As part of its response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), the CMS allowed Medicare providers to request Accelerated and Advance Payments. This was made available to provide emergency cash flow to providers during natural disasters and similar emergencies. CMS made these payments available during the COVID-19 PHE because many practices saw reduced patient volumes or had to completely close during the initial period of COVID-19 infections in March and April.
Providers were able to request accelerated and advance payments of up to three-months of historical Medicare revenue. However, CMS would begin recouping the payments against future Medicare claims beginning 120 days after CMS provided the payments. According to the CMS Fact Sheet,
“At the end of the 120-day period, the recoupment process will begin and every claim submitted by the provider/supplier will be offset from the new claims to repay the accelerated/advanced payment. Thus, instead of receiving payment for newly submitted claims, the provider’s/supplier’s outstanding accelerated/advance payment balance is reduced by the claim payment amount. This process is automatic.”
Providers who received accelerated and advance payments in April will need to begin repaying this money in August. The providers have 210 days from the date of the accelerated or advance payment was made to repay their balance. Any payments made beyond that date are subject to an interest rate of 10.25 percent. Legislation to lower that interest rate to one percent has been introduced in both the House and Senate. It is not clear if or when that bill will become law.
CMS provided over $100 billion in accelerated and advance payments before suspending new applications for the payments on April 26.
If your medical biller need assistance posting these payments, 4D Global is here to help. Our data entry team is experienced with payment posting, charge posting and demographic entry.