Medicare Announces Expanded Payment Program for Healthcare Providers

Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a significant expansion of its accelerated and advanced payment program for healthcare providers serving Medicare beneficiaries. The announcement comes as the COVID-19 pandemic places unprecedented stress on countless provider communities across the country, including physical therapists.

The expansion, which includes changes from the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, will provide emergency funding to eligible providers based on their typical rate of payment before the onset of the present national emergency. While the advanced payment program is typically reserved for natural disasters and other similar events, the unprecedented nature of the present health crisis has led CMS to take this extraordinary step.

We applaud the administration’s action, which recognizes the important role physical therapists play in America’s healthcare system and the need to support providers during this difficult time. While more must be done to ensure Medicare patients can continue receiving the physical therapy care they need, this is a significant step toward protecting the health care professionals providing important care.

To receive an advanced payment, the provider must:

  • Have billed Medicare for claims within 180 days immediately prior to the date of signature on the provider’s/ supplier’s request form,
  • Not be in bankruptcy,
  • Not be under active medical review or program integrity investigation, and
  • Not have any outstanding delinquent Medicare overpayments.

CMS has developed a fact sheet on the payment process and how to submit a request. Click here to learn more.