Hospitals face closure as $100B in Medicare loans come due

CMS broadened the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program in late March to help offset financial damage triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. CMS revealed April 26 that it was reassessing pending and brand-new applications for advance payments due to the accessibility of funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. © Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020.

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Before the pandemic, more than 600 rural healthcare facilities across the U.S. were vulnerable to closure, according to a price quote from iVantage Health Analytics, a company that puts together a health center strength index based upon information about monetary stability, clients and quality signs. If the monetary pressures tied to the pandemic force any of those hospitals to shut down, theyll join the list of 131 rural hospitals that have actually closed over the past years, according to the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research..

CEO Paul Taylor said Ozarks Community Hospitals income is still constrained, and he doesnt know how it will pay back its $8 million Medicare loan. Payments for brand-new Medicare claims will be balanced out to repay the loans, but losing those payments might force the hospital to close, Mr. Taylor informed NPR..

Ozarks Community Hospital is one of more than 850 important access hospitals in rural locations that got Medicare loans, according to NPR. Provided the unsteady financial footing of lots of rural medical facilities prior to the pandemic, the pressure of having Medicare payments withheld might be enough to require others to shut down..

Ozarks Community Hospital, 25-bed critical access healthcare facility in Gravette, Ark., is one of the healthcare facilities that looked for and accepted the Medicare loans. The medical facility also received grants made readily available under the CARES Act, which do not have to be paid back..

CMS expanded the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program in late March to assist offset financial damage triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. CMS announced April 26 that it was reassessing pending and new applications for advance payments due to the availability of funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Since May, CMS had paid $100 billion ahead of time payments, the bulk of which went to health centers..

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Health centers and other doctor are needed to start repaying the Medicare loans this month. A lot of healthcare facilities will have one year from the date the first loan payment was made to pay back the loans, according to Kaiser Family Foundation.

” If I get no relief and they take the cash … we wont still be open,” he said..

CMS sped up payments to health centers and other healthcare suppliers at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to help momentarily ease financial stress. Its time to begin paying back the Medicare loans however that isnt possible for some rural healthcare facilities, according to NPR..