Posted: June 26, 2020
After announcing plans to distribute an addition $15 billion to participants in state Medicaid and CHIP programs, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a number of clarifications for providers who received funds from the general distribution fund.
Many rheumatologists have been concerned with attestation, accounting, and usage requirements associated with funds received from the general distribution fund.
For example, many have wondered is there is a set period of time in which providers must use funds received to cover expenses or lost revenues associated with the pandemic. On June 22nd, HHS clarified that providers may use their provider relief payments for “as long as they have eligible expenses or lost revenue.” If providers have leftover funds that that they cannot use for expenses, or losses that meet the terms and conditions set forth by HHS once the pandemic ends, those funds must be returned to HHS.
In addition, the sudden appearance of provider relief funds has left many practices with questions about what expenses are eligible to be reimbursed with provider relief fund payments. On June 19th, HHS issued a lengthy clarification regarding which expenses are considered “attributable to coronavirus”:
HHS also clarified that use of provider relief fund payments to cover lost revenue do not need to be costs related to treating possible and actual coronavirus patients. However the lost revenue must be directly attributable to the pandemic (i.e. fewer outpatient visits or canceled procedures). HHS indicated a few examples in which providers may apply the funds:
The full usage guidance can be found on pages 6,7, and 8 of the FAQ linked below.