This morning (and throughout the day), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) directly deposited grants to ALL Medicare providers and suppliers, including O&P practices. NAAOP encourages all O&P practice owners to check their Medicare accounts to ensure the funds were received.
The funds are part of the stimulus funding enacted under the COVID-19 legislation that passed two weeks ago today, known as the CARES Act. The legislation created a $100 billion fund to assist health care providers to weather the pandemic. The first $30 billion in stimulus funding is being distributed today.
These are grants and do not need to be paid back. The amount of each O&P practice’s payment is determined automatically, based on the portion that the Medicare program paid each provider or supplier last calendar year. Even as recently as last evening at 6:00 p.m., it was not clear whether O&P practices would be included in this initial round of stimulus payments. The fact that O&P practices were included should be welcome news to the O&P profession after another tough week.
Each recipient of funding must also agree to certain terms and conditions but these are fairly easy to meet. These payments are separate and distinct from Medicare advance payments and any small business loans/forgivable loans for which O&P practices may have applied.
For a more detailed description of the program, please click here.
NAAOP will work in concert with its O&P Alliance partners over the coming days to submit suggestions to CMS as to how the agency should distribute the remaining $70 billion in funds, as they pertain to the O&P profession. Among NAAOP’s priorities will be O&P practices located in COVID-19 hot spots throughout the country and O&P manufacturers and suppliers, who were not included in this first round of funding because they do not directly bill the Medicare program.
Please contact NAAOP if you have questions or comments related to these stimulus payments. Thank you.