Covid-19 News You Can USe

Cares Act

April 27, 2020

CARES Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal is Now Open

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced additional plans for distributing funds from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund and stated that $50 billion would be a “General Distribution” based proportionately on the provider’s 2018 net patient revenue. HHS would like the “General Distribution” to replace a percentage of a provider’s annual gross receipts, sales, or program service revenue.

Of that $50 billion, $30 billion has already been distributed to providers, and approximately $10 billion was scheduled to be released on April 24 to providers who have already shared key data with HHS. For those that received funds from the initial $30 billion and would like to receive additional funds, you must sign into the General Distribution Portal to provide revenue data. Providers must attest to each payment associated with their billing Taxpayer Identification Number(s) if they have not already done so. Providers will also need to attest to the Terms and Conditions for the first $30 billion, if not done already. At this time, this portal is only for organizations that have already received payments through the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. Initially some states and specialties thought that physicians must also submit cost reports, but HHS has verified this is not the case. Physicians, however, do need to submit their revenue information so that it can be verified through the portal.

HHS has released a user guide to assist with this data submission process. One key element of the cost reporting is information from your tax returns. In addition, you will need your W-9 and Medicare or Medicaid ID number.

HHS will use this data to calculate your proportional 2018 net revenue and provide such funds via electronic deposit, with the goal of such deposit within 10 business days of the submission. Payments will go out weekly, on a rolling basis, as information is validated. HHS has stated that they will be processing applications in batches every Wednesday at 12:00 noon EDT. Funds will NOT be disbursed on a first-come-first-served basis; therefore, an applicant will be given equal consideration regardless of when they apply.

The total funds being provided in this round will consider any funds the provider previously received as part of the $30 billion distribution. Subsequent to the funds being deposited, within 30 days of receipt of the funds, a provider is requested to log onto the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund attestation portal to confirm receipt and agree to the Terms and Conditions. (Note: These Terms and Conditions are NOT identical to those for the $30 billion distribution.)

If a provider meets certain Terms and Conditions, the payments received do not need to be repaid. These Terms and Conditions can be found here.

For more information, please visit here or call the CARES Provider Relief line at (866) 569-3522.

The AMA has put together guidance to help physicians pull together the information they need to submit to the portal. Also, here is additional information from HHSregarding the distribution.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) posted new Frequently Asked Questions regarding this second round of disbursements. Please note there is conflicting information about whether a provider who hasn’t previously received money from the first round of funding can apply for this round. The medical community is working to get clarification on this and other questions with HHS.

April 16, 2020

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act - Key Physician - Related Provisions

ASCRS and the surgical community lobbied for specific provisions included within the CARES Act that provides relief for ASCRS members and their practices. The key physician-related provisions are highlighted in the ASCRS/ASOA Phase III document.

In addition, the congressional staff prepared an FAQ document on the CARES Act.

April 16, 2020

Provider Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal Now Open

The CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal is now open. Providers who have been allocated a payment from the initial $30 billion general distribution must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agree to the terms and conditions within 30 days of payment.

The portal has a variety of steps, including confirmation of eligibility, billing TINs, verifying payment information, attestations (likely related to the Terms and Conditions), and confirmation.

As a reminder, HHS' payment of this first round of payments is conditioned on the healthcare provider's acceptance of the Terms and Conditions, which acceptance must occur within 30 days of receipt of payment. Not returning the payment within 30 days of receipt will be viewed as acceptance of the Terms and Conditions. The portal will guide providers through the attestation process to accept or reject the funds.

April 16, 2020

Verifying Eligibility for Payment and Contact Information

Since last Friday when HHS announced it would begin disbursing the first $30 million of the emergency fund created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to physicians and other providers via direct payment, there have been questions about how to verify eligibility for payment and who to contact when a physician believes they are eligible but did not receive a payment. HHS partnered with UnitedHealth Group (UHG) to deliver the stimulus payments, and physicians should contact UHG’s Provider Relations at 866-569-3522 about eligibility, whether a payment has been issued, and where it was sent. Note, if a physician or practice did not already set up direct deposit through CMS or UHG’s Optum Pay, they will receive a check at a later date. Practices that would like to set up direct deposit now can call the UHG Provider Relations number.

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