The federal government will begin issuing expedited Medicare payments to help hospitals cope with the financial stress brought on by treating a surging population of COVID-19 patients.
According to an article by the news website HealthcareDive.com, it was one of several moves by the Trump administration to ease the burden on hospitals, doctors and nurses trying to cope with an unprecedented healthcare emergency.
“The advanced payments can be requested by hospitals, doctors, medical device suppliers or any other Medicare Part A and Part B providers that meet certain qualifications, including not being bankrupt or having outstanding Medicare overpayments,” according to Dive writer Rebecca Pifer.
“Most providers will be able to request up to 100% of their Medicare payment amount for a three-month period, according to Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services,” Pifer stated. “Inpatient acute care hospitals, certain cancer facilities and children’s hospitals will be able to request up to 100% of the amount for half a year, while critical access hospitals can request up to 125% of the payment for half a year.”
The CARES Act, signed by President Donald Trump on Friday, allows CMS to expand which providers qualify for the accelerated traditional fee-for-service Medicare payments and provides about $100 billion for hospitals. CMS last made the advance payments available to providers during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in 2017, Pifer reported.
“With our nation’s healthcare providers on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19, dollars and cents shouldn’t be adding to their worries,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement.