On Friday, April 10, 2020 the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released their plans to allocate $30 billion in relief funds to Medicare providers. These funds are part of the $100 billion in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.
Payments began arriving, to eligible providers, via direct deposit on, April 10, 2020. Emails with the subject line “CARES Act Provider Relief Fund: Action Required” were sent by HHS . It is important to note that these funds are grants and will not need to be repaid by the providers.
The entire “Terms and Conditions” of the fund document can be found HERE, but the following are some key points:
- All facilities and providers that received Medicare Fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursements in 2019 are eligible for this immediate distribution.
- Payments can be estimated by providers dividing their 2019 Medicare FFS payments by $484 Billion and then multiplying that amount by $30 Billion. This should equal an approximate 6.2% of the providers 2019 FFS payments.
- Payments will be made through the Automated Clearing House information on file with CMS. Payments will come via Optum Bank with “HHSPAYMENT” as the description. If providers usually receive a paper check from CMS then checks will arrive via mail within the next few weeks.
- Providers must sign an attestation within 30 days of receiving payment to confirm receipt of the funds and agreement to the Terms and Conditions of payment. The portal to sign the attestation is expected to be available sometime this week. The link will be available HERE once live. If the provider does not agree to the Terms and Conditions of the payment, they must contact HHS within 30 days of receipt and remit the full payment to HHS.
It should be noted that the relief fund is separate from CMS accelerated and advance payments that are loans a provider must pay back.
Houston Harbaugh will continue to monitor any changes or clarifications to the current relief payments and send updates when available. We will also send an alert when the remaining $70 billion in relief funds have been allocated. In the meantime please contact Jessica Ellel with any questions about the above.