Ask your congressional representative to urge the White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to reinstate the June COVID-19 Provider Relief Fund reporting requirements. CHA has prepared a template letter for hospital leaders to send to their congressional representative, as well as a template letter for members of Congress to send to HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
To find your representative’s contact information, visit www.house.gov/representatives/find.
Contact representatives by Oct. 20.
On June 19, HHS issued an FAQ on the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Provider Relief Fund (PRF). The FAQ defined both expenses and lost revenue attributable to COVID-19, stating that lost revenue is any revenue that a provider lost due to COVID-19.
However, on Sept. 19, HHS issued a new definition of lost revenue, specifying that after covering the cost of COVID-19-related expenses, hospitals will generally be allowed to apply only PRF payments toward lost revenue, up to the amount of their 2019 net patient operating income.
The new definition will require many hospitals, especially those in rural areas and serving vulnerable communities, to return PRF funds based on a new formula and set of metrics that are unfair and unrealistic. This sudden change is extremely problematic, not only for planning and budgeting, but also for accounting, auditing, and bond rating purposes.