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Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary Xavier Becerra of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expressing concern regarding the updated Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting requirements. 

Specifically, Congressman Emmer asked for current guidance to be revised before June 30, 2021, when hundreds of rural providers will be forced to return their portion of the PRF to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  

“Many in rural America have been unable to use their allocations as Congress intended, and the Administration continues to implement the Provider Relief Fund program in a manner that will require hundreds of rural hospitals to return funds to the U.S. Department of the Treasury,” said Emmer.

“Rural hospitals had a difficult time remaining open during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the funds allocated by Congress to ensure their survival are now being threatened. I strongly urge the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to act before it’s too late,” Emmer concluded.

In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, with Congressman Emmer’s support. This legislation appropriated funds to reimburse eligible health care providers for health care-related expenses or lost revenues attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic through the Provider Relief Fund (PRF). 

Reporting requirements released on June 11, 2021 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) did not include exceptions for rural providers that would ensure the funding provides required stability. This will have a detrimental impact specifically on Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), and rural Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).

Read the letter to Secretary Becerra here.