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Here’s What Healthcare Providers Need to Know About the Stimulus Package

The stimulus package contains major changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and billing, and healthcare providers may qualify for other assistance in the Act. Understanding and planning for these changes will be crucial – meet with advisors, attorneys, and CPAs. 

From the historic $2 trillion CARES Act passed in March 2020, healthcare providers have received a sizable financial relief including a $175 billion Provider Relief Fund (PRF), temporary increases to Medicare payments for COVID-19 hospitalizations as well as advanced Medicare reimbursements if needed. The new stimulus package under the Consolidated Appropriations Act recently signed into law on December 27, 2020 contains multiple provisions and provides additional financial support to the healthcare industry. 

Among many changes, some that will greatly affect healthcare providers include but are not limited to an additional $3 billion in PRF funds, clarification on the definition of lost revenue for previously allocated PRF funds and calculation of lost revenues, flexibility for transfer of funds within a health system, a three-month extension of the 2% Medicare sequester relief, extension of Medicare, Medicaid and public health programs, and provisions barring surprising billing and establishing new transparency requirements. These changes warrant review and consideration from healthcare providers to ensure that they are in compliance with the new statutory change. Note that the first reporting deadline for all providers on use of PRF funds is still scheduled for February 15, 2021. 

The Consolidated Appropriations Act is 5593 pages long and contains a great amount of information. In this report, we begin with five key actions that healthcare providers can begin taking now (among other things that providers should do to comply with the new law and regulations). Then we take a more in-depth look at some of the changes that may primarily affect healthcare providers and a brief look at other relief opportunities. For a more comprehensive analysis of the bill’s effect on all businesses, see our previous reportWe encourage clients to contact us now to set up tax and business planning meetings in the coming days. 

This is not an exhaustive list and should not be taken as legal advice. Please monitor emails from Ryan & Wetmore as we will continue to provide relevant updates. Click here to view the text of the bill or here to view the summary of health provisions from the American Hospital Association. 

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