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Congress Passes $900 Billion Stimulus Package

Posted Dec 22, 20203 min Read

Regulatory & Clinical

On Monday, December 21, 2020, Congress enacted a third stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, totaling $900 billion in various aid.   Highlights of the stimulus package can be found below, including information on the new supplemental payment reporting requirements, and AHCA/NCAL’s more comprehensive summary can be found here.

  • Provider Relief Fund:  The stimulus package provides an additional $3B for the Provider Relief Fund.  While more was expected to be allocated in the third stimulus bill, with $20B remaining in the fund, it is believed more will be added in early 2021 instead, when the Biden administration can determine how the funds are utilized.  The stimulus package also clarifies the definition of lost revenue for purposes of satisfying the attestation for the Provider Relief Fund and reinstates the more favorable June 2020 PRF FAQs.
  • Supplemental Payment Reporting Requirements:   By October 1, 2021, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is required to establish a system for each state to submit reports on supplemental payment data, as a requirement for a state plan or state plan amendment that would provide for a supplemental payment.  Such reports shall include the criteria used to determine which providers are eligible to receive the supplemental payment and the methodology used to calculate the amount of the supplemental payment to each eligible provider.  The HHS Secretary shall make these reports publicly available on the CMS website.
  • Sequestration:  The stimulus package extends federal sequester relief for an additional three months, ensuring Medicare rates maintain their 2% enhancement until the end of March 2021.
  • Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule:  The stimulus package provides a temporary Medicare Part B 3.75% payment increase for 2021 for physicians and other professionals (including PT, OT, and SLP services).  Importantly, the increase is exempt from budget neutrality requirements.
  • PPP Loans:  The stimulus package provides an additional $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program and allows businesses to apply for a second PPP loan under the new terms.  The stimulus package also allows providers to deduct the expenses that the PPP loans paid for, even if the Small Business Administration forgives the PPP loan, a significant tax advantage.
  • HUD Loans:  The stimulus package permits HUD to finance up to one year of operating losses for certain hospital and residential care facilities (including SNFs, ALs, and ICFs/IID) insured by the Federal Housing Administration under Sections 232 and 242 of the National Housing Act.
  • Strategic National Stockpile:  The stimulus package allocated an additional $3.25B for the strategic national stockpile.

Civil immunity provisions were not included in the stimulus package but remain a priority for AHCA/NCAL and members of Indiana’s delegation.