Allocation Announcement for $5 Billion Nursing Home Targeted Distribution, Changes in Ownership Instructions, and More
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Announces Allocations of $5 Billion Targeted Distribution
On Friday, August 7, 2020, the HHS announced the details of the approximate $5 billion distribution which was initially announced in late July. Though specific allocation methodology remains unclear, the HHS has indicated that approximately $2.5 billion will be distributed in mid-August to support increased testing, staffing, and personal protective equipment (PPE) needs. The remaining $2.5 billion will be distributed based upon nursing home performance to ensure the federal government is rewarding providers for better outcomes. The performance evaluation will consider the nursing home’s ability to minimize COVID spread and COVID-related fatalities within its building in relation to the prevalence of the virus in its local geography. The additional performance-based distributions will occur throughout the fall.
Guidance Issued for Changes in Ownership
Several providers that experienced a change in ownership during 2020 missed out on the $50 billion General Distribution (consisting of $30 billion and $20 billion distributions). Previous owners have been instructed to return the payments to the HHS if they could not attest to providing diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19 on or after January 31, 2020. As they were not permitted to transfer the payments to the new owners, the new owners have gone without an allocation. Beginning the week of August 10, 2020, the new owners may submit their revenue information, along with documentation proving a change in ownership, by August 28, 2020, for consideration for a Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payment.
Second Chance for Certain Medicare Providers
Also beginning the week of August 10, 2020, Medicare providers who missed the deadline to apply for additional distributions from the original $50 billion General Distribution will have the opportunity to do so. Providers that do not submit comprehensive cost reports with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) were asked to submit their revenue data to a portal to receive the balance of their 2 percent payment from the General Distribution funds. Those who failed to do so will again have the opportunity to apply for up to 2 percent of their annual patient revenues until August 28, 2020.