If you have not already applied for advance payments from Medicare, you may have missed your opportunity. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) suspended its Advance Payment Program to Part B suppliers, including physicians, on April 26, saying there is now other funding available to address cash flow issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Accelerated and Advance Payment (AAP) Programs are typically used to provide emergency funding when there is a disruption in claims submission or processing, including during a public health emergency or presidential disaster declaration. CMS had expanded the temporary loan program March 28 to ensure physicians had the resources needed to combat the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CMS approved almost 24,000 applications advancing $40.4 billion in payments to physicians and other Part B suppliers (including non-physician practitioners and durable medical goods companies) since expanding the AAP programs. But as of April 26, CMS is not accepting any new applications for the Advance Payment Program.
In announcing the change, CMS said that other funding will continue to be available to those on the front lines of the coronavirus response, primarily from the Provider Relief Fund created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. For more information on the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund and how to apply, including a set of frequently asked questions, visit: hhs.gov/providerrelief. For an updated fact sheet on the Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs, visit: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/Accelerated-and-Advanced-Payments-Fact-Sheet.pdf.
— Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment
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