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Hospital's Compliance With the Provider Relief Fund Balance Billing Requirement for Out - of - Network Patients

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Paycheck Protection and Health Care Enhancement Act, and Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, appropriated a combined $178 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other health care providers. This funding, known as the Provider Relief Fund (PRF), is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and is intended to reimburse eligible health care providers for health care-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and to ensure that Americans could get testing and treatment for COVID-19. Under the PRF terms and conditions, hospitals are eligible for PRF distribution payments if they attest to specific requirements, including a requirement that providers, such as hospitals, must not pursue the collection of out-of-pocket payments from presumptive or actual COVID - 19 patients in excess of what the patients otherwise would have been required to pay if the care had been provided by in-network providers. We refer to this limitation on balance billing, commonly referred to as "surprise billing," as the "balance billing requirement." We will perform a nationwide audit to determine whether hospitals that received PRF payments and attested to the associated terms and conditions complied with the balance billing requirement for COVID - 19 inpatients. We will assess how bills were calculated for out-of-network patients admitted for COVID-19 treatment, review supporting documentation for compliance, and assess procedural controls and monitoring to ensure compliance with the balance billing requirement.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
Revised Health Resources and Services Administration Hospital's Compliance With the Provider Relief Fund Balance Billing Requirement for Out - of - Network Patients Office of Audit Services W-00-22-35878 2024