HHS Begins Phase 4 Provider Relief Fund Distribution, Updates Reporting Requirements for Mergers

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) recently announced the distribution of approximately $9 billion in CARES Act Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 payments to Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP providers. The average payment for small providers from this distribution is $58,000, for medium providers is $289,000, and for large providers is $1.7 million. HHS has already started facilitating payments and will continue to do so in 2022.

As part of the announcement, HHS also indicated a new reporting requirement for providers involved in recent mergers or acquisitions that have received Phase 4 or American Rescue Plan (ARPA) Rural payment program funds. Specifically:

  • If the Recipient’s Phase 4/ARP Rural payment(s) exceeds $10,000, the Recipient agrees to notify HHS of a merger with or acquisition of any other healthcare provider during the Payment Received Period within the Reporting Time Period (as defined in the PRF Post Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements). Providers who report a merger/acquisition may be more likely to be audited, consistent with an overall risk-based audit strategy.”

HRSA (the HHS agency implementing the PRF program) considers changes in ownership, mergers/acquisitions, and consolidations to be reportable events under this new requirement. If a provider that received a Phase 4/ARP payment indicates when they report on the use of funds that they have undergone a merger or acquisition during the applicable Payment Received Period, this information will be a component that is factored into whether an entity is audited.

The PRF Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) were also supplemented in conjunction with the Phase 4 distribution. The newly added items cover a wide range of topics, including mergers and acquisitions, tax credits, guidance for providers that file bankruptcy petitions, and more.

NAHC encourages our members who have received PRF or ARP Rural funds to review the FAQs and other related reporting guidance, to ensure timely and accurate compliance with all criteria. We will continue to monitor and analyze PRF modifications as they develop.

HHS Begins Phase 4 Provider Relief Fund Distribution, Updates Reporting Requirements for Mergers

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) recently announced the distribution of approximately $9 billion in CARES Act Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 payments to Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP providers. The average payment for small providers from this distribution is $58,000, for medium providers is $289,000, and for large providers is $1.7 million.…

NAHC Advocacy Win! Congress Extends Suspension of Medicare Sequestration

Last night the U.S. House of Representatives voted 384-28 to to extend the suspension of the two percent Medicare sequestration through the end of 2021. The Senate voted 90-2 to approve this measure last month, but full approval in Congress was delayed when the House went into recess. The bill now goes to the desk…

NAHC Receives Clarification on CMS Policies for Home Health Agencies

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice ( NAHC) has received additional clarification on Medicare coverage policies for home health agencies. Earlier this month NAHC reported on responses from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on several key outstanding question. In that report NAHC noted follow-up was needed on two of CMS’…

Members of Congress Push for More HCBS Funding

With the next COVID-19 relief package currently under development and possibly coming with a significant price tag, upwards of $1.9 trillion as requested by the Biden administration, many elected officials and stakeholder groups are proposing increased funding to Medicaid home and community based services (HCBS). Similar proposals have been made in earlier versions of COVID-19…

CMS Answers Key Home Care Questions

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided the following responses to several outstanding questions submitted by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) . NAHC submitted the questions after receiving requests for clarification on these issues from its membership. Question #1 There is confusion based on the regulations below. Section…

Tell Congress: Home Care Deserves Access to Provider Relief Funds

The Provider Relief Fund in the CARES Act has provided a necessary lifeline for health care providers around the country, but home care companies that do not bill Medicare and/or Medicaid have been left out of the fund distribution and NAHC believes this must change.

The fund distributions have enabled the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to stabilize access to care during the Public Health Emergency and help preserve the health care infrastructure for the post-pandemic future and NAHC is grateful for that. However, home care companies provide vital services to some of the most vulnerable Americans and they should be included in all future provider fund distributions. 

NAHC is asking you to CONTACT your elected officials today and urge them to ask HHS to prioritize distribution of CARES Act funds to these home care companies that serve millions of Americans with vital personal health care supports. This will take only seconds of your time and means so much to home care.

Support from the Provider Relief Fund would be consistent with other distributions that have occurred so far. These include distributions to home care agencies that provide this same care through Medicaid, Assisted Living Facilities, and behavioral health providers. Similarly, HHS has provided funding supports beyond Medicare and Medicaid providers to dentists and behavioral health providers among others. As such, the standards and structures are in place to allow these companies to apply for funding.

Please ADD YOUR VOICE to this effort and ensure all home care agencies have the opportunity to access critical funds from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund as the pandemic continues to impact operations. We are stronger together and you can be assured that NAHC will not rest in our advocacy efforts on behalf of the entire home care community.

Every Voice, Every Heart, Every Action


NAHC Supports New Legislation to Extend Medicare Sequestration Moratorium During COVID Crisis

Legislation introduced in the House of Representatives would provide for an extension of the Medicare sequestration moratoria. With the end of 2020 fast approaching, and thus the end of the CARES Act mandated sequestration moratoria, providers across many Medicare sectors remain financially unsteady and in need of further relief. With the introduction of the Medicare Sequester…

CMS Releases Interim Final Rule for COVID-19 Vaccine & Treatment, and CARES Act Provisions

Late in the day on Wednesday, October 29, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (IFC) primarily addressing COVID-19 vaccine coverage. The provisions of the IFC are effective immediately on the date of posting in the Federal Register or as otherwise specified in the rule. The…

NAHC, Big Health Care Orgs Urge Congress to Extend Relief from 2% Sequester Spending Cuts

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), as well as the American Hospital Association, the American Health Care Association, and the American Medical Association have written to top congressional leaders, urging them to extend the congressionally enacted moratorium on the application of the Medicare sequester cuts into 2021 and through the duration of…