Provider Notice 11/06/2020

Date:    November 6, 2020
 
To:       Enrolled Dental Providers
 
Re:      HFS CARES Portal is Open for Dental Provider Applications
 
 
This provider notice offers information to encourage dental providers to apply for the State CARES Pandemic Related Stability Payments Program (CARES payments) in support of their response to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
 
HFS CARES Portal
As described in the previous provider notice dated September 29, 2020, Medicaid healthcare providers enrolled with HFS can apply for funds by submitting an online application through the HFS CARES Portal. Dental providers are now able to apply as well. Applicants can create a portal log-in and begin reviewing and collecting required application documents to be submitted. It is recommended that all providers use Chrome or Edge browsers when accessing the HFS CARES portal for optimal performance.
 
The HFS CARES Portal is available for dental providers from 12:00 noon November 9, 2020 through 12:00 noon November 20, 2020. While the portal is available 24/7 during this timeframe, online and call-in assistance is available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday at 866-385-0600. Call center support is available in English and Spanish. Providers may also send questions regarding the CARES payments via email to HFS.CARES@illinois.gov.
 
An FAQ section is posted and updated on the portal website here: https://caresapp.hfs.illinois.gov/faq/
 
Additional resources on the HFS dedicated CARES payment page can be found here: https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/Pages/CARESUpdatePage.aspx
 
Instructions for All Dental Applicants Using the CARES Portal
Dental providers should complete their applications on the HFS CARES Portal at https://caresapp.hfs.illinois.gov no later than 12 noon November 20th 2020. Additional information about the eligibility of applicants and FAQs are found at the portal link above.
Integrated into the portal, applicants, including entities which received Round 1 funding, will submit an analysis of their full costs. As part of the application, applicants are required to provide an estimate of allowable expenditures incurred or planned between March 1 and December 30, 2020. Again, eligible costs can include items or services previously purchased and utilized, which no other state or federal sources have directly reimbursed by December 30, 2020.

All provider notices and additional resources regarding the HFS CARES payment program will continue to be updated on the dedicated CARES Payment link on the Department’s special Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates website at https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/Pages/coronavirus.aspx
 
Additional Information on CARES Funding
As explained in previous notices, HFS payments must be used to cover health care expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic and expenditures made despite losses of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lost revenue may be used as a factor in determining the amount of CARES payment, but the funds may only be used on specific CARES qualifying expenditures between the period of March 1 and December 30, 2020.
 
Medicaid healthcare providers operating in the State of Illinois have the opportunity to apply for assistance, but not all will be eligible for funding. CARES payments will be distributed based on a schedule and framework to be established by the Department with recognition of the pandemic related acuity of the situation for each provider, taking into account the factors including, but not limited to, the following;
 
(A) the impact of the pandemic on patients served, impact on staff, and shortages of the personal protective equipment necessary for infection control efforts for all providers;
 
(B) providers with high incidences of COVID-19 among staff, or patients, or both;
 
(C) pandemic-related workforce challenges and costs associated with temporary wage
increased associated with pandemic related hazard pay programs, or costs associated with which providers do not have enough staff to adequately provide care and protection to the residents and other staff;
 
(D) providers with significant reductions in utilization that result in corresponding reductions in revenue as a result of the pandemic, including but not limited to the cancellation or postponement of elective procedures and visits; and
 
(E) pandemic-related payments received directly by the providers through other state or federal resources.
 
The Department encourages applicants to utilize the available fields in the application to list and otherwise describe the impact of the pandemic on your healthcare response, preparation and delivery capacity.
 
Funding will be awarded based on applicants meeting the eligibility criteria outlined in the HFS CARES Program. Funds will be prioritized for providers serving Medicaid members and to fill gaps not addressed by other resources. Per the appropriation set by the General Assembly, at least 30% of the funds will be allocated to high impact areas of the state, based on positive COVID-19 cases.  
 
Federal guidelines require an agreement between the Department and subrecipients must be signed and any funds awarded through this process must be utilized on specific CARES qualifying expenditures between the period of March 1 and December 30, 2020. The deadline is a federal requirement and cannot be changed by HFS.
 
Federal guidance places certain limitations on how federal award funds may be expended. Since the State CARES Pandemic Related Stability Payments Program is an extension of the US Treasury’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, Treasury requirements are applicable to HFS Subrecipients and do not permit lost revenue as a use of federal funds. Subawards are required to be spent for the reimbursement of actual costs incurred between the period of March 1 and December 30, 2020, examples of which include expenses such as payroll, mortgages, rent and personal protective equipment (PPE).
 
All unspent subaward funds must be returned to the Department at: Receipt Accounting at Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Bureau of Fiscal Operations, 2200 Churchill Road A-2, Springfield, Illinois 62702.
 
All subrecipients will be required to submit a final report no later than January 31, 2021 to the Department including:
 
·         Summary narrative description of how funds were utilized and their impact.
·         Itemized list of expenditures including type, description, vendor (if applicable), dollar amount, date incurred.
·         Identification of the dollar amount of any unspent funds and return as described above (if applicable).
·         Documentation to support the payment of the itemized expenditures.
·         Copies of any reporting to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) on Provider Relief Fund (“PRF”), Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) Streamlined Project Applications, and any other reporting for other sources of funding for financial recovery from COVID-19.
 
Additional details on the submission of post-award reporting will be forthcoming on the dedicated CARES funding website. Post award reporting will occur through the HFS CARES Portal.
 
Please continue to monitor the resources on the CARES portal webpage and the dedicated CARES Payments webpage on the HFS website for additional information on this important program as it becomes available.
 
 
Theresa Eagleson
Director
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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