Following Congress' allocation of an additional $75 billion in COVID-19 provider relief grants, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Sunday suspended advance payments to Medicare Part B suppliers and will reevaluate new and existing applications for Medicare accelerated payments to Part A providers.
President Donald Trump on Friday signed Congress' latest COVID-19 relief bill, which includes an additional $75 billion for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act's $100 billion grant fund for providers and suppliers.
"CMS will be reevaluating all pending and new applications for Accelerated Payments in light of historical direct payments made available through the Department of Health & Human Services' Provider Relief Fund," the agency said in a statement.
Since the CMS expanded its temporary loan programs on March 28, the agency said it has given out nearly $60 billion to more than 21,000 in accelerated payments to Medicare Part A providers and $40.4 billion in advance payments to nearly 24,000 Part B suppliers.
Providers are petitioning Congress, the Treasury Department, HHS and CMS to lower the interest rates for the accelerated payments. The CMS begins recouping the loans 120 days after they are issued. If providers haven't repaid the loan after a year for most hospitals, the loan is be subject to a 10.25% interest rate. There is a 30-day grace period before interest starts to accrue.
HHS has not yet announced how it plans to allocate the new $75 billion in grant money from Congress.