$20 Billion in Grant Money
In our previous update, we noted that CMS issued $30 billion out of the $100 billion in grant money under the CARES Act (the “Provider Relief Fund”). As of April 24, 2020, CMS issued the $30 billion, and providers were not required to engage in any activity or application to get those funds, with the exception of attesting to the terms and conditions within thirty (30) days of receiving the funds through the Provider Attestation Portal.
The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recently announced that it will start distributing another $20 billion. Providers that have already received a payment from the Provider Relief Fund and attested to receipt of such payment are now eligible to apply for additional general distribution funds. However, providers have to submit data about their annual revenues and estimated COVID‑19 related losses if HHS does not have certain cost reports on file already. Additional funds are only available to those who have received a general distribution payment as of April 24, 2020.
To apply, providers must submit an application via the CARES Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal (also referred to as the “General Distribution Portal”). Providers should have the following information on hand before starting the application for additional funds:
- Taxpayer Identification Number (“TIN”) that has received prior Provider Relief Fund payments;
- TINs of subsidiary organizations that have received prior Provider Relief Funds but do not file separate tax forms (i.e., subsidiary organizations that are accounted for in the parent organization’s tax filing);
- An estimate of the organization’s lost revenue for March 2020 and April 2020, which can be estimated by comparing year‑over‑year revenue, or by comparing budgeted revenue to actual revenue;
- Amount of payments received;
- Relief Fund payment transaction numbers/check numbers; and
- A copy of your most recently filed tax forms.
Funds will not be disbursed on a first-come-first-served basis, which is to say that an applicant will be given equal consideration regardless of when they apply. Applications will be processed in batches every Wednesday at 12:00 noon EST. HHS estimates that funds should be disbursed within 10 days of the submission of your application.
For more information on the process of requesting and/or confirming additional funds, visit the CARES Act Provider Relief Application Guide.
Suspension of Accelerated and Advance Payment Program
In our March 31, 2020 update, we noted that CMS expanded its Accelerated and Advance Payment Program in light of COVID-19 to Part A and Part B providers. Although many providers submitted their applications, on April 26, 2020, CMS announced that it was suspending the Program for Part B suppliers, including physicians, other medical professionals and durable medical equipment suppliers, and is reevaluating accelerated payments to hospitals.
CMS explained that it suspended the Program because Congress appropriated $175 billion to providers in the CARES Act, and that HHS is distributing this money through the Provider Relief Fund. As a result, CMS stopped accepting new applications from Part B suppliers for the Program on April 26 and is reevaluating all pending and new applications for accelerated payments.