The AHA today asked the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to directly and expediently distribute to rural and urban hospitals and health systems funds from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund that were designated for providers in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
The CARES Act increased funding for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund by $100 billion in order to reimburse eligible health care providers for health care-related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to COVID-19. AHA said that in past, relatively similar situations, Medicare Administrative Contractors have been used to pay claims and distribute monies directly to providers for purposes other than Medicare payment.
“We believe that again using the MACs to process applications and make payments either to individual hospitals or to a health system for all of its hospitals is appropriate,” AHA wrote. However, “we recognize that standing up a process for the MACs over time to directly distribute funds based on hospital applications is not an easy or quick task.” Therefore, the AHA asked HHS and CMS to direct the MACs to immediately distribute funds to every hospital in the U.S.
Read the full letter for more details on how AHA proposed that HHS and CMS distribute the funds to hospitals and health systems, as well as the types of costs and lost revenue that should be eligible for funds.