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Did you receive more than $10,000 in COVID provider relief money from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund General or Targeted Distributions? You may be wondering if, when, and how you're going to have to account for how you spent the money.

HHS now has answers for you, including what you're required to report and when the reporting system will become available.

The reporting system is primarily focused on more than $50 billion in provider relief funds issued beginning in April as part of the CARES Act/CARES Act 3.5, legislative packages addressing the coronavirus pandemic. HHS had initially stated that providers would need to submit quarterly accountings of how they were spending the money, but HHS set that plan aside in favor of a one-time report on how all funds were spent. The reporting instructions, released on Sept. 19, spell out the details on attributable expenses, attributable lost revenues, non-financial data, and other data sets that will be required.

On July 20, HHS released a public notice informing recipients of relief funds about the timing of future reporting requirements for providers that accepted one or more payments exceeding $10,000 combined. The reporting notice advised recipients that additional details regarding data elements would be provided by Aug. 17; HHS then revised this date to allow for additional time to consider provider feedback.

While initially indicating that the reporting system would become available to recipients for reporting on Oct. 1, according to the HHS website the reporting system will be open to fund recipients beginning in early 2021.

The recently released guidance also provides information for entities that expended $750,000 or more in aggregated federal financial assistance in 2020 (including PRF payments and other federal financial assistance). Recipients who received $500,000 or more in Provider Relief Fund payments are required to report more detailed information than those who received between $10,000 and $499,999 in aggregated PRF payments.

The HHS CARES Act Provider Relief Fund webpage contains the latest updates on reporting requirements.


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