Kelly Joins Bipartisan Call to Lower Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program Interest Rates

Apr 16, 2020 Issues: Health Care

Washington, D.C. - Yesterday evening, U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) joined a bipartisan group of members of Congress urging the Trump Administration to expand access to the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program for health care providers. In a letter, they urged the administration to lower the 10.25% interest rate for these loans.

"At a time when our health care providers are re-focusing to fight COVID-19 and sustaining revenue losses, advanced payments through Medicare help meet operating costs," said Kelly. "Unfortunately, the cost to access advance payments is too high, so I was proud to join my colleagues in urging HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma to use their existing authority to lower the 10.25% interest rate, which will help our doctors and nurses care for patients now and after this crisis passes.” 

Read the letter here

Background

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorized the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to expand the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program. That program offers hospitals and other health care providers emergency upfront Medicare payments to help them survive financial distress.

CMS begins offsetting the payment against future claims after four months. Hospitals are allowed one year to pay back advanced payments, and other health care providers have 210 days. If providers do not meet those deadlines, they are charged 10.25% in interest. Rep. Kelly and his colleagues are asking CMS and HHS to reduce the interest rate because it may be difficult for medical providers to pay back these advanced payments in those time frames given the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

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