Provider Relief Fund: Help for Healthcare Practices Impacted by COVID-19

By Yann Reichelt, CPA, Business Assurance & Advisory Services Manager

Provider Relief Fund: Help for Healthcare Practices Impacted by COVID-19

Article 1 in our 3 Part Series on the Provider Relief Fund audit and reporting requirements

What is the Provider Relief Fund?

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated over 175 billion dollars for the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) to support healthcare providers in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. On October 1, 2020, the PRF was expanded by an additional 24.5 billion dollars of funds and the eligibility to previously excluded practices, such as behavioral health providers.

Qualified providers of health care, services, and support may use the PRF payments for healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue due to COVID-19.

The PRF is administered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under CFDA #93.498. In contrast to the Paycheck Protection Program, the PRF is a “use it, or return it” program where any unused funds must be returned to the HHS.

Audit and Reporting Requirements

While the aid from the PRF was greatly needed by service providers, the receipt of these funds could trigger some additional unexpected reporting requirements that healthcare providers may not have been subject to in the past. The HHS surprised many commercial (for profit) entities when it announced that commercial organizations that receive 750,000 dollars or more of PRF payments have two options under 45 CFR 75.216(d) and 75.501(i): 1) a financial related audit of the award or awards conducted in accordance with Government Auditing Standards; or 2) an audit in conformance with the requirements of 45 CFR 75 Subpart F. (PRF Audit Requirement – HHS.gov)

Additionally, both commercial and non-profit entities will be required to adhere to certain reporting requirements to the HHS depending on the total amount of funds received. (PRF Reporting Requirements – HHS.gov)

Key reporting dates are as follows:

  • January 15, 2021: reporting system opens for providers
  • February 15, 2021: first reporting deadline for all providers on use of funds
  • July 31, 2021: final reporting deadline for providers who did not fully expend PRF funds prior to December 31, 2020.
Read our full series of articles on the Provider Relief Fund for healthcare entities

Audit Requirements under the Provider Relief Fund

Overview of Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements for Healthcare Entities

Additional COVID-19 Resources

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About the Author


Yann Reichelt

Yann Reichelt, CPA, Business Assurance & Advisory Services Manager

Yann joined the Business Assurance and Advisory Services group in 2014. Yann has experience with auditing procedures, financial reporting, business process reviews, and evaluation of internal controls.

Yann is a leader in Keiter’s Healthcare Industry Services practice and specializes in Provider Relief (PRF) Audits. Yann is also a member of the Firm’s Not-for-Profit team.

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The information contained within this article is provided for informational purposes only and is current as of the date published. Online readers are advised not to act upon this information without seeking the service of a professional accountant, as this article is not a substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, or financial advice from a professional accountant.

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