ASCA Receives Clarification on Grant Terms and Conditions
Updated: April 14, 2020
As ASCA announced last Friday, the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) began distributing $30 billion in grants to healthcare providers, including ASCs. This grant fund is part of the $100 billion in relief included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 that was signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020.
Many members reached out with concerns about one of the Terms and Conditions to which providers must attest in order to keep the funds that indicated providers must be “currently” serving individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19. ASCA contacted HHS staff to confirm what we understood as the intent—that ASCs and other providers were eligible for the funds even if they were not directly serving COVID-19 patients.
HHS updated the provider relief website to confirm our interpretation:
“If you ceased operation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you are still eligible to receive funds so long as you provided diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19. Care does not have to be specific to treating COVID-19. HHS broadly views every patient as a possible case of COVID-19.”
In addition, HHS has since updated the Terms and Conditions of the agreement so that the word “currently” is no longer in bullet #2.
The Recipient certifies that it billed Medicare in 2019; provides or provided after January 31, 2020 diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19; is not currently terminated from participation in Medicare; is not currently excluded from participation in Medicare, Medicaid, and other Federal health care programs; and does not currently have Medicare billing privileges revoked.
These are payments, not loans, to healthcare providers, and will not need to be repaid.
Within 30 days of receiving the payment, providers must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agreeing to the Terms and Conditions of payment. The portal for signing the attestation will be open sometime this week. If a provider receives payment and does not wish to comply with the Terms and Conditions, the provider must contact HHS within 30 days of receipt of payment and remit the full payment to HHS.
For additional information or to check on the status of your grant, please visit the HHS website or call the CARES Provider Relief line at 866.569.3522.
This HHS action is the direct result of ASCA’s outreach. If your ASC is not already a member of ASCA, please join today.