Update on Provider Relief and Efforts for Targeted Phase 4 Funds

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This information is provided by national senior living association partner, Argentum.

Argentum recently met with Carissa Smith, Senior Advisor at the White House Office of Public Engagement, to impress upon the administration the urgency for targeted relief in the Phase 4 distribution of the Provider Relief Fund (PRF). We relayed the Congressional support for targeting funds, including half of the Senate from the recent sign-on letter, and asked the administration to develop a funding methodology that fully reflects the 24/7 care provided on the frontlines to those most at-risk of COVID. This White House meeting follows a meeting on Monday with HRSA Chief of Staff Jordan Grossman and other senior HRSA staff, where we asked for the administration’s flexibility to target funds recognizing the extraordinary expenses and losses incurred by assisted living providers, compared to the extensive list of other eligible providers that don’t care for vulnerable seniors. We will continue to reach out to senior administration officials and staff over the coming weeks as the PRF portal opens and HRSA analyzes application data to determine the funding methodology. 

Phase 4 Webinar

On Wednesday, September 29 at 3:00 pm ET, Argentum will be hosting a webinar to review the requirements of this latest round of relief. Presented by Tom Barker and Alexander Somodevilla from Argentum’s outside counsel, Foley Hoag LLP, this session will review the Phase 4 general distributions, relief for providers serving rural areas, the methodology and reconsideration process for Phase 3 payments, changes to the reporting requirements, and the recently updated frequently asked questions.

The application to apply for relief will open on September 29 and will remain open for 4 weeks. Argentum strongly encourages all providers to have their application ready to be submitted as soon as the portal opens. Funds are expected to be disbursed in mid-December, with payment amounts determined after application data has been analyzed.

The webinar is open to all Argentum members and Argentum Advocates members. To register, click here

Phase 3 Reconsideration

The Phase 3 reconsideration process is under development. For now, a provider who has reviewed the Phase 3 methodology and believes their Phase 3 calculation was not calculated correctly may send an email to PRFReconsiderations@hrsa.gov. Providers will be added to an email list to be used to distribute information on the reconsideration process, including info on applying for reconsideration, once it is available.

The methodology and reconsideration process follows an announcement by HHS in July that it would establish a formal review process, after repeated requests by Argentum to provide greater transparency of award determinations and the ability to appeal award amounts believed to be calculated incorrectly or for providers denied relief altogether.

OSHA and CMS Vaccine Mandates

Argentum has scheduled a meeting with CMS the first week of October to discuss our concerns with the anticipated Interim Final Rule with Comment Period relating to vaccine mandates in health care settings. For more information on this rule and the anticipated Emergency Temporary Standard to be issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requiring vaccines for employers with more than 100 employees, please refer to this memo prepared by Argentum’s outside counsel, Foley Hoag LLP.