The Latest Recap on Federal Support Programs
There are a variety of programs provided by the federal government to support healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these are specific to physicians and healthcare providers, and others are more general to small business. Below is the latest information and a summary on each.
CARES Act Direct Relief Payment
The CARES Act created a fund of $100 billion to be administered by Health and Human Services for direct support to the healthcare community. To date, HHS has directed two different rounds of general payments to physicians, and plan some additional direct payments to come. The links below provide updated information on the current status of the program.
- AMA Fact Sheet of Round Two Funding
- Provider Relief Fund Application Guide
- HHS Provider Relief Update
- Provider Relief Attestation Portal
- General Distribution Portal FAQ
CMS Suspends Advanced Payment Program and Reevaluates Accelerated Payment Program
CMS issued the following statement this week.
On April 26, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it is reevaluating the amounts that will be paid under its Accelerated Payment Program and suspending its Advance Payment Program to Part B suppliers effective immediately…
For Part B suppliers, including doctors, non-physician practitioners and durable medical equipment suppliers, CMS approved almost 24,000 applications advancing $40.4 billion in payments. The AAP programs are not a grant, and providers and suppliers are typically required to pay back the funding within one year, or less, depending on provider or supplier type. Beginning today, CMS will not be accepting any new applications for the Advance Payment Program, and CMS will be reevaluating all pending and new applications for Accelerated Payments in light of historical direct payments made available through the Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Provider Relief Fund.
The American Medical Association (AMA) sent a letter to CMS urging them to end the pause and reinstate the program with more flexible terms and to expand the program to include Medicaid providers. We are monitoring these developments closely and will keep you updated on any changes or updates from CMS.
Stabilization of Health Insurance Programs
The AMA, in partnership with 31 other healthcare and business organizations, sent a letter to Congress this week urging them to take immediate action to support employers and workers by protecting and expanding high quality, affordable healthcare coverage.
The recommendations include:
- Provide employers with temporary subsidies to preserve health benefits;
- Cover the cost of coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA);
- Eexpand use of Health Savings Accounts (HSA); and
- Increase eligibility for federal subsidies for the health insurance marketplace.
Paycheck Protection Program
On April 27, the Small Business Administration (SBA) resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program Applications from participating lenders, and since then the SBA has issued new guidance for applications. The OSMA, in partnership with Blue and Co., LLC, produced a webinar related to compliance and FAQs on the PPP program. In case you missed it, you can access the webinar within our free on-demand products.
If you have questions about this information
or OSMA’s services to physicians:
Call 800-766-6762 or email OSMA.