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New Guidance for Health Care Providers Regarding “Provider Relief Funds”

Pursuant to the CARES Act and other related Acts, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) has been in the process of distributing approximately $178 billion in Provider Relief Funds (“PRF”) to hospitals and health care providers to reimburse them for COVID-19 related health-care expenses or lost revenues. 

The HHS has previously published guidance as to when the PRF must be used and the deadlines by which recipients must submit reports to the HHS showing that the PRF was used for their intended purposes.  However, for several months, it has been anticipated that the HHS would issue new guidance on these and other related PRF issues.  On June 11, 2021, the HHS provided this new guidance through the publication of its “Post Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements” as well as a series of new FAQs relating to PRF reporting requirements. The following are some of the notable highlights from this recent HHS guidance.

New Time Periods for Using And Reporting on the Use of Provider Relief Funds:

The most significant aspect of the new HHS guidance is that it sets forth new deadlines for when PRF must be used and when recipients must submit reports to the HHS to establish that the PRF was used by the recipient for their intended purposes.  Both deadlines depend upon when the recipient received the PRF.  More specifically, the new guidance identifies four (4) separate “Payment Received Periods” and sets forth a deadline by which the PRF must be used for each such period, as well as a “Reporting Time Period” for each Payment Received Period in which the recipient received PRF in excess of $10,000 in the aggregate.     

The following chart shows the deadline to use PRF, as well as the reporting time period for each applicable Payment Received Period:


Payments Received Period

Deadline to Use Funds

Reporting Time Period

(if payments exceeded $10,000 during the Payment Received Period)

Period 1

4/10/20 to 6/30/20


7/1/21 to 9/30/21

Period 2

7/1/20 to 12/31/20


1/1/22 to 3/31/22

Period 3

1/1/21 to 6/30/21


7/1/22 to 9/30/22

Period 4

7/1/21 to 12/31/21


1/1/23 to 3/31/23

With respect to determining when the PRF was received, the new guidance provides that funds will be considered “received” on the deposit date for ACH payments or the check-cashed date.

Other Notable Items from The New PRF Guidance:          

  • The PRF Reporting Portal will open for recipients to start submitting information on July 1, 2021.  Recipients are encouraged to register in the PRF Reporting Portal in advance of the reporting time periods.
  • PRF recipients who do not report within the respective reporting periods are out of compliance and may be subject to recoupment.
  • Parent entities may report on behalf of their subsidiaries with respect to any General Distribution (i.e. Phase 1, 2 or 3) funds received by the parent or subsidiary.
  • The original recipient of a Targeted Distribution payment must always be the reporting entity.
  • Reporting entities are expected to report on their use of PRF using their normal basis of accounting (e.g. cash or accrual) and to submit consolidated reports.
  • The burden of proof is on the reporting entity to ensure that they maintain adequate documentation that the PRF was used for health-care-related expenses or lost revenues attributable to COVID-19, and that those expenses were not reimbursed or obligated to be reimbursed from other sources.
  • If the recipient does not have sufficient COVID-19 attributable expenses or losses to support the PRF received, the funds must be returned to the HHS.
  • PRF recipients will be able to return unused funds through the PRF Reporting Portal when the first reporting period begins.
  • According to the HHS, a “comprehensive user guide” will be made available when the first reporting period begins, which will likely contain more detailed information on the data requested.

If you received Provider Relief Funds from the HHS, we encourage you to review the new guidance from the HHS and consult with a professional to ensure that you are in compliance with this guidance and are not required to return any Provider Relief Funds to HHS. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Sam King at 402-492-9200 or

Thu Jun 17, 6:45pm

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