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CMS Suspends Doctors’ Loan Program in Favor of Relief Grants

April 26, 2020, 9:45 PM

Doctors’ offices, clinicians, and medical equipment suppliers now will receive emergency funds through the recent rescue packages approved by Congress rather than a loan program that requires them to repay the money within a year.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Sunday that it won’t accept applications for its Advance Payment Program, which is typically used to address cash flow issues for health providers other than hospitals when there is disruption in claims submission or claims processing. The CMS will continue to accept applications for loans for its companion program for hospitals, the Accelerated Payment Program, but will reevaluate new and pending requests in light of the direct grant payments already available through the agency’s Provider Relief Fund.

Significant additional funding will continue to be available to hospitals and other healthcare providers through programs that don’t require repayments, the CMS said. Congress appropriated $175 billion for health-care providers in the last two aid packages. President Donald Trump signed the most recent bill into law Friday.

The Department of Health and Human Services has already distributed $30 billion to health providers and is in the process of allotting another $20 billion, with more grants anticipated soon.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fawn Johnson in Washington at fjohnson@bloomberglaw.com

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