CMS Begins Recouping COVID-19 Payments
CMS recently began automatic recoupment of COVID-19 Accelerated and Advance Payments, which were an advance of up to three months of Medicare payments to help physician practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Organized medicine strongly advocated for improved repayment terms, which Congress and CMS adopted in 2020. Under the revised repayment terms, neurosurgeons should be aware that:
- These funds are loans that are required to be repaid;
- Repayment begins one year from when the Medicare advance payment is received, rather than 120 days under the original terms;
- The per claim recoupment amount was reduced from 100% to 25% for the first 11 months, and then 50% for an additional six months;
- If there is an outstanding balance after the 17-month recoupment time frame, the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) will issue a demand letter requiring repayment subject to an interest rate of 4%, a decrease from the original interest rate of 10.25%; and
- Physicians may repay the Medicare advance payment in full at any time by contacting their MAC.
The American Medical Association (AMA) is very interested in feedback about the recoupment of Medicare advance payments. Please share your feedback via AMA.Advocacy@ama-assn.org.