The Trump administration has updated its reporting requirements for COVID-19 provider relief funds following pushback.
In September, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance requiring that to secure the latest batch of funding, providers must submit data showing a decrease in year-over-year net operating income from patient care.
Provider groups such as the American Medical Group Association pushed back on the policy change, arguing the reporting requirements would make it harder for providers to obtain needed funding.
Due to the feedback, HHS is updating the reporting requirements to allow providers to apply any relief funds left over after covering expenses related to the pandemic to lost patient care revenues.
Lost revenues eligible for the funding must be measured as a “negative change in year-over-year actual revenue from patient care related sources.”
“In response to concerns raised, HHS is amending the reporting instructions to increase flexibility around how providers can apply PRF money toward lost revenues attributable to coronavirus,” HHS said in an announcement.
In addition, HHS updated eligibility for funding from the latest batch to new categories of providers, including residential treatment facilities, eye care providers and chiropractors, who were not eligible for previous tranches.
Eligible providers can apply for funding through Nov. 6.
“We have worked closely with stakeholders across the healthcare system to ensure that the Provider Relief Fund reaches all American healthcare providers that have been impacted by the pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar in a statement. “Today, we are expanding the pool of eligible providers to include a broader array of practices, such as residential treatment facilities, chiropractors, and vision care providers that may not have already received payments.”