CMS Announces Additional COVID-19 Provider Relief

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CMS Announces Additional COVID-19 Provider Relief

On March 28, 2020, CMS expanded the existing COVID-19 Accelerated and Advance Payments (CAAP) Program to a broader group of providers. Accelerated and advance payments are payments intended to provide necessary funds to Part A providers and Part B suppliers, respectively, when there is a disruption in claims submission and/or claims processing. CMS can also offer these payments in circumstances such as national emergencies or natural disasters in order to accelerate cash flow to the impacted health care providers and suppliers.

In accordance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136), the expanded CAAP program provided additional flexibilities for a specific subset of providers, including inpatient hospitals, children’s hospitals, certain cancer hospitals, and critical access hospitals. These flexibilities included extended repayment timeframes and increased payment amounts.

The Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act (P.L. 116-159), enacted on October 1, 2020, amended the repayment terms for all providers and suppliers who requested and received accelerated and advance payment(s) during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). (CMS has stopped accepting applications for accelerated or advance payments as they relate to the COVID-19 PHE.)

Under the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, repayment will begin 1 year from the issuance date of each provider or supplier’s accelerated or advance payment. After that first year, Medicare will automatically recoup 25% of Medicare payments otherwise owed to the provider or supplier for 11 months. At the end of the 11-month period, recoupment will increase to 50% for another 6 months. If the provider or supplier is unable to repay the total amount of the accelerated or advance payment during this period (a total of 29 months), CMS will issue demand letters requiring repayment of any outstanding balance, subject to an interest rate of 4%.

Additional details on repayment terms are included in the fact sheet found at the link below.

To view the press release, click here: Press Release

To view the fact sheet, click here: Fact Sheet (PDF)