As part of $30 billion in relief funding approved under the CARES ACT, Medicare providers and facilities began receiving a direct deposit stimulus payments from the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday.
- The amount will be roughly one month of Medicare payments.
- The deposit into your bank account should appear as follows: US HHS Stimulus HHSPAYMENT.
- It will not have to be paid back if you sign an attestation confirming receipt agree to the terms and conditions of acceptance.
- Providers that do not have a high volume of Medicare (pediatricians, OB GYN, etc) will be part of the second waive of payments.
- All facilities and providers that received Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements in 2019 are eligible for the distribution.
Within 30 days of receiving the payment, you must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agreeing to the conditions of payment. While CMS Administrator Sema Verma initially described the payments as a “no-strings-attached” grant to keep providers afloat during the COVID-19 public health emergency, there have since been some questions raised regarding how exactly the money can be spent.
Specifically, a notice issued to recipients states the money can only be used “to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, and shall reimburse the Recipient only for health care related expenses or revenues that are attributable to coronavirus.” While our current interpretation is that this would allow the money to be used to cover most expenses impacted in any way by the COVID-19 emergency, we’re still seeking additional clarification at this time.
One key condition to receiving these funds stipulates providers must not to seek collection of out-of-pocket payments from a COVID-19 patient that are greater than what the patient would have otherwise been required to pay if the care had been provided by an in-network provider. In other words, surprise billing these patients is completely off the table if you accept this money, regardless of current state laws.
View the full list of terms and conditions:
Not returning the payment within 30 days of receipt will be viewed as acceptance of the Terms and Conditions. If a provider receives payment and does not wish to comply with these Terms and Conditions, the provider must do the following: contact HHS within 30 days of receipt of payment and then remit the full payment to HHS as instructed. Appropriate contact information will be provided soon.
If you have not received the funds as of yet, please look at how your Medicare monies are distributed to you. If you have a lockbox that is owned by the biller, they may need to confirm receipt of funds. If you receive paper checks, you will receive a paper check in the mail in the next few weeks.
We will continue to provide guidance on this issue as it becomes available. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact us directly for a free consultation.
Please note: we are a third-party consulting firm that has assisted our current clients in navigating this issue and are now offering free consultations regarding the subject (how to determine whether you’re eligible, what liabilities you may face from accepting this payment, etc). We are not affiliated with HHS or the federal government in any capacity.