Back in August, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the Provider Relief Fund, Performance-Based Incentive Plan (“Plan”), allocating up to $2 Billion dollars in relief to the LTC industry. Plan eligibility is open to nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities that are certified in the state in which they receive CMS reimbursement, and report data to CASPER, NHC, or POS. Whether, and how much funding is received, is tied to two measures of performance: 1) whether the facility’s COVID-19 infection rate is lower than its county’s rate, and 2) whether the facility’s COVID-19 mortality rate falls below a nationally established performance threshold for mortality among nursing home residents infected with COVID-19. Eligibility is determined on a monthly basis and is automatically evaluated based on the facility’s submission of data to the CDC; no specific or formal application is required!
To date, $856 million has already been distributed under the Plan. DHHS distributed $333 million to more than 10,000 nursing homes in October based on reduced COVID-19 infection and mortality rates in September. Just this week, federal authorities announced that DHHS would begin distribution of an additional $523 million to more than 9,000 nursing homes based on their performance in the second (October) round. DHHS has not yet announced the November funding awards.
If you have not yet qualified for a payment, it’s not too late as the final round of eligibility is underway. The distribution of the final $500 million dollars will not be made until 2021, but will be based on December’s COVID-19 infection and mortality data, with eligibility open through December 31, 2020. Remember to familiarize yourself with DHHS’ Terms and Conditions for infection control payments, and to timely and accurately submit your COVID-19 data, as funding is contingent on your facility’s compliance and reporting. More information regarding the PRF’s Performance Based Incentive Program, including the terms and conditions, as well as tracking requirements, is available on the HHS’ webpage.
Kelly Hayes is the Owner and Managing Partner of Stotler Hayes Group. She is admitted to practice in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.