The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved funding to healthcare providers via the expansion of the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program. The funding totals near $34 billion and is given to the healthcare providers directly working with those affected by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
The CMS Accelerated and Advance Payment Program is directly funded from the trust funds from the Hospital Insurance (Part A) and Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B) through Medicare. Although these funds are given to providers upfront, these are considered loans that providers are required to pay back to the CMS.
Through the program, processing times for accelerated or advance payment requests has been optimized for four to six days. Previously, payment requests usually took about three to four weeks to process. In terms of volume, the CMS had approved over 100 total requests in the past five years. Currently, the CMS had received over 25,000 requests and already approved over 17,000 payment requests, all within the last week alone.
The CMS Administrator Seema Verma had stated that “Healthcare providers are making massive financial sacrifices to care for the influx of coronavirus patients. Many are rightly complying with federal recommendations to delay non-essential elective surgeries to preserve capacity and personal protective equipment. They shouldn’t be penalized for doing the right thing. Amid a public health storm of unprecedented fury, these payments are helping providers and suppliers – so critical to defeating this terrible virus – stay afloat.”
Those who are eligible for the payments from CMS are providers under Part A and suppliers under Part B, which includes doctors, non-physician practitioners and durable medical equipment suppliers.
Read the original article from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services here.