As a part of the new federal stimulus law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), $50 billion of a $100 billion provider relief fund is allocated to be distributed to eligible Medicare hospitals and health care providers to offset lost revenues and increased costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
$30 billion was directly deposited or sent via check to providers between April 10 and April 17. Payments were calculated based on providers’ portion of Medicare fee-for-service revenue. Solo practitioners received payment under the tax identification number used to bill Medicare. Psychologists employed in group practices or by facilities did not receive direct individual payment. The organization billing Medicare should have received those relief payments.
These funds are not loans, so psychologists who receive these funds are not expected to repay this money if certain terms and conditions are met.
Medicare providers who have already received a payment from the provider relief fund are now eligible to apply for additional funds by submitting data about their annual revenues and estimated COVID-19-related losses via the Provider Relief Fund Application Portal.
These payments should not be confused with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Accelerated and Advance Payment Program loan funding for health care providers that requires repayment. On April 26, CMS announced that it is discontinuing this program. An updated fact sheet describing the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program (PDF, 148KB) is available on the CMS website.
For more information about the provider relief fund, including associated terms and conditions, and how distribution of the payments is being determined, please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.