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Did you take advantage of the U.S. Center for Medicare & Medicaid Service's COVID-19 Accelerated & Advance Payment program? CMS says it's time to begin settling up.

The agency recently announced that the 12-month delay on recoupment for money issued through the CAAP is drawing to a close. Beginning at one year from the date the payment was issued,  providers and suppliers who opted for the program can expect a 25% "recoupment" — essentially a 25% reduction in payments owed from Medicare for 11 months, followed by a 50% recoupment for the next six months, if any money is still owed.

The CAAP program was expanded in late March 2020, in order to offer loans to qualified providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. By late April, CMS began suspending elements of the program in light of money disbursed through the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. 

CMS also outlined how it will approach money still owed after the 17-month recoupment phase: After issuing a demand letter, CMS will consider the remaining balance an overpayment and be subject to a 4% interest rate "along with all normal recovery activities." Providers experiencing financial hardship may be able to qualify for an extended repayment schedule.

More information on the recoupment process is available on the CMS CAAP frequently asked questions webpage and via this CMS fact sheet on repayment terms. Questions can be directed to your Medicare Administrative Contractor.

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