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Provider Notice Issued 10/23/2020

Date:   October 23, 2020


To:     Audiologists, Community Mental Health Providers, Early Intervention Services, Encounter Rate Clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers, Hospice, Hospitals, Laboratory, Long Term Care, Surgical Treatment Centers; Nurses; Physicians; Podiatrists; Rural Health Clinics; School Based Health Services; Supportive Living; Transportation Providers; Therapists; Waiver


Re:      Calling for CARES Payment Applications


This provider notice reminds providers to submit their application for the State CARES Pandemic Related Stability Payments Program (CARES payments) before the deadline on October 31, 2020.


HFS CARES Application Deadline

As described in our previous provider notice dated September 29, 2020, Medicaid healthcare providers enrolled with HFS can apply for funds online through the HFS CARES Portal. Applicants can create a portal log-in and begin reviewing and collecting required application documents to be submitted. It is recommended that providers use Chrome or Edge browsers when accessing the HFS CARES portal for optimal performance.


The HFS CARES Portal will close 12:00 noon on Saturday, October 31, 2020. After completing their online application, if approved providers will be sent a subaward agreement for signature within 10 days. The subaward agreement may be returned after October 31. 


Providers are advised not to wait until the deadline to apply for funding, as it may take time to gather the relevant documentation for an application.


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


Information for Providers Considering Applications:  


·  CARES payments may be applied to eligible expenses incurred anytime between March 1 and December 30, 2020

· These funds may be used to offset unexpected costs incurred due to COVID-19. Examples include expenses related to providing PPE for employees or customers, deep cleaning services, payroll expenses for hazard pay, and other healthcare supplies.

· CARES payments cannot be used to replace lost revenue, but can be used for the reimbursement of regular costs such as rent and utilities that providers are having trouble covering because of lost revenue resulting from unexpected lower utilizations as a result of the pandemic.


· Providers who have already received funding from other state and federal sources are still eligible for these payments. HFS will consider the other funds received when determining payment award amounts

·  An update regarding federal Provider Relied Funds (PRF) directly from the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)On October 22, HHS updated its Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements in response to feedback received from many stakeholders and Members of Congress.  The effect of the revision may increase a provider’s ability to use the funds. 

·  CARES payments issued by HFS are administered by the US Treasury’s Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). 

·  HFS encourages providers which have already received HHS PRF and are also considering applying for HFS CARES payments to go ahead and apply through the portal and to consult the new guidance from HHS on PRFs. HFS will continue to stay abreast of the interplay between the two funds in our subaward methodology. 


The type of information which must be provided is as follows:


  • The budget with actual or anticipated expenditures, consistent with the allowable costs
    • budget line items and resources are included in the portal
  • Registration in the Federal System for Award Management
  • Registration in the Illinois Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Grantee Portal


Additional Informational Resources




HFS CARES Website:


Supporting Documents:

·   Frequently Asked Questions

·   Frequently Asked Questions Walkthrough

·   CARES Act Distributions for Medicaid Providers Summary and Implementation  Overview (pdf)

·   CARES Portal Video Walkthrough

·   CARES Round I Budget Template (xls)


Provider Notices:

·  2020-10-09 Provider Notice - CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund Budget Guidance and Instructions

·  2020-09-29 Provider Notice - HFS CARES Portal is Open for Funding Applications

·  2020-09-28 Provider Notice - CARES Act Funding – Round 1 Distribution to LTC Providers

· 2020-09-15 Provider Notice - First Round Distribution of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Funds Appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly  


Treasury Guidance:

Kelly Cunningham

Interim Medicaid Administrator