HSC MEDICAL BILLING
CORONAVIRUS 
C OMMUNICATION  

June 11, 2020
Edition # 9
HHS Announces New Provider Relief Fund Distribution to Medicaid and CHIP Providers and Safety Net Hospitals
 
Yesterday (June 9, 2020) the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new distribution from its Provider Relief Fund that was established with funding from the CARES Act. HHS is distributing $25 billion in total with $15 billion allocated for Medicaid and CHIP providers who did not receive general allocation funding and $10 billion for safety net hospitals.

Medicaid and CHIP Providers

Clinicians who participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs and/or Medicaid and CHIP managed care organizations who have not yet received any funding from the Provider Relief Fund's General Allocation are eligible for this distribution. According to HHS, 38 percent of Medicaid and CHIP providers are eligible for this funding.

Clinicians must submit their annual patient revenue information to the enhanced Provider Relief Fund Portal to receive a distribution equal to at least 2 percent of reported gross revenues from patient care.

This funding will supply relief to Medicaid and CHIP providers experiencing lost revenues or increased expenses due to COVID-19. Examples of providers, serving Medicaid/CHIP beneficiaries, possibly eligible for this funding include pediatricians, obstetrician-gynecologists, dentists, opioid treatment and behavioral health providers, assisted living facilities and other home and community-based services providers.

More information about eligibility and the application process is available at  CARES Act Provider Relief Fund General Information Page.

Please contact Brenda Wallace, CPA, CMPE, CEO at bwallace@hsccpa.com  for more information.
PPP Loan Forgiveness Changes Coming
 
The U.S. Senate passed the House version of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) legislation Wednesday night, tripling the time allotted for small businesses and other PPP loan recipients to spend the funds and still qualify for forgiveness of the loans.
 
The bill passed in a unanimous voice vote hours after Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson initially blocked it. Among the key provisions is a change in the threshold for the amount of PPP funds required to be spent on payroll costs to qualify for forgiveness to 60% of the loan amount. 
 
The Senate approval sends the House bill, called the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.
 
Following is a summary of the legislation's main points compiled by the AICPA: 
  • PPP borrowers can choose to extend the eight-week period to 24 weeks, or they can keep the original eight-week period. This flexibility is designed to make it easier for more borrowers to reach full, or almost full, forgiveness.
  • The payroll expenditure requirement drops to 60% from 75% but is now a cliff, meaning that borrowers must spend at least 60% on payroll or none of the loan will be forgiven. Currently, a borrower is required to reduce the amount eligible for forgiveness if less than 75% of eligible funds are used for payroll costs, but forgiveness isn't eliminated if the 75% threshold isn't met.   
  • Borrowers can use the 24-week period to restore their workforce levels and wages to the pre-pandemic levels required for full forgiveness. This must be done by December 31, a change from the previous deadline of June 30.
  • The legislation includes two new exceptions allowing borrowers to achieve full PPP loan forgiveness even if they don't fully restore their workforce. Previous guidance already allowed borrowers to exclude from those calculations employees who turned down good faith offers to be rehired at the same hours and wages as before the pandemic. The new bill allows borrowers to adjust because they could not find qualified employees or were unable to restore business operations to Feb. 15, 2020, levels due to COVID-19 related operating restrictions.
  • Borrowers now have five years to repay the loan instead of two. The interest rate remains at 1%.
  • Borrowers can now defer the employer's share of FICA payroll taxes for two years. Half of the payroll taxes will be due in 2021, with the rest due in 2022.
We expect many clarifications and changes to the application form to be made by the SBA and US Treasury in the following weeks.
 
Adapted from article o riginally published by Jeff Drew, Senior Editor, JofA.

Please contact Brenda Wallace, CPA, CMPE, CEO at bwallace@hsccpa.com  for more information.
4 Million Surgeries Canceled Due to COVID-19
 
Facilities are ramping up efforts to chip away at the backlog of cases

Elective procedures were put on hold in March when the Coronavirus began to spread across the country. A study recently published in the British Journal of Surgery provides a clearer idea of the size and scope of the shutdown.

Researchers with CovidSurg Collaborative pulled data from 359 responding hospitals in 71 countries to estimate 12-week cancellation rates, which they used to estimate the total number of canceled surgeries in each country. More than 4 million operations were called off in the U.S. and more than 28.4 million were postponed worldwide during the peak 12 weeks of the pandemic, according to the study.

Click here for full article written by Joe Paone on June 11, 2020 in Outpatient Surgery. 

Please contact Brenda Wallace, CPA, CMPE, CEO at bwallace@hsccpa.com  for more information.
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