HME Suppliers Begin to Receive Share of Initial $30 Billion COVID-19 Relief Payments for Healthcare Providers
COVID-19 Update from American Association for Homecare
Earlier today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it was distributing $30 billion of a $100 billion fund enacted as part of the CARES Act to compensate Medicare suppliers and providers for expenses incurred and foregone revenue attributable to the coronavirus pandemic. Most HME suppliers should qualify for payments from this fund. On their CARES Act Provider Relief Fund page, HHS also emphasizes that: these are payments, not loans, to healthcare providers, and will not need to be repaid.
AAHomecare understands that some of its members have already received payments from HHS under the program this morning.
Under the law, Congress made this appropriation to “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus … for necessary expenses to reimburse … eligible health care providers for eligible healthcare related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus.” This program is separate from the accelerated payment program that was also enacted in the CARES program.
AAHomecare worked with HHS to ensure that HME suppliers were included in the definition of “eligible health care providers” as the department developed the program. This morning, HHS announced that “all facilities and providers that received Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements in 2019 are eligible” for the payment. Total fee-for-service Medicare payments in the United States in 2019 were $480 billion. Every provider that billed Medicare in 2019 is eligible to receive a portion of the $30 billion fund, equal to the proportion of their fee-for-service billing to the total $480 billion, multiplied by $30 billion.
Providers that receive the funds will need to sign a certification that they are entitled to the funds and that they are not currently excluded from participation in the Medicare or Medicaid program, or other federal health care programs and do not have their billing privileges revoked. HME suppliers should read the certification carefully, but it is our understanding that most HME suppliers should qualify for the funding.
After today’s disbursement, there is $70 billion remaining in the CARES fund. HHS has announced that the remaining funds will be targeted to providers and suppliers in COVID “hot spots” as well as providers with low historic Medicare billings. An announcement regarding those funds should be forthcoming in the next ten days. AAHomecare will continue to monitor the distribution of the remaining funding.
AAHomecare encourages HME suppliers to thank their Senators and Representatives for passing the CARES Act and providing relief that will allow us to provide a high level of care and help alleviate the burdens on hospitals during this pandemic, both through direct contact and social media, if possible.
For More Details:
- Press Release: HHS to Begin Immediate Delivery of Initial $30 Billion of CARES Act Provider Relief Funding
- HHS CARES Act Provider Relief Fund page.