HHS releases updated PRF reporting guidance, establishes new deadlines
The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released long-awaited updates to reporting guidance for the Provider Relief Fund (PRF). According to the press release and the newly updated Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements document, only relief funds received prior to June 30, 2020, must be expended by June 30, 2021, a deadline that the Department established previously. HHS designated four different reporting periods and deadlines to use funds based on the dates relief funds were initially received. HHS also heeded MGMA's recommendation to extend the 30-day reporting period to a full 90 days following the spending deadline for each period. Finally, the announcement indicates that the PRF Reporting Portal will allow providers to begin reporting their use of funds on July 1, 2021. Providers that received one or more payments exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate during a single Payment Received Period will be required to report. Additional resources, including a reporting toolkit, will become available upon the opening of the Reporting Portal.
OSHA announces new COVID-19 temporary standard for healthcare settings
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS) and accompanying FAQ with implications for healthcare employers. In part, under the ETS, a covered employer must:
• Develop a “COVID-19 plan,” which includes a workplace-specific hazard assessment,
• Clean and disinfect the workplace,
• Screen employees for COVID-19 and follow requirements for removing employees from the workplace,
• Ensure physical distancing,
• Screen and monitor patients upon arrival,
• Report COVID-19 fatalities and hospitalizations, and
• Provide reasonable time and paid leave for COVID-19 vaccinations.
See the full ETS for a complete list of requirements. Certain requirements are waived if workers are vaccinated and are in well-defined areas where there is no reasonable expectation that a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will be present.