The AHA and other national hospital organizations today urged the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to make improvements to the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs.

These include lowering the interest rate on such payments (currently 9.625%), increasing the length of the repayment period and allocating the funds from general revenues rather than from the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund.

“Such improvements are necessary to ensure that a program designed to address hospitals’ and other health care providers’ cash-flow issues associated with responding to COVID-19 does not inadvertently exacerbate these issues once the repayment period begins,” the organizations said in a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma. They noted that the agencies already have significant regulatory and statutory authority to make changes to the program.

In addition to the AHA, the letter was signed by America’s Essential Hospitals, the Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Federation of American Hospitals, National Association for Behavioral Healthcare, Premier healthcare alliance, and Vizient Inc.

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