Within the past week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an expansion of the accelerated and advance payments program for providers and suppliers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To increase cash flow to providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS has expanded the current Accelerated and Advance Payment Program to a broader group of Medicare Part A providers and Part B suppliers. The expansion of this program is only temporary and will last throughout the duration of the pandemic.

What is an accelerated or advance payment from CMS? An accelerated or advance payment is a payment intended to provide necessary funds when there is a disruption in claims submission or claims processing. 

CMS is authorized to provide accelerated or advanced payments during the period of a public health emergency to any Medicare provider or supplier who submits a request to their Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) and meets the required qualifications.

To qualify to be eligible for for advanced or accelerated payments the provider or supplier must:

  • Have billed Medicare for claims within 180 days prior to the date of signature on the provider’s or supplier’s request form.
  • Not be in bankruptcy.
  • Not be under active medical review or program integrity investigation.
  • Not have any outstanding delinquent Medicare overpayments.

Qualified providers or suppliers will be asked to request a specific amount using an Accelerated or Advance Payment Request form provided on their respective MAC’s website. 

Most providers and suppliers will be allowed to request up to 100% of a three-month period Medicare payment amount. Inpatient acute care hospitals, children’s hospitals, and certain cancer hospitals can request up to 100% of a six-month period Medicare payment amount. Critical access hospitals can request up to 125% of a six-month period Medicare payment amount. The respective MAC will work to review and issue payments within seven calendar days of receiving the request from the qualified provider or supplier.

To learn more about CMS’ Accelerated or Advance Payment Request, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/Accelerated-and-Advanced-Payments-Fact-Sheet.pdf