CMS suspends emergency loan program

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The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said that it is reevaluating payments made through its Accelerated Payment Program and immediately suspending its Advance Payment Program for Part B suppliers.

The programs provide temporary loans during emergencies to cover claims processing and other expenses. The CMS had expanded them in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and since March 28 paid out $59.6 billion to Part A providers, which include hospitals, and $40.4 billion to Part B suppliers include doctors, nonphysician practitioners, and medical equipment suppliers.

"Beginning today, CMS will not be accepting any new applications for the Advance Payment Program, and CMS will be re-evaluating all pending and new applications for Accelerated Payments in light of historical direct payments made available through the Department of Health & Human Services' (HHS) Provider Relief Fund," the CMS explained in a statement on April 26.

Aid for healthcare providers will still be available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.

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