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Will CMS delay APP loan repayment deadlines?

The United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has set a deadline for providers to begin repaying Accelerated and Advanced Payment Program (APP) loans provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In most cases, the repayment period was set to begin 120 days after the organization received payment. Unfortunately, many medical establishments continue to struggle to meet financial obligations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

How has the coronavirus impacted physician group and medical facilities bottom line?

Thus far, many health care facilities have reported lower than expected numbers during the first and second quarters of 2020. According to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), medical group practices continue to report patient volume and revenue at nearly 25% lower compared to the same time last year. This, in connection to increased expenses due to the need for additional personal protective equipment, has led to financial strain.

Are there options to help medical practices?

Due to this increased financial strain, the MGMA has requested the CMS extend its repayment deadline. Instead of expecting repayment to begin 120 days after receipt, the MGMA has officially requested the CMS postpone collection until 365 days after receipt of the loan. Additional requests include:

  • Waive interest payments. The CMS currently begins charging loan holders interest on payments during the extended payment period. The MGMA has requested the organization waive these additional charges.
  • Give physicians more time to repay their loans. MGMA has also requested that the organization extend the repayment deadline for physicians to at least two years after the date of receipt.

Thus far, the organization is taking the request into consideration. If it fails, there is still hope. Lawmakers are currently taking legislative options into consideration that would offer additional relief.

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