On April 26, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) suspended Medicare’s Advance Payment Program.
CMS’s Accelerated and Advance Payment Program (AAPP) provides accelerated or advanced payments to Medicare providers and suppliers during national or public health emergencies. These expedited payments help provide funding when circumstances disrupt claim submission and claim processing. Providers and suppliers must meet certain qualifications and submit a request to their Medicare Administrative Contractor to receive accelerated funds. To increase cash flow to medical providers and suppliers amidst the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, CMS had expanded the AAPP to a broader category of Medicare Part A providers and Part B suppliers for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Congress recently appropriated $100 billion for healthcare providers in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (PL 116-136). Congress also allocated $75 billion for healthcare providers through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PL 116-139). The CARES Act Provider Relief Fund, administered by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, has released $30 billion to healthcare providers and is actively working to release an additional $20 billion. Additional funding is expected to be released soon after. Congress allocated this funding to help with healthcare-related expenses, lost revenue, and access to healthcare treatment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on the $175 billion now available for healthcare provider relief payments, and funding available through other programs, CMS announced broad restrictions on AAPP applications and payments. Beginning April 26, 2020, CMS will not accept new applications for AAPP payments and will reevaluate all pending and new applications. In addition, CMS has immediately suspended advanced payments to Part B suppliers.
CMS directs providers to visit hhs.gov/providerrelief for information on the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. An updated fact sheet on the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program is available here.
For more information on the AAPP and other funding options available, please contact Milligan Lawless at 602-792-3500.