COVID-19 Funding

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has provided much-needed funding to many long term care facilities through the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund (PRF) and Quality Incentive Program (QIP). These funds support American families, workers, and the heroic health care providers in the battle against the COVID-19 outbreak.

AHCA/NCAL is helping our skilled nursing and assisted living​ member providers address PRF and QIP issues through work with Capitol Hill and the Administration. In partnership with our state affiliates, AHCA/NCAL is collecting outstanding funding concerns our members are facing. Contact COVID19@ahca.org with any questions.

UPDATE: HHS released​ updated reporting requirements for recipients of PRF payments. With this announcement, HHS expands the amount of time providers will have to report information, aims to reduce burdens on smaller providers, and extends key deadlines for expending PRF payments for recipients who received payments after June 30, 2020. Read More​
 

 Provider Relief Fund

The Provider Relief Fund​ (PRF) supports health care providers in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding is provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.​

 PRF Resources

Update: Provider Relief Fund FAQs
HHS recently updated the ​Provider Relief Fund (PRF) FAQs to clarify Ownership Structures and Financial Relationships between “parent” and “subsidiary” entities that received PRF funding (General and Targeted).

Provider Relief Fund Questions
There are several resources to assist with PRF questions. Contact the CARES Act Fund Hotline at (866) 569-3522 (for TTY dial 711). You can also review the HHS Frequently Asked Questions, which includes information about using the PRF for vaccine administration​.​

WebEx: Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements
This WebEx recording includes registration details, registration FAQs, recommended terms and conditions compliance controls, and a PRF reporting update overview.

U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report
The January 28th GAO report – Critical Vaccine Distribution, Supply Chain, Program Integrity, and Other Challenges Require Focused Federal Attention (GAO-21-265) – made several recommendations (focused around areas like COVID-19 testing, vaccines and therapeutics, and the medical supply chain) to federal agencies to improve the ongoing response and recovery efforts in the areas of public health and the economy. It is important to note that there is a summary of the PRF allocations and disbursements as of 12/31/20 on page 54.

This document offers detail on u​se of funds for health care related expenses and transfer of funds to higher need buildings. 

 Quality Incentive Payments

AHCA/NCAL is advocating on behalf of our members to provide the necessary resources regarding the Quality Incentive Payments (QIP), as well as promoting a fairer incentive program. This step-by-step chart is available to help providers correct any previously made errors when filling out NHSN data. 

Entering this data is valuable in determining how cases are spreading throughout facilities.

With the distribution of December QIP payments on Friday, February 12, it appears that this will be the last payment that HHS will make for this program. Although HHS previously stated there would be an aggregate payment, the running total through December is $2 billion – which is the total allocated for the program.

The county population and county case rate are factored in the methodology, as well as the resident occupancy level and resident case rate. The vast majority of facilities with at least 1 infection will not receive payment. The number of facilities paid per month decreased from around 10,000 in September to 6,000 in December due to the increasing number of cases in the later months of the program. Additionally, since all of the factors varied in each month, the payment you may have received can also vary widely.

 

 

AHCA/NCAL Issues Statement On Need For Provider Relief Funds To Be Released To Long Term Care Providershttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/AHCANCAL-Issues-Statement-On-Need-For-Provider-Relief-Funds-To-Be-Released-To-Long-Term-Care-Providers.aspxAHCA/NCAL Issues Statement On Need For Provider Relief Funds To Be Released To Long Term Care Providers7/23/2021 4:00:00 AM<p></p><div>As Congress continues negotiations on a bipartisan infrastructure framework, long term care providers are concerned about preliminary discussions that remaining Provider Relief Funds may be used as a pay-for in the final agreement.  </div><div> </div><div>The following is a statement from Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL: </div><div> </div><div>“Long term care providers are still facing a historic clinical and financial crisis, and they desperately need assistance to address the impact of the pandemic. We greatly appreciate the Provider Relief Funds that have been distributed thus far, but more is needed as we continue to battle COVID-19. </div><div> </div><div>“The Provider Relief Fund is meant to be used to support health care providers through this pandemic, and we urge policymakers to distribute the remaining funds to help our residents and staff. Repurposing unused funds is responsible, but the remaining Provider Relief Funds should not be considered unused, as they have not been made available in 2021 and are desperately needed.  </div><div><br></div><div>“With the Delta variant spreading rampantly throughout the U.S., now is not the time to divert resources away from health care providers in order to pay for other legislative packages. We strongly encourage Congress to look for alternative ways to pay for the infrastructure package and for the Administration to swiftly deliver the aid to providers as it was intended."<br></div><p>​</p>As Congress continues negotiations on a bipartisan infrastructure framework, long term care providers are concerned about preliminary discussions that remaining Provider Relief Funds
GAO Releases Report on COVID-19 Relief Fundshttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/GAO-Releases-Report-on-COVID-19-Relief-Funds-.aspxGAO Releases Report on COVID-19 Relief Funds7/21/2021 4:00:00 AM<div>​​​​​​​​​​The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a <a href="https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-21-551#summary_recommend" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">new report</a>, <em>COVID-19:Continued Attention Needed to Enhance Federal Preparedness, Response, Service Delivery, and Program Integrity (GAO-21-551)</em>. In this report, GAO recommends that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “communicate information about, and facilitate oversight of, the department’s use of COVID-19 relief funds by providing projected time frames for its planned spending in the spend plans it submits to Congress.” Guidance from the Office of Management and Budget to federal agencies, including HHS, noted the importance of spending transparency and regular reporting to help safeguard taxpayer dollars. McKnight’s Long-Term Care News provided additional details on the report in a recent <a href="https://www.mcknights.com/news/watchdog-pressures-hhs-to-give-timeline-on-remaining-relief-funding/" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">article​</a>. <br></div><div><br><br></div><p>​</p>​The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report, COVID-19:Continued Attention Needed to Enhance Federal Preparedness, Response, Service Delivery, and Program Integrity (GAO-21-551).
HHS Must Release Remainder of Provider Relief Fund so Long Term Care Facilities Can Stay Afloathttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/HHS-Must-Release-Remainder-of-Provider-Relief-Fund-So-Long-Term-Care-Facilities-Can-Stay-Afloat.aspxHHS Must Release Remainder of Provider Relief Fund so Long Term Care Facilities Can Stay Afloat7/13/2021 4:00:00 AM<p>​<br></p><div>Nursing homes and assisted living communities have received approximately $14 billion of the $178 billion in the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) established by the CARES Act. This funding has been instrumental for long term care facilities struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic, but the remainder of the funds must be released so providers can continue to provide quality care to our nation’s seniors.</div><div><br></div><div>A recent survey conducted by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) <a href="/News-and-Communications/Press-Releases/Pages/Survey-Only-One-Quarter-Of-Nursing-Homes-Confident-They-Will-Make-It-Through-to-Next-Year.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">found</a> that 92 percent of nursing homes and 62 percent of assisted living communities said the PRF has been helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic. The same survey found facilities continue to face significant ongoing economic challenges. Only one-quarter of long term care providers were confident they will make it through to next year. Without additional government support, facilities may be forced to close. In fact, a recent AHCA/NCAL <a href="https://d3dkdvqff0zqx.cloudfront.net/groups/ahca/attachments/protect%20access%20to%20long%20term%20care_ib.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">analysis</a> found that nearly 2,000 nursing homes could shut their doors for good over the course of the pandemic. </div><div><br></div><div>Increased costs from the pandemic for personal protective equipment (PPE), testing and additional staffing, among other necessities, have put a strain on providers. Coupled with fewer new residents and patients as well as long-standing Medicaid underfunding, many facilities are struggling to stay afloat. These facilities are home to millions of frail seniors who cannot afford for them to abruptly shut down and be forced to find new care.</div><div><br></div><div>“The Provider Relief Fund was a lifesaver for many in long term care last year,” said Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “Whether it helped acquire PPE to protect residents and staff from COVID-19 or allowed providers to offer hero pay to workers who went above the call of duty, we are grateful to the federal government for helping us during this historically challenging time. While overall the situation has improved, this battle with the virus is not over, and now we face a new battle. Our sluggish economic recovery puts thousands of facilities in danger of closing, threatening access to long term care for vulnerable seniors and individuals with disabilities. We call on the Administration to distribute the remaining aid that was intended for health care providers and help bring stability to our sector, so we can continue serving our residents.”</div><div><br></div><div>The PRF aid allows for facilities to offset some of the exorbitant costs of care stemming from the pandemic and relieve some of the burden providers face on a daily basis. The initial funding in 2020 has been the difference between many facilities closing or being able to stay open, but in 2021, as the pandemic persists and the economic recovery of the industry is slow, more is needed. </div><div><br></div><div>Members of Congress agree that long term care facilities need more federal aid. A <a href="/Reimbursement/Documents/Congressional%20PRF%20Request%20to%20HHS.pdf" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">letter</a> sent to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) led by Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL-07), co-signed by more than 50 Democrat and Republican Members of Congress, requested an additional $10 billion from the PRF to be allocated to long term care facilities. </div><div><br></div><div>The PRF aid has already made a major impact on facilities across the nation, but the road to recovery does not end here. Continued support is needed to win the fight and protect long term care residents and staff. Lawmakers must make long term care a top priority, and that begins with HHS releasing the remainder of the PRF so our nation’s health care heroes can continue serving our most vulnerable.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>ABOUT AHCA/NCAL</strong></div><div>The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents more than 14,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit <a href="/Pages/default.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" target="_blank">www.ahcancal.org</a>.<br></div>Nursing homes and assisted living communities have received approximately $14 billion of the $178 billion in the PRF established by the CARES Act.
HHS Releases Updated PRF Reporting Requirementshttps://www.ahcancal.org/News-and-Communications/Blog/Pages/HHS-Releases-Updated-PRF-Reporting-Requirements.aspxHHS Releases Updated PRF Reporting Requirements6/11/2021 4:00:00 AM<div><span style="font-size:14.6667px;">​The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/provider-post-payment-notice-of-reporting-requirements-june-2021.pdf" target="_blank">released​</a> updated reporting requirements for recipients of Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments. With this announcement, HHS expands the amount of time providers will have to report information, aims to reduce burdens on smaller providers, and extends key deadlines for expending PRF payments for recipients who received payments after June 30, 2020. Some key updates include:</span></div><div><ul><li><span style="font-size:14.6667px;">The period of availability of funds is based on the date the payment is received (rather than requiring all payments be used by June 30, 2021, regardless of when they were received).</span></li><li><span style="font-size:14.6667px;">Recipients are required to report for each Payment Received Period in which they received one or more payments exceeding, in the aggregate, $10,000 (rather than $10,000 cumulatively across all PRF payments).</span></li><li><span style="font-size:14.6667px;">Recipients will have a 90-day period to complete reporting (rather than a 30-day reporting period).</span></li><li><span style="font-size:14.6667px;">​The PRF Reporting Portal will open for providers to start submitting information on July 1, 2021.</span></li></ul><div><div><span style="font-size:14.6667px;"><br></span></div><div><span style="font-size:14.6667px;"><strong>Summary of Reporting Requirement</strong>s</span></div><span style="font-size:11pt;">​</span><img src="/News-and-Communications/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/HHS-Releases-Updated-PRF-Reporting-Requirements/PRF%20Chart.jpg" alt="PRF Chart.jpg" style="font-size:11pt;margin:5px;" /></div></div><p>​<br></p>HHS has released​ updated reporting requirements for recipients of PRF payments.