July 22, 2022
HRSA To Unveil Provider Relief Fund Recoupment Appeals Process
7/22/22, Inside Health Policy
HHS is setting up a dispute and appeals process for provider relief recipients whose funds are being recouped, the agency in charge of distributing the COVID-19 aid told Inside Health Policy after a Government Accountability Office report showed two providers challenged the administration over the need to return about $551,000 in disputed overpayments.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) says it will release more information about the process in the coming weeks.
Providers who received $10,000 or more in COVID-19 relief have one year to spend it all and must report to HHS how they used the relief for expenses and losses attributed to the pandemic. The third reporting period opened July 1 for those who received relief between Jan. 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021, and these providers will have through September to submit their report and 30 days after to return unused funds or overpayments.
While providers have so far been hesitant to contest provider relief allocations or recoupments in court, a GAO report published in April found two recipients challenged HRSA over what the administration deemed as overpayments. The government watchdog says HRSA has since suspended its recoupment efforts so it could create a dispute process for providers to challenge repayment decisions.
Until the recoupment appeals process is released, the only way provider relief recipients can contest recoupment is to apply for one of six extenuating circumstances, which include a natural disaster that damaged the organization’s records or information technology, as well as a key staff member who was severely ill or died. — Dorothy Mills-Gregg (firstname.lastname@example.org)