Advanced Medicare Payments Suspended for Physician Practices

Recently announced on Sunday April 26, CMS has suddenly suspended advance Medicare payments for physician practices. The rapid change has sparked concern from physician groups regarding the certainty of federal funding streams. Many physician groups and primary-care practices have received some support from federal relief programs since being hit hard financially having halted nonessential procedures. It’s remains unclear how much more physician-owned practices will be receiving from a $175 billion provider grant fund as well as the small business assistance programs.

Until CMS cut off the program this past Sunday, Medicare advance payments were the sole funding stream physician practices utilized to keep their doors open. CMS’ Accelerated and Advanced Payment Program, provides payments to PPs in advance. These payments eventually need to be repaid with high interest loans. There have been many provider and hospital groups that have voiced concerns to CMS regarding these high interest rates as well as the possibility of extending the timeline for when loan recoupment would begin.

Physician practices could still benefit from the $175 billion in provider grant funds set aside by Congress in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act as a subsequent source, however, which does not require repayment. Conversely, select small independent providers are also eligible for small business loans to sustain employees, but funding lapsed before all applicants were able to receive funding. The situation remains both complicated and demanding.

Advis is here to assist providers and physician groups and other healthcare practices with navigating these ongoing sudden changes confronting healthcare today. Please contact an expert at Advis for more information online or call 708-478-7030.

Published: April 30, 2020