Infection Control Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Update

Lisa Volk and Jackie Pappalardi in Clinical & Quality

Last week’s Infection Control Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Allocation Terms and Conditions are different from previous Allocation Terms and Conditions. And, DHHS indicated providers must attest to these different Terms and Conditions. Attached are the Terms and Conditions and below is the relevant text in highlights and a short discussion of the language: 

The Recipient certifies that the Payment will only be used to reimburse the Recipient for costs associated with the following items and services (“Infection Control Expenses”): 

  • Costs associated with administering COVID-19 testing, which means an in vitro diagnostic test defined in section 809.3 of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations) for the detection of SARS– CoV–2 or the diagnosis of the virus that causes COVID–19, and the administration of such a test, that: 
    • Is approved, cleared, or authorized under section 510(k), 513, 515, or 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 360(k), 360c, 360e, 360bbb–3);
    • The developer has requested, or intends to request, emergency use authorization under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 360bbb–3), unless and until the emergency use authorization request under such section 564 has been denied or the developer of such test does not submit a request under such section within a reasonable timeframe;
    • Is developed in and authorized by a State that has notified the Secretary of Health and Human Services of its intention to review tests intended to diagnose COVID-19; or
    • Other test that the Secretary determines appropriate in guidance
  • Reporting COVID-19 test results to local, state, or federal governments
  • Hiring staff, whether employees or independent contractors, to provide patient care or administrative support
  • Expenses incurred to improve infection control, including activities such as implementing infection control “mentorship” programs with subject matter experts or changes made to physical facilities
  • Providing additional services to residents, such as technology that permits residents to connect with their families if the families are not able to visit in person
  • The Recipient certifies that it will not use the Payment to reimburse expenses or losses that have been reimbursed from other sources or that other sources are obligated to reimburse. 

Discussion

Below are quick explanations by highlighted bullet. 

Terms & Conditions Statement

Interpretation

Hiring staff, whether employees or independent contractors, to provide patient care or administrative

The staff hiring discussion is placed under the new Infection Control Expenses discussion.  All staff hired using this allocation must be engaged in Infection Control activities and clear documentation demonstrating this.

Providing additional services to residents, such as technology that permits residents to connect with their families if the families are not able to visit in person

 

As part of an Infection Control efforts and to mitigate the impacts of social isolation, the Infection Control Allocation dollars may be used to pay for technology such as iPads, etc.  As with staffing, above, fund use must be clearly documented.

The Recipient certifies that it will not use the Payment to reimburse expenses or losses that have been reimbursed from other sources or that other sources are obligated to reimburse.

 

This new clause is the clearest statement from DHHS that is expects other sources of reimbursement to be used before the PRF funds.  This would mean Medicare and Medicaid funds should be used to cover costs and PRF used for any remaining costs.  Previously, only a FAQ alluded to this point.  AHCA/NCAL is asking that DHHS make a clearer statement about Medicaid and PRF relative to precedence but this new Terms and Conditions provision should be helpful in dialogues with State Medicaid Agencies on future rate setting.

AHCA/NCAL has recommended that members establish separate accounts for each award for accounting purposes and future reporting to DHHS. We believe separate accounting is particularly important for this Allocation due to the different Terms and Conditions. 

If you have questions, suggestions or concerns, please contact Mike Cheek at mcheek@ahca.org.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15

Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16