As Part of the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund, $50 billion has been allocated to Medicare facilities and providers impacted by COVID-19. The funds are being distributed directly to Medicare providers in order to help offset reduced revenue and additional healthcare related expenses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This $50B is being distributed expediently as follows:
- $26 billion being distributed to Medicare providers on April 10
- $4 billion being distributed to Medicare providers on April 17
- $20 billion is expected to begin being distributed to Medicare providers on April 24
The payments are being sent out to Medicare providers via Optum Bank and are labelled “US HHS Stimulus” or “HHSPAYMENT”. If a provider normally receives payment electronically, this payment will come to the provider electronically. For providers that receive Medicare reimbursements via written check, a check will be mailed to those providers. These payments are not loans and do not need to be repaid. Payments to providers are being sent based upon the provider TIN billed to Medicare. Physicians that work for a group practice or hospital will not receive this stimulus payment as the payment will go to the hospital or group practice that billed Medicare using the hospital or group practice TIN. Sole Practitioners will receive payments directly assuming such providers billed Medicare directly under their own TIN.
Payments for the initial $30 billion distributed over the past two weeks were determined based upon the following calculation. $30B multiplied by the ratio of the individual provider’s 2019 Medicare FFS/$484B. $30B is the amount being distributed to providers and $484B is the approximate amount of total Medicare FFS payments in 2019. Thus, each provider’s share of the $30B is based upon the individual provider’s share of the total amount of Medicare FFS payments in 2019.
Providers should be aware that receipt of the funds is conditional. Relief Fund Terms and Conditions can be found at the following link:
In order to keep the funds, as stated on the HHS.gov website “Within 30 days of receiving the payment, providers must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agreeing to the terms and conditions of payment.” Below is a link to the Payment Portal which includes the attestation process to accept or reject the funds:
Providers that do not wish to comply with the Terms and Conditions must return the payment received back to the Department of Health and Human Services within the 30 days of receipt.