• Medicare expanding accelerated and advance payments due to COVID-19

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on March 28 an expansion of its accelerated and advance payment program because of the novel coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19.

    The expansion is part of the recently-enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It’s meant to lessen the financial hardships of Medicare-participating physicians and other health care providers and suppliers who face extraordinary challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Accelerated and advance Medicare payments provide emergency funding to address cash flow issues based on historical payments when there is disruption in claims submission or processing. The payments are typically offered in areas where natural disasters have occurred. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, CMS is expanding the program to all Medicare providers and suppliers throughout the country. The payments can be requested by hospitals, physicians, durable medical equipment suppliers, and other Medicare Part A and Part B providers and companies.

    To qualify for accelerated or advance payments, you must:

    • Have billed Medicare for claims within 180 days immediately prior to the date of signature on your request form,
    • Not be in bankruptcy,
    • Not be under active medical review or program integrity investigation, and
    • Not have any outstanding delinquent Medicare overpayments.

    Medicare will start accepting and processing the accelerated and advance payment requests immediately. CMS anticipates that the payments will be issued within seven days of the request. As noted, these are advance payments, which means they will be offset by future claims.

    An informational fact sheet on the accelerated/advance payment process and how to submit a request can be found on the CMS website.  

    The American Academy of Family Physicians has also compiled information about other opportunities for COVID-19-related financial relief, including HHS grants and short-term loans from the SBA.

    — Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment

    Posted on Mar 30, 2020 by Kent Moore

    Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions and views of the American Academy of Family Physicians. This blog is not intended to provide medical, financial, or legal advice. Some payers may not agree with the advice given. This is not a substitute for current CPT and ICD-9 manuals and payer policies. All comments are moderated and will be removed if they violate our Terms of Use.