that are exempt from this are those that received less than $10,000 in funds during the pay period for which they would be required to report.

 

What is the deadline for reporting my funds?

There are multiple deadlines for reporting on your use of funds from the CARES Act. The deadline you must file your report before will depend on the pay period in which you received the funds. There are four periods in total during which CARES Act funds were distributed.

The HRSA has outlined the deadlines for both using and reporting funds on its website. For example, funds that were distributed between July 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, were due to be reported on March 31, 2022. Meanwhile, funds that were distributed between January 1, 2022, and June 30, 2022, will not be due to be reported until September 30, 2023.

 

Where can my practice turn for help in dealing with emergency funding situations?

The pandemic presented physical therapy practice owners with unprecedented challenges. Many providers were not well prepared for the difficulties they faced during the crisis. This includes the use of emergency funds like the Provider Relief Fund.

If your practice has struggled with these legal hurdles, Alliance Physical Therapy Partners can help. By becoming a partner with Alliance PTP, you will have access to billing and compliance assistance, as well as many other services designed to help your practice grow and flourish. Our vision is to collaborate with the highest standard in physical therapy providers to provide the best customer experience possible, and to help providers to reach their goals.

 

Contact our team today for more information about how we can help your practice or to find out how you can join our partnership in care.