On August 7, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it would make an additional distribution from the Provider Relief Fund to nursing homes. The funds, totaling approximately $5 billion, will be used to protect residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities from COVID-19.
Here’s how this recent development could benefit nursing homes nationwide.
First, what is the Provider Relief Fund?
When the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law in late March, it included relief funds for health care providers. These funds, known collectively as the Provider Relief Fund, were established to reimburse eligible providers for health care-related expenses or lost revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nursing homes in particular have experienced unique challenges throughout the pandemic—from caring for a highly vulnerable population to experiencing labor shortages due to caregivers contracting COVID-19. The Provider Relief Fund, in addition to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Health Care Enhancement Act, has provided many nursing homes with much-needed economic support to address these and other critical needs.
The $5 billion nursing home distribution will occur in two phases.
The first phase of the distribution will occur in mid-August and provide approximately $2.5 billion to support increased testing, staffing, and personal protective equipment (PPE) needs. This phase will also include funding for nursing homes seeking to establish COVID-19 isolation facilities.
The second phase of the distribution will include the balance of the $5 billion and take place throughout the fall of 2020. Unlike prior Provider Relief Fund distributions, however, this second phase will be tied to performance. According to the HHS, the prevalence of coronavirus in a nursing home’s local community will be considered when evaluating its ability to minimize COVID-19 spread and COVID-19-related fatalities among its residents.
Could your nursing home benefit from this Provider Relief Fund distribution?
Sadly, nearly 40% of the COVID-19-related fatalities in the U.S. have been tied to nursing homes and long-term care facilities. As the HHS noted in its announcement, this distribution is meant to support nursing homes—and foster a collaborative approach to quality improvement—as they continue to fight against COVID-19.
We expect more details to come from HHS regarding this Provider Relief Fund distribution. In the meantime, if you have questions about the Provider Relief Fund or would like to explore your options, please know we’re here to serve as your trusted advisor. We can also help you meet the attestation requirements that come with accepting a payment from the Provider Relief Fund. To get started, contact the KHA team today.
These sources are simply included for informational purposes. KHA Accountants, PLLC, its partners and others do not provide any assurance as to the accuracy of these items or the information included therein. As such, KHA Accountants, PLLC cannot be held liable for any information derived from referenced sources. This by no means is a recommendation to obtain a distribution from this fund. There are many unknowns at this time regarding what other stimulus (grants or other loan options) may become available with pending and future bills, executive orders, or emergency declarations to follow, that may become laws. Consult your legal and business advisors prior to making financing decisions. This is intended for illustrative and discussion purposes only.