On May 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced an additional 45 day extension for providers who received payments from the Provider Relief Fund to accept the Terms and Conditions through the online attestation portal. This means that providers now have a full 90 days from the date that they received payment to either accept or reject the funds.
There has been some confusion about this deadline due to a series of “action required” emails coming from United Health Group (UHG) on behalf of HHS. These emails indicate that revenue information must be submitted by today, June 3, 2020, to the application portal. To clarify, the June 3rd deadline referenced in these emails is only for providers who want to be considered for additional funding, and the application portal is different than the attestation portal.
We still believe that there are inconsistencies between the wording in the terms and conditions that you must agree to when you sign the attestation and how the HHS website describes eligibility to receive relief funds. These inconsistencies have been recognized across the country by many medical organizations and law firms. The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) issued a letter to the Deputy Secretary of HHS in April requesting a change to the language in the Terms and Conditions document, pointing out that “Despite the helpful clarification published on the Provider Relief landing page, the contractual text continues to generate concerns from group practices relying on the four corners of the agreement.”
To Sign or Not to Sign – That Is Still the Question
We trust that clarity will come eventually, and the majority of our medical clients will still be able to keep the provider relief funds. If you are anxious about the attestation deadline, the UHG emails that went out recently do indicate that if you affirmatively attest to the payment you received and later want to reject the funds and retract your attestation, you may do so by calling the provider support line at (866) 569-3522.