CRITICAL CARES ACT PAYMENTS TO LOUISIANA HOSPITALS AND MEDICARE PROVIDERS WILL STOP AT END OF MONTH; REPAYMENT COMING DUE UNLESS CONGRESS ACTS
In order to increase cash flow to providers of services and suppliers impacted by the 2019 COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded its Accelerated and Advance Payment Program (MAAPP) to Medicare Part A providers and Part B suppliers. This was part of the CARES Act passed by Congress.
An accelerated/advance payment is intended to provide necessary funds when there is a disruption in claims submission and/or claims processing. These ‘loans’ become due August 1 while hospitals in Louisiana are still flooded with COVID-19 patients, still cancelling elective surgeries, and in some instances forced to reduce staff due to escalating costs associated with purchasing new equipment and other resources to deal with the pandemic.
Louisiana Medicare Part A Providers are Hospitals, Skilled Nursing Facilities; Part B Providers are Doctors, Durable Medical Equipment suppliers, and others. Louisiana Part A and Part B Providers received $1.5 billion under this program, made available on May 2.
The first round of these payments, or about half the award, is coming due even while hospitals report massive revenue losses, and the rest of the payments will expire in about two weeks, just as Louisiana needs continued access to the funds.
Oschner said its healthcare system, which sees about $4 billion in revenue yearly, predicted 2020 revenue losses would fall in the $350 million to $500 million range. LCMC Chief Executive Officer Greg Feirn predicted revenue loss of about $100 million between March, April and May, excluding money spent on equipment and additional workers during the hospital’s surge. Tulane Medical Center, which is majority-owned by health care giant HCA Health Care, received $26.4 million from the federal payout for hospitals in hotspots, but hospital spokesperson Sarah Balyeat said it represents just a fraction of anticipated lost revenue and increased expenses.
Contact Dr. Bill. Cassidy, U.S. Senator from Louisiana, to get an update on what Congress is doing to resolve this issue before the August recess.
Hospital associations are asking Congress to push back the draw down deadline and repayment schedule of the MAAPP loans and lower the payback interest rate from 10 to one percent. If Congress does not resolve the issue, Louisiana stands to lose access to more than half a billion dollars in needed hospital assistance.
Local spokespersons on this issue: Contact C. Brylski/D. Johnson (504) 897-6110 or
Federation of American Hospitals members:
Rural providers: Howard Castay, Board Member, Teche Action Clinics/Morgan City, firstname.lastname@example.org