At a White House press briefing on April 7, CMS Administrator, Seema Verma, announced that $30 billion of $100 billion in CARES Act funding designated for healthcare providers would be distributed this week. The announcement appears to revise a provision in the CARES Act, Title VIII of Division B, which designates the HHS Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund as the vehicle for distribution of these funds, via an “applications” process “on a rolling basis.” As of the time of this posting, further guidance or regulations pertaining to this section of the Act or the announcement had not been posted. Changes announced by the CMS Administrator include:
- $30 billion of the $100 billion appropriated will be pushed out this week via direct deposit by to eligible healthcare providers, using a Medicare-based formula.
- There is no application process for this first “tranche” of grant money.
- A second tranche will be distributed to other providers soon, those that may not have significant Medicare revenue, g., pediatric groups, OBGYNs, children’s hospitals, nursing homes, etc. Many of these depend on Medicaid and other funding sources.
- According to Verma, this is a new distribution plan that was recently developed at the President’s direction.
- This should not be confused with the Accelerated Medicare Payments program, announced recently by CMS as an advance on future Medicare receipts.
The Administrator’s comments on this change can be found in this video of the briefing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnsEPsqZfLI. Butler Snow’s Health Law Practice Group is monitoring these developments and will provide updated information as it becomes available.