CMS accelerated funds to hospitals and different healthcare suppliers firstly of the COVID-19 pandemic to assist quickly relieve monetary pressure. It is time to start repaying the Medicare loans however that is not attainable for some rural hospitals, in response to NPR.
CMS expanded the Accelerated and Advance Fee Program in late March to assist offset monetary injury brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. CMS introduced April 26 that it was reevaluating pending and new purposes for advance funds as a result of availability of funds underneath the Coronavirus Help, Reduction and Financial Safety Act. As of May, CMS had paid out $100 billion prematurely funds, the majority of which went to hospitals.
Hospitals and different healthcare suppliers are required to start out repaying the Medicare loans this month. Most hospitals may have one yr from the date the primary loan cost was made to repay the loans, in response to Kaiser Household Basis.
Ozarks Neighborhood Hospital, 25-bed vital entry hospital in Gravette, Ark., is among the hospitals that utilized for and accepted the Medicare loans. The hospital additionally acquired grants made out there underneath the CARES Act, which wouldn’t have to be repaid.
CEO Paul Taylor stated Ozarks Neighborhood Hospital’s income continues to be constrained, and he does not know the way it can pay again its $eight million Medicare loan. Funds for brand new Medicare claims shall be offset to repay the loans, however dropping these funds might pressure the hospital to shut, Mr. Taylor informed NPR.
“If I get no reduction they usually take the cash … we cannot nonetheless be open,” he stated.
Ozarks Neighborhood Hospital is one among greater than 850 vital entry hospitals in rural areas that acquired Medicare loans, in response to NPR. Given the shaky monetary footing of many rural hospitals earlier than the pandemic, the pressure of getting Medicare funds withheld may very well be sufficient to pressure others to close down.
Earlier than the pandemic, greater than 600 rural hospitals throughout the U.S. had been weak to closure, in response to an estimate from iVantage Well being Analytics, a agency that compiles a hospital energy index primarily based on information about monetary stability, sufferers and high quality indicators. If the monetary pressures tied to the pandemic pressure any of these hospitals to close down, they’re going to be part of the checklist of 131 rural hospitals which have closed over the previous decade, in response to the Cecil G. Sheps Middle for Well being Providers Analysis.
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Staffing, monetary challenges pressure 2nd closure of Tennessee hospital
Medicare cost guidelines for 2021: 11 notes for hospital execs
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