Relaxed Medicare Repayment Terms Ease the Burden on Healthcare Providers
President Donald Trump on Sept. 30 signed a short-term spending bill that funds the government through Dec. 11 and relaxes the repayment terms for Medicare loans hospitals received earlier this year.
Below are the details on six key healthcare provisions in the CR for providers:
Revises the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment (AAP) Program.
The CR allows providers (a) to extend repayment for a full year before recoupment of the AAP payment begins, and (b) to limit claim offsets to 25 percent of the full Medicare payment for 11 months followed by six months with claim offsets limited to 50 percent of the full amount.
This change effectively provides a full 29 months to repay the AAP amount in full.
Delays Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Reductions.
The CR delays until Dec. 11, 2020, scheduled Medicaid payment reductions for DSH hospitals.
Extends Health Center and Workforce Funding.
The CR extends funding for Community Health Centers, National Health Service Corps and the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program through Dec. 11, 2020.
Clarifies Medicaid Drug Rebate Program for Medication-Assisted Treatment.
The CR clarifies that any drugs and biologicals used for medication-assisted treatment will continue to be eligible for rebates under the Medicaid program.
Maintains Medicare Reimbursement for Rural Providers.
Medicare reimbursement for physicians and other providers includes three geographic adjustments. The CR extends a “floor” for such adjustment at 1.0 until Dec. 12, 2020.
Provides for Additional Medicaid Extensions.
he CR also extends three CARES Act provisions changing the Medicaid program.
Specifically the CR further extends two Medicaid demonstration programs — the Medicaid Money Follows the Person demonstration project and the Medicaid Community Mental Health Services demonstration — as well as the Medicaid spousal impoverishment protections program.
The CR gives healthcare providers participating in federal programs some flexibility in repayment timelines for amounts received from CMS as part of the AAP program, including both a delayed start for repayments and a longer period to repay the full sum.
This reflects the ongoing and long-term nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, which may impact future funding bills.
Similarly, the CR extends certain Medicare and Medicaid provisions until December.
Congress will return after the election to determine how lawmakers will address funding the government beyond Dec. 11, 2020.