The Biden Administration will allow nursing facilities can use Provider Relief Fund payments for expenses that date back to Jan. 1, 2020. Industry lobbyist LeadingAge issued a report arguing a provider who received a PRF payment can submit for lost revenue or “uncompensated” expenses. This flexibility is ripe for waste, fraud, and abuse.
Providers who have unspent PRF money must return the unspent amount but that is unlikely. The lobbying group noted that the agency is recognizing “hazard pay” as an approved expense for the remainder of 2021. Hopefully, the facilities will use this money to increase staffing to safe levels.
The total price per bed for skilled nursing facilities increased year-over-year by 22% in the first quarter of 2021. Industry leaders believe more transactions will take place once stimulus money to nursing homes dries up.
Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan scorekeeper, predicts the economy will grow by 6.7 percent for the year. That would be the fastest annual growth since Reagan in 1984. It is significantly faster than the budget office and the Biden administration had each predicted earlier this year.
The recent job report showed Biden adding 850,000 jobs to the economy. The CBO states the economy was on track to recover all the jobs lost in the pandemic by the middle of next year. Consumer confidence is at its highest point since the pandemic. Stocks closed out the first half of the year at record highs.