The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes $100 billion of funding to ensure healthcare providers on the front lines of the pandemic continue to receive the support they need for COVID-19-related expenses and lost revenue.
Recognizing the importance of delivering funds to healthcare providers as quickly as possible, $30 billion is being distributed immediately – with payments arriving via direct deposit beginning April 10, 2020 – to eligible providers across the country. All providers that received Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursements in 2019 are eligible for this initial distribution.
Each provider’s share of the initial $30 billion will be based on their share of total Medicare FFS reimbursements in 2019. Total FFS payments were approximately $484 billion in 2019. A provider can estimate their payment by dividing their 2019 Medicare FFS (excluding Medicare Advantage) payments they received by $484 billion, and multiplying that ratio by $30 billion.
Receipt of funds
HHS has partnered with UnitedHealth Group (UHG) to provide these payments to providers. The automatic payments will made using automated clearing house information and come to providers via Optum Bank with "HHSPAYMENT" as the payment description. Providers who normally receive a paper check for reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will receive a paper check in the mail for this payment as well, within the next few weeks.
Confirming receipt of funds
Within 30 days of receiving the payment, providers must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agreeing to the terms and conditions of payment. The portal for signing the attestation will be open the week of April 13, 2020. If a provider receives payment and does not wish to comply with these terms and conditions, the provider must contact the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 30 days of receipt of payment and then remit the full payment to HHS as instructed.
Terms and conditions
Although it is important for providers to understand all terms and conditions, there are two specific conditions related to reporting and documentation maintenance requirements that providers need to start thinking about immediately, so they are prepared to submit the first required report in July 2020.
The two specific conditions are as follows:
The administration is working rapidly on targeted distributions that will focus on providers in areas particularly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, rural providers, providers of services with lower shares of Medicare reimbursement or who predominantly serve the Medicaid population, and providers requesting reimbursement for the treatment of uninsured Americans.
We understand there are a multitude of funding programs healthcare providers can access, and implications for compliance and tracking to determine. We can assist your organization as you have needs. Connect with our healthcare team to discuss how we can help.