The Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (“HRSA”) published new Provider Relief Fund (“PRF”) guidance Wednesday, April 6, allowing recipients that failed to submit a required report on time to request approval to submit a late report. The new guidance follows recent reports that HRSA sent out nearly 10,000 repayment letters to recipients. In many cases, these repayment demand letters were because a recipient failed to submit a PRF report by the applicable deadline.

The new guidance allows recipients to request to submit a late report if “extenuating circumstances” prevented a recipient from submitting a report by the required deadline.

Recipients can submit a Request to Report Late from Monday, April 11 to Friday, April 22, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The Request Form will be available starting on April 11, 2022.

The reporting requirements and late submission requests are discussed in more detail below.

Reporting Requirements

As a reminder, HRSA established four separate reporting periods that correspond to the dates PRF payments were received (each a Payment Received Period). Recipients that received one or more payments exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate during a Payment Received Period are required to report in the corresponding reporting period. For payments received during the first Payment Received Period, April 10, 2020, to June 30, 2020, a report was due November 30, 2021. For payments received during the second Payment Received Period, from July 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, a report was due March 31, 2022.

Request to Submit a Late Report

Recipients that failed to submit a report by the applicable deadline can request to submit a late report. To do so, the recipient will need to submit a Request to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances Form. This form is not yet available, but HRSA announced it would publish the form on April 11.

The requesting recipient must attest that it failed to meet the applicable deadline for one of the following reasons described on the HRSA website:

  • Severe illness or death – a severe medical condition or death of a provider or key staff member responsible for reporting hindered the organization’s ability to complete the report during the Reporting Period.
  • Impacted by natural disaster – a natural disaster occurred during or in close proximity of the end of the Reporting Period damaging the organization’s records or information technology.
  • Lack of receipt of reporting communications – an incorrect email or mailing address on file with HRSA prevented the organization from receiving instructions prior to the Reporting Period deadline.
  • Failure to click “Submit” – the organization registered and prepared a report in the PRF Reporting Portal but failed to take the final step to click “Submit” prior to deadline.
  • Internal miscommunication or error – internal miscommunication or error regarding the individual who was authorized and expected to submit the report on behalf of the organization and/or the registered point of contact in the PRF Reporting Portal.
  • Incomplete Targeted Distribution payments – the organization’s parent entity completed all General Distribution payments, but a Targeted Distribution(s) was not reported on by the subsidiary.

Submitting a request does not guarantee the request will be approved as HRSA will evaluate each request and decide to approve or deny the request. This process is available for recipients that missed the Period 1 reporting deadline (November 30, 2021) or the Period 2 reporting deadline (March 31, 2022). This opportunity will also be available for future reporting periods, though as with the first and second report, failure to submit a report on time must be due to extenuating circumstances.

Request to Modify a Prior Report

The Request to Report Late Due to Extenuating Circumstances is only available for recipients that did not file a report on time. It cannot be used to re-open a previously filed report to edit or revise the report. The HRSA PRF Bureau has been allowing some recipients to re-open previously submitted reports in certain circumstances. If a recipient believes it needs to re-open a Period 1 or Period 2 report, the recipient should work with legal counsel or with HRSA directly to inquire about that option.

Any recipient that received a repayment notice letter from HRSA should consider all its options before repaying PRF funds, including the option to submit a late report or re-open a prior report.