Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) recently announced it will be suspending the Advance Payment System for doctors, practitioners that are not physicians, and other qualified suppliers of Medicare Part B. The federal agency is taking another look at the reimbursement rates charged by its Accelerated Payment Plan, a related advance payment system that funds Medicare fee-for-service providers when the filing and/or processing of claims is interrupted.
The CMS decision follows closely in the footsteps of President Donald Trump’s signing of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which provides healthcare facilities more than $70 billion to cover revenue losses and other healthcare-related costs as a result of the pandemic.
The Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs have given nearly $60 billion in payments to more than 20,000 Part A providers since the COVID-19 pandemic began, hospitals included. CMS accepted close to 24,000 applications for Part B vendors, including doctors, non-physician clinicians, and medical supply providers.
Payments received by the services are not grants, however. According to revised program regulations in response to the health crisis, providers and suppliers are required to pay back the accelerated and advance payments within one year or less, based on the type of supplier or provider.
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