HHS on Thursday introduced it’s reversing course on necessities on healthcare suppliers receiving COVID-19 reduction grants that prohibited them from utilizing grant funds to grow to be extra worthwhile than they have been pre-pandemic.
The brand new modifications imply that suppliers will be capable to hold grant funds as much as the quantity of their year-over-year income distinction from 2019 to 2020. The modifications got here after stress from hospitals and members of Congress, as healthcare suppliers felt the detailed necessities introduced in September diverged considerably from an overview in June.
“From our preliminary studying, this variation seems to handle a lot of our considerations. We recognize HHS’s consideration of the difficulty and sit up for reviewing the doc in additional element,” AHA Govt Vice President Tom Nickels stated.
In June, HHS stated that hospitals might use Supplier Aid Fund grants for coronavirus-related bills or misplaced income, which could possibly be calculated by evaluating precise or budgeted income for 2019 and 2020. HHS in September stated suppliers needed to evaluate internet working earnings as an alternative, and that they might not use the funds to grow to be extra worthwhile in 2020 than the yr earlier than. Congress put aside $175 billion for the fund.
HHS created the revenue limitation as a result of the company concluded it will be unfair for some suppliers to make extra revenue in a pandemic utilizing taxpayer funds whereas others struggled to remain open. However the company stated it had heard suggestions from stakeholders and members of Congress that the revenue limitation needs to be eliminated.
“In consideration of this suggestions, HHS has amended its reporting directions to offer for the total applicability [Provider Relief Fund] distributions to misplaced revenues,” HHS stated in a coverage memo.
Now, suppliers can evaluate precise year-over-year income to find out how a lot grant funding they is perhaps eligible to maintain, however not budgeted income.
“Suppliers had managed their companies on the premise that was issued in June. That modified in September, and it modified their total state of affairs planning. This steerage reverts to a lot nearer what they have been working from earlier than,” stated RSM US Companion Rick Kes.
Kes stated the steerage helps clear up some stakeholder considerations however leaves unanswered different questions on what bills can be eligible for reimbursement. It additionally doesn’t bear in mind whether or not a hospital opened a brand new location or provided new providers, which might account for a distinction in income that will not be mirrored within the HHS system.