CMS has doled out nearly $34B in advance, accelerated payments to providers to combat COVID-19

The Trump administration delivered nearly $34 billion in advance and accelerated payments to providers over the past week as more and more health systems furlough workers.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Tuesday that it has reduced the processing time for such payments to four to six days as opposed to the earlier time frame of three to four weeks. The delivery of payments comes as providers have had to furlough workers as revenues dwindle.

“In a little over a week, CMS has received over 25,000 requests from healthcare providers and supplies for accelerated and advance payments and have already approved over 17,000 of those requests in the last week,” CMS said in a release.

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Prior to COVID-19, the agency had only approved a little over 100 of such requests.

The payments are available to Medicare Part A providers such as hospitals and suppliers in Part B such as doctors and durable medical equipment suppliers.

“While most of these providers and suppliers can receive three months of their Medicare reimbursements, certain providers can receive up to six months,” the agency said.

CMS noted that the funding for the accelerated and advance payments is separate from the $100 billion in funds passed as part of the economic stimulus package.