The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) updated its Provider Relief Fund frequently asked questions (FAQs) to clarify that recipients are not required to submit a separate quarterly report to HHS or the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.
The agency notes that the Terms and Conditions for the Provider Relief Fund require recipients who receive at least $150,000 to submit quarterly reports to the HHS and the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. However, the updated FAQ details that HHS will develop a report containing all information necessary for Provider Relief Fund recipients to comply with the requirement. This report will include the names of payment recipients and their payment amounts and it will be posted on the Tracking Accountability in Government Grants System (TAGGS).
The agency is also collaborating with the Department of Treasury to report the aggregate total of each recipient’s attested to Provider Relief Fund payments on USAPending.gov. HHS states that these public reporting activities satisfy the Provider Relief Fund reporting requirements under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
While Provider Relief Fund recipients are not required to submit a quarterly report, the Terms and Conditions also require recipients to submit any reports that are requested by the HHS Secretary to ensure compliance with the Terms and Conditions. In the coming weeks, the agency notes that it will be requiring recipients to submit reports detailing the use of Provider Relief Funds.
Additionally, over the weekend, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, pointing out that the Trump administration has yet to disburse nearly $14 billion in appropriated funding. This includes more than $8 billion to expand testing and contract tracing capacity and nearly $4 billion for public health surveillance and contact tracing. In addition, they noted that “only $10.8 million, or 0.5% of the $2 billion” to help health care providers pay for COVID-19 testing for uninsured patients has been obligated. The letter was issued in response to President Trump’s remarks that he told administration officials to “slow the [coronavirus] testing down” in order to keep case numbers low.