How can you get accelerated payments under the CARES Act?

By Rebecca Farrington, AuntMinnie.com contributing writer

April 3, 2020 -- In late March, President Donald Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes a number of provisions to stimulate the economy during the COVID-19 outbreak. One of those provisions is an expansion of eligibility for the Medicare Accelerated Payment Program.

Rebecca Farrington
Rebecca Farrington from Healthcare Administrative Partners.

Under the provision, additional healthcare entities will now qualify for what is essentially an interest-free loan. Within the CARES Act, physicians and other Medicare Part B suppliers are now eligible to receive a needed increase to cash flow during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Supplier is defined as a physician or other practitioner that delivers healthcare services under Medicare, excluding a provider).

To receive accelerated payments, the physician, hospital, or other Part B supplier must meet the following three criteria, in addition to have billed Medicare in the past six months:

  • Not in bankruptcy
  • Not under active medical review or program integrity investigation
  • No outstanding delinquent Medicare overpayments

The amount of the payment for most radiologists will be up to 100% of their historical Medicare payment amount for a three-month period. The law also sets terms for repayment:

  • The amount must be fully repaid within 210 days after advance, while beginning at day 120 from the date that the advanced payment was received. Until the owed balance is 0, 100% of claims will be withheld to pay back the loan.
  • If your level of service does not recover enough to repay, you will be writing a check to Medicare.

How quickly will funds be delivered? Each Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) is working on an expedited review processing time. Eligible applicants will receive the funds within seven business days of the MAC receiving the request.

The complete CMS fact sheet has more details on all facets of the Accelerated and Advance Payments Program.

Rebecca Farrington serves as the chief revenue officer for Healthcare Administrative Partners. She has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare sales and management roles, focusing on hospital-based and physician revenue cycle management.

The comments and observations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of AuntMinnie.com.


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