CALL TO ACTION: Tell Your U.S. Senators and Representative ASCs Need Relief From Unfair Loan Repayment Terms
posted: July 10, 2020
As part of the bipartisan CARES Act, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded an existing loan program to hospitals, ASCs, physicians, and other Medicare providers, referred to as the Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs. To date, the programs have provided more than $100 billion in loans to providers. While these loans have been a vital lifeline for providers across the country, they must unfortunately be repaid while the crisis is still ongoing and with astonishingly high interest rates. Currently, providers are required to start paying down their loans four months after the first loan was received—for many, that date is on or around August 1, 2020. Once the repayment period begins, CMS will withhold 100% of Medicare payments until the debt is fully repaid. In addition, if the loan is not fully repaid within one year, an approximately 10% interest rate starts accumulating on the remaining balance.
These onerous terms threaten to put some providers out of business at a time when our communities need them the most. Making matters worse, CMS has recently frozen additional disbursements under the loan program.
Health care providers and groups are asking Congress for relief from the unfair loan repayment terms. We are asking to amend the Accelerated Advanced Payment Program by:
- Extending the start of repayment of the loans until March 2021
- Extending the deadline for repayment of the loans until March 2023
- Lowering amount of repayment taken from each Medicare claim from 100% to 25% during the repayment period
- Limiting the interest rate (once interest begins in March 2021) to 1%
- Resume the Accelerated and Advance Payments
Congress needs to hear from their hospitals, ASCs, and providers about the devastating impact unfair loan repayments will have on our ability to provide high quality care to our patients during this challenging and unprecedented time. Please take a moment to make your voice heard by sending an email message to your U.S. Senators and Representative in Congress.
Thank you for taking a moment to make your voice heard and for standing up for our ASCs, our patients, and the communities we serve.