March 29, 2021

Repayment Begins for COVID-19 Medicare Advance/Accelerated Payments

On March 28, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payments (AAP) Program in an effort to increase cash flow to providers during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Repayment was initially set to begin 120 days after issuance of the funds, however the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and other Extensions Act, enacted on Oct. 1, 2020, set repayment to one year after the date of issuance. The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) is reminding members who received these funds in late March or April 2020, that repayment will soon begin.

Providers may repay their advance or accelerated payments in full by contacting their Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC). Alternatively, when repayment begins, Medicare will automatically recoup 25% of Medicare payments otherwise owed to the provider or supplier for 11 months. At the end of the 11-month period, recoupment will increase to 50% for another six months. If a provider is unable to repay in the 29-month period, CMS will issue letters requiring repayment of the balance, subject to 4% interest.

Additionally, providers may request an Extended Repayment Schedule (ERS) if they are experiencing financial hardship. An ERS is a debt installment payment plan that allows providers to pay over the course of three years or up to five years (in the case of extreme hardship). Providers should contact their MACs for information on how to request an ERS.

For more information, see this Oct. 12, 2020 Advocacy in Action article.

Feel free to read the Accelerated and Advance Payments Program FAQ.