When the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) into law, several key provisions immediately affected health care providers:
Provider Relief Fund
- Providers are now allowed to calculate lost revenue based upon initial guidance issued in June 2020. The Act states – “Provider may calculate such lost revenues using the Frequently Asked Questions guidance released by the Department of Health and Human Services in June 2020, including the difference between such provider’s budgeted and actual revenue budget if such budget had been established and approved before March 27, 2020.” Even though the initial guidance covers March and April, the Act appears to be inclusive of all covered periods. Additional FAQ’s may provide clarification.
- Targeted funds are now treated similarly with general distribution payments and can be allocated to subsidiaries, with certain limitations. The Act states – “for any reimbursement by the Secretary from the Provider Relief Fund to an eligible health care provider that is a subsidiary of a parent organization, the parent organization may allocate (through transfers or otherwise) all or any portion of such reimbursement among the subsidiary eligible health care providers of the parent organization, including reimbursements referred to by the Secretary as ‘‘Targeted Distribution’’ payments, among subsidiary eligible health care providers of the parent organization except that responsibility for reporting the reallocated reimbursement shall remain with the original recipient of such reimbursement.” Health systems welcome this change as many have a diverse mixture of payments.
- Even though the Act provides additional funding, it does not include any provisions to delay the reporting requirements scheduled to begin January 15, with the first reports due February 15. It is possible, perhaps likely, that HHS will modify these dates based upon the recent changes included in the CAA.
Other Important items
- With the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA), scheduled DSH cuts that were part of the Affordable Care Act are delayed until 2024.
- Sequestration has been deferred until March 2021, giving a few extra months to avoid the 2 percent reduction.
The Act includes other provisions that we will continue to monitor and provide updates on as information becomes more solidified. For more information, contact your local CRI professional.