Have you heard that the department of Health and Human Services has announced the distribution of $30 billion of the $100 billion in CARES Act funding to frontline providers in response to the pandemic.? This funding will ensure you have the additional resources needed to battle financial concerns with the advent of the Novel Coronavirus.
HHS payments vs the CMS Accelerated and Advance Payment Program
Both CMS and now HHS have acknowledged that there has been significant disruption to the healthcare industry including a potential financial burden on providers. CMS has enacted certain prepayment measures to assist medical providers, however, that is no longer your only option for additional funding during these difficult times, if qualifications are met.
Like CMS, the department of Health and Human Services plans to lessen the financial hardships for providers facing extraordinary challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CMS accelerated and advance payments are a loan that providers must pay back. The benefit of the HHS payments, is that these are not loans. You will not need to pay any of this funding back from HHS. Likewise, the CMS accelerated and advance payments are loans that providers must pay back.
What does this mean for providers and organizations?
HHS understands the importance of distributing funds in a fast and timely manner in dispensing the $30 billion immediately with payments arriving through direct deposit as early as April 10th to eligible providers throughout the healthcare system. HHS states that all facilities and providers that received Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursements in 2019 are eligible for this initial rapid distribution.
Payments to practices that are part of larger medical groups will be sent to the group's central billing office. All relief payments are made to the billing organization according to its Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). As a condition to receiving these funds, providers must agree not to seek collection of out-of-pocket payments from a COVID-19 patient that are greater than what the patient would have otherwise been required to pay if the care had been provided by an in-network provider.
If you want to know more on eligibility for initial funding:
Download the State-by-State Payment Distribution Breakdown here: