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Some assisted living providers previously denied financial aid from the federal government for their COVID-19-related expenses or lost revenue now may be eligible to receive payments from the Provider Relief Fund.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration, which administers the fund, said this week that assisted living providers that previously were deemed ineligible because their entity and/or taxpayer identification numbers could not be verified as known providers now will be able to submit their state/territorial licenses or nationally recognized certifications (if they operate in a state that does not license the profession or facility) to confirm their eligibility for COVID-19 relief.

The news came in an update to the answers to frequently asked questions on the HRSA website. Argentum noted the update.

Affected providers were notified of the change this week, according to Argentum, which has advocated on behalf of the so-called “uncured” applicants. HRSA said they have until May 9 to submit the alternative documentation to be considered for Phase 4 funding.

“Argentum members appreciate this change to allow providers who may have been incorrectly denied to be reconsidered for relief,” Argentum President and CEO James Balda said in a statement.

Only assisted living providers that do not participate in Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program and that successfully submitted DocuSign applications during the Phase 4 application cycle are eligible for the opportunity, HRSA said.

Even though Argentum appreciates the second chance for providers, Balda said, the action does not “address the greater issues before Congress and the administration to specifically target COVID-19 relief to financially distressed senior living communities on the frontlines of the pandemic battle.”

Association executives said Wednesday that they are pushing to have assisted living providers included in proposed relief packages for other industries. The amount of relief provided to the industry has been “appallingly low” given that its collective loss due to the pandemic is estimated to exceed $30 billion, Argentum maintains.