Roughly 1% of Phase 4 Provider Relief Fund applications remain outstanding, closing out the senior living industry’s last hope for COVID-19 relief dollars.
The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources & Services Administration expects to make final determinations on the remaining Phase 4 funding application by the end of the year or early in 2023. That is according to Nicole Fallon, LeadingAge vice president of health policy and integrated services, who reported this news Monday during a LeadingAge membership call.
Once the final applications are complete, HRSA will review funding reconsideration requests submitted by providers. All PRF payment determinations, including reconsiderations, adjustments and payouts, are expected to be completed by June 30.
HRSA also opened the PRF portal to allow late reporting from healthcare providers who received payments totaling more than $10,000 between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2021, on how they used those dollars. The portal is open through Dec. 2 for providers authorized to submit a late report for reporting period 3.
HRSA is planning a webinar in January to update providers on PRF reporting requirement changes made in October. Reporting period 4 begins Jan. 1 and includes reporting on American Rescue Plan Act Rural Payments.
The PRF was established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help providers prevent, prepare for and respond to the pandemic. Since March 2020, Congress has allocated $178 billion to the fund.
Assisted living first was recognized during Phase 2 distributions, with Phase 3 distributions covering pandemic expenses from the first half of 2020. Phase 4 distributions were not released until September 2021, when $17 billion was allocated after congressional and healthcare industry pressure following COVID-19 case surges. HHS has distributed more than $23 billion of the $25.5 billion in Phase 4 and ARPA rural payments to date.
More information on the Provider Relief Fund is available on the HRSA PRF website.