HHS Stimulus Payment
If you have received the HHS Stimulus Payment (approximately 4/10/20 for most providers) be aware of the requirement to visit the portal pursuant to the instructions you received and make your attestation. Before attesting, please contact Practicefirst if you would like us to provide you with your 2019 Medicare fee-for-service revenue for your records.
Also, HHS distributing additional $20 billion in Provider Relief Funds; application portal now open. Distributed from MGMA (at the end of this description please find links to instructions, portal access and FAQ’s) The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it is delivering a second tranche of $20 billion from the Provider Relief Fund to healthcare providers impacted by COVID-19. The general distribution application portal is open for certain healthcare providers to apply for access to these funds. On April 26th, HHS also released FAQs that group practices can review for more information. Overview: HHS allocated $50 billion of the Provider Relief Fund for general distribution to Medicare-enrolled providers. • Of this $50 billion, an initial $30 billion was distributed between April 10th and April 17th; payments were delivered automatically to providers based on their portion of 2019 Medicare fee-for-service revenue.
Eligibility for $20 billion: Any group who has already received a payment from the Provider Relief Fund as of April 24th is eligible to receive additional funds under the second tranche. This will be based on a provider’s portion of total estimated 2018 revenue. A portion of providers will automatically be sent a payment based off cost report data submitted to CMS. Providers without adequate cost report data on file are and will still be eligible to access a portion of the $20 billion but will need to submit revenue information through the general distribution portal. Per Practicefirst, to determine your estimated 2018 revenue, please access your gross revenue number from your tax return for 2018. • Providers who have not received any funding through the Provider Relief Fund as of April 24th are not eligible to use the portal, inferring they are not able to receive funding from the general distribution fund at this time. HHS notes that providers who have not received any Provider Relief Funds yet may still be eligible for payments from the Fund through other mechanisms, including Targeted Distributions.
• Given HHS' reliance on Medicare billing information, MGMA is strongly urging HHS to provide targeted relief to group practices not represented in existing distributions, such as pediatric and OB/GYN specialty groups. Timing: Funds will NOT be disbursed on a first-come-first-served basis. HHS has specified that an applicant will be given equal consideration regardless of when they apply; however, practices should consider applying sooner rather than later. HHS is processing applications in batches every Wednesday at 12:00 noon EST. HHS intends to distribute additional funds within 10 business days of submission for groups that are submitting revenue info through the application portal. Impact on Advanced Payment Program: On April 26th, CMS announced it is reevaluating the amounts that will be paid under its Accelerated Payment Program and suspending the program effective immediately. CMS indicates that funding “will continue to be available to hospitals and other healthcare providers on the front lines” primarily through the Provider Relief Fund.
If you intend to apply through the above link, you will need your Medicare/Medicaid ID number. Please contact Practicefirst for that information.
What can payments be used for?
As required by the terms and conditions, all payments may only be used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, and that the Payment shall reimburse the Recipient only for health care related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus. If a recipient does not have lost revenues or increased expenses due to COVID-19 equal to the amount received a recipient must return the funds.
How will payments be distributed? Funds are being distributed by the Health Resources Service Admin (HRSA) and UnitedHealth Group is processing the payments to eligible providers. All relief payments are made to provider billing organizations based on their Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs). Each organization’s payment will be delivered via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) to the Medicare routing number and account number that provider has on file with HHS. The automatic payments will come via Optum Bank with “HHSPAYMENT” as the payment description. Payments will be sent to the group’s central billing office.
What action should recipients take?
Providers that receive an automatic payment:
Within 30 days of receiving the payment, each recipient must sign an attestation at https://covid19.linkhealth.com/#/step/1 confirming receipt of the funds and agreeing to the terms and conditions of payment.
Following attestation, the recipient will be guided to a portal experience to confirm any payments and submit its revenue information. Should the recipient choose to decline the funds, it must also complete the attestation to so indicate. Not returning the payment within 30 days of receipt will be viewed as acceptance of the Terms and Conditions.
Providers that do not receive an automatic payment:
Providers that do not receive an automatic payment should go to the Provider Relief portal link from the hhs.gov/providerrelief and follow the instructions provided on how to claim the second general distribution.
The portal will be available beginning 5:00 p.m. ET, Friday, April 24. Remember, a facility or provider must have a Medicare billing TIN in order to qualify for this payment.
Whom can recipients contact for more information?
For additional information, recipients should visit hhs.gov/providerrelief or call the CARES Provider Relief line at (866) 569-3522.