Relief from pandemic-related expenses is at stake.

Nursing homes once again have access to the federal Provider Relief Fund portal — through midnight Monday (Dec. 20).

Access was re-opened Monday (Dec. 13) for Period 1 reports after some providers had reported having problems with the online system.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources & Services Administration announced that operators that need to amend a submitted report also have until 11:59 ET on Dec. 20 to correct any errors. They are to call the provider support Line at (800) 569-3522 to access their submitted report. 

“This re-opening of the portal may present an opportunity for nursing homes to rethink how they apply their expenses and lost revenues before the next reporting period. Infection control expenses are the only eligible use for Nursing Home Infection Control (NHIC) distributions and quality incentive payments issued through PRF,” LeadingAge said in a member update.

The association noted that some of its members had faced a dilemma over when to report infection control expenses. Some were concerned that if they reported those expenses in the first reporting period, they would not have enough infection control expenses to be able to submit for the second reporting period. HRSA has clarified that operators can choose how and when to apply those expenses.

“This flexibility would allow a nursing home to not report any infection control expenses in the first reporting period and apply them instead to the NHIC funds they must report on in the second reporting period,” according to the association.

With the portal re-opening, nursing homes can revise and re-submit their reports to remove their infection control expenses from the first reporting period and wait to report them in the second reporting period, which will begin Jan. 2.