Published September 30, 2020
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Relief may be on the way for hospitals that accepted Medicare loans during the COVID-19 crisis.
The House of Representatives approved a short-term funding bill on Sept. 22 to help avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1, when the government’s fiscal year ends. Included in the bill were some relaxed terms for accelerated repayments of Medicare loans that were handed out to hospitals in early 2020 to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus.
The bill, which passed the House by a count of 359-57-1, now must be passed by the Senate.
Many hospitals throughout the country continue to experience cash flow issues due to the pandemic. Loans were granted through Medicare’s Accelerated and Advance Payments program, which is used in times of emergencies like natural disasters. The program was expanded for use as part of the CARES Act in March that provided financial aid in the midst of the pandemic.
Around $100 billion in advance payments must be repaid to Medicare.
The items in the House bill that addressed Medicare loan repayment terms include:
The bill is expected to pass in the Senate.
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