CMS Pauses Advance Payments, Studies Accelerated Payments

April 27, 2020Alerts

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it has stopped accepting new applications for Advance Payments and is reevaluating pending and new applications for Accelerated Payments.

In an April 26 press release, CMS said it will be looking at historical direct payments made available through HHS’s Provider Relief Fund to evaluate the pending and new Accelerated Payment applications. These payments are designed to address cash flow issues when there is disruption in claims submission or processing due to a public health emergency or disaster, and these loans are subject to repayment as noted in our previous post on the Advance/Accelerated Payments Program. CMS updated its Fact Sheet to note the cessation of the Advance Payment Program, but the remainder of the guidance did not change.

Since expanding the Advance/Accelerated Payments Program on March 28, CMS has made payments to hospitals and other Part A providers totaling $59.6 billion, the release said. It has also made payments to physicians, durable medical equipment and other Part B suppliers totaling $40.4 billion. 

Providers will still be able to apply for funds from the Provider Relief Fund. The first $30 billion has already been released, and another $20 billion should be coming soon. These funds are intended to be used for healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure uninsured Americans can get treatment for COVID-19. Payments made from the Provider Relief Fund do not need to be repaid as noted in our previous post on the Provider Relief Fund.