Many of probably received money from HHS in your bank account or an email saying you will be receiving money from HHS. You may be thinking Santa Claus is confused and thinks April is Christmas. It is real. This is once again part of the massive CARES Act which allows completely forgiven relief funds from HHS. $100 billion was designated for this relief fund and only $30 billion is being distributed at this time. You are eligible if:
- You received Medicare reimbursements in 2019 (excludes Part C Advantage plans), and;
- You are in good standing with CMS, and;
- You attest that you have provided diagnosis, testing or care for individuals with possible or actual COVID-19.
You do nothing to receive these funds. Disbursement of funds is being handled by UnitedHealth Group. If you participate in an auto-deposit program for Medicare reimbursement, the funds will be automatically deposited in your bank account – they are likely already there. If you do not, you will receive a check in the mail within a few weeks.
Funds are based on a formula that considers how much you were reimbursed by CMS is 2019. The funds are accounted to the TIN of the individual provider or group (groups will receive one amount that includes the relief funds for all the providers in the group including employed providers). Providers receiving relief funds will need to agree to the Relief Fund Payment Terms and Conditions (https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/relief-fund-payment-terms-and-conditions-04092020.pdf). This attestation will be made via a HHS portal – details coming on April 13, 2020. You can read more about the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund at https://www.hhs.gov/provider-relief/index.html
If you have direct deposit of reimbursement and have not received funds or if you do not receive a check in a few weeks, you can call 1-877-620-6194. Press one (1) when they start talking and you will be connected to an agent. You will need to provide your tax ID number for an agent to give you the status of your payment.
The next disbursement of funds is designated for Medicare Advantage providers and Medicaid providers. No information is available at this time when that will occur.
Joe W DeLoach, OD, FAAO, Dipl.ABO
CEO, Practice Compliance Solutions