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AANS/CNS Featured in MedPage Today Article About COVID-19 Relief

Katie O. Orrico, Esq., director of the AANS/CNS Washington Office, was featured in a recent MedPage Today article titled, “CMS Suspends COVID-19 Advance Payment Program.” The article reported that CMS paused the program — which was giving providers advance Medicare payments to help them in the wake of COVID-19 — suggesting that the program is no longer necessary.

In her comments, Ms. Orrico noted that "given the 10.25% interest rate, and the short timeframe for repaying any advance payments, the program isn't likely as viable as other COVID-19 relief programs." She added that other programs for provider or small business relief — such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund initiative — have received mixed reviews. Ms. Orrico maintained the PPP has helped some private practices stay open during the crisis, while others were unsuccessful in obtaining PPP funds as additional money was no longer available — thus jeopardizing the viability of these practices. Additionally, she pointed out that neurosurgeons in academic departments are not “necessarily seeing funds that their institutions may have received, because the monies are going directly to the institutions and not trickling down to the individual provider level."