Despite being in the midst of a global pandemic, Congress and the Administration have thus far neglected to adjust the terms of repayment for the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs, and now providers – and the patients they serve – may be at risk.

Beginning around August 1, many hospitals and health care providers across the country were scheduled to stop receiving compensation from the Medicare fee-for-service program for the treatments they are currently providing to patients.

Time has run out!

Current repayment terms mean hospitals lose an average of approximately 25% of their total payments – a devastating blow that could affect their ability to keep their doors open and continue caring for patients. During an unprecedented health and financial crisis, now is not the time for Congress to abandon frontline heroes.

A full list of hospitals and providers participating in the programs as of May 2nd is available to download from CMS here.

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Fixing Medicare Accelerated & Advance Payment Programs Critical to Patient Care Across America

“Hospitals are now on borrowed time. Every day of inaction creates more uncertainty for our patients and our caregivers - jeopardizing patient access to care.” - Chip Kahn, FAH President and CEO

The Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs’ loans saved hospitals during the COVID-19 shutdown, but now the shortsighted, rigid repayment terms are colliding with the on-going impact of the pandemic.

Frontline facilities and care providers coast to coast have passed the point of no return. Many must pay off the loans right now or have their Medicare fee-for-service payments zeroed out until it is. This will have devastating effects on patient care.

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FAH/FTI Consulting Issue Brief

Hospitals on the Front Line as COVID-19 Surges, Medicare Payments Withheld

The Federation of American Hospitals, in conjunction with FTI Consulting, today released an updated issue brief on the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs (MAAPP) and its impact on the perilous financial situations of hospitals, particularly in rural communities, as they continue fighting on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals are now required to begin repaying the borrowed funds, even as cases and hospitalizations are peaking in many parts of the country. It is critical to reexamine the repayment terms of this program – immediately – to ensure that hospitals remain financially viable and can provide the high-quality care that their communities deserve. This brief is a part of a larger effort by the Federation of American Hospitals to educate policymakers on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to hospital care in the United States.

Podcast

Listen: Expert Discussion on COVID-19 Impact on Patient Care

New Reality: Keeping Hospitals in Communities after COVID-19 with Professor J.B. Silvers

Health finance expert J.B. Silvers joined FAH President and CEO, Chip Kahn, to discuss his nationally published op-ed in which he compared the situation hospitals and health systems are facing due to COVID-19 to that of banks during the 2008 financial crisis. J.B., who is a professor of banking and finance at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, says the health care system may look much different after the pandemic, and he offers a look at what the new normal might be.

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Ask Congress/CMS Checklist

  • Extend the start of repayment of the loans from 120 days to at least 12 months

  • Reduce the amount of repayment taken from each Medicare claim during repayment from 100% to 25%

  • Extend the repayment period from 12 months for hospitals (or 210 days for other providers) to a minimum of 36 months before providers must pay the outstanding balance and before interest begins to accrue

  • Waive the interest rate or at least limit it to no more than 1 percent

  • Resume the program, which was paused on April 27

  • Increase the amount that can be advanced to hospitals from three or six months of Medicare payments to 12 months of Medicare payments

  • Allocate the funds from general Treasury revenues rather than from the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund

  • Authorize loan forgiveness in cases of extreme hardship