CMS suspends Advance Payment Program

CMS has suspended advance Medicare payments to Part B suppliers, including physicians, other medical professionals and durable medical equipment suppliers, and is reevaluating accelerated payments to hospitals. 

CMS announced the changes April 26, two days after President Donald Trump signed a COVID-19 relief package that includes $75 billion for hospitals. The funding is in addition to the $100 billion fund for hospitals included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

CMS expanded the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program to a broader group of healthcare providers in late March to help offset the financial damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the funds made available through the COVID-19 relief packages, CMS stopped accepting new applications from Part B suppliers for the Advance Payment Program on April 26 and is reevaluating all pending and new applications for accelerated payments to hospitals.

Since expanding the AAP Program in March, CMS has distributed $100 billion in advance and accelerated payments to healthcare providers and suppliers, the agency said. 

The advance and accelerated payments are loans that must be repaid, while funding provided under the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act are grants that do not require repayment. 

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