Audit of Cares Act Provider Relief Funds by CMS

The Health Group 

The 2022 OIG Work Plan includes the audit of CARES Act Provider Relief Funds.  The Work Plan includes the following:

“The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act appropriated $175 billion for the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) to support health care providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  In April 2020, the Health Resources and Services Administration began distributing the funds through general distributions to Medicare providers based on 2018 net patient revenue and targeted distributions for certain provider types (e.g., providers in areas particularly impacted by COVID-19, skilled nursing providers, and providers in rural areas).  Providers such as hospitals may be eligible for PRF payments from the general and targeted distributions.  We will select for audit a statistical sample of providers that received general and/or targeted distributions.  Our objective is to determine whether providers that received PRF payments complied with certain Federal requirements, and the terms and conditions for reporting and expending PRF funds.”

The process has begun as selected providers are being notified of upcoming audits.  The OIG audit notification letter includes the following:

“To expedite completion of our work, we request that you have the documentation pertinent to your entity’s use and reporting of PRF payments available at the time of our meeting. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter and will make every effort to minimize any disruption to the work of your office.”