April 29, 2020

CMS Suspends Advance Payment Program to Part B Suppliers

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is suspending its Advance Payments Program to Part B suppliers in light of the recent $100 billion payment through its Accelerated and Advance Payment Program (APP) and the $175 billion appropriated through Health and Human Services (HHS) in the Provider Relief Fund.

CMS had initially expanded APP to increase cash flows to practices in response to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, CMS has approved over 21,000 loan applications, $59.6 billion in payments allocated to Part A providers, almost 24,000 loan applications and $40.4 billion in payments to Part B providers.

APP programs are temporary loan programs, with providers required to pay back their loans within one year. Congress recently allocated $100 billion in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and $75 billion in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act to health care providers. These funds are being distributed through the Provider Relief Fund and do not have to be repaid.

Beginning April 26, CMS stopped accepting applications for the APP. Providers are now advised to apply to the HHS CARES Act Provider Relief Fund, which CMS is now using to evaluate all new and pending applications through this fund. CMS issued a press release on the topic.