Federal Relief Fund Follow-up Q & A
Last week, OSMA sent news about the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) disbursement of the first $30 billion from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Since then, we have learned more from HHS as well as heard from physicians and practices with questions about these funds. Here are some details and answers to questions about eligibility, terms, and more.
I haven’t received my funds yet and I believe I am eligible. Why have my funds been delayed?
Payments weren’t all sent at once. Timing for disbursement is as follows:
- Active ACH on file with UHC (UnitedHealth Group)
– electronic transfer on April 10
- Active ACH on file with CMS
– electronic transfer on April 17
- Physicians that receive paper checks for Medicare FFS will receive checks in the mail and they are expected to be mailed out by April 17.
If you have questions about eligibility, payments, etc., call the UnitedHealth Group (UHG) provider hotline at 866-569-3522.
I wasn’t eligible for the initial relief funding as I don’t see Medicare patients. When will I receive a payment?
CMS Director Seema Verma announced this week that the second phase of payments to those who weren’t eligible for the first phase should be coming shortly. We are hopeful to receive more information within the next few weeks.
What do I need to do to accept the money? Are there terms for receiving the relief funds?
Yes. HHS has opened the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal. Physicians who have been allocated a payment from the initial $30 billion general distribution must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agree to the terms and conditions within 30 days of payment. The terms and conditions are listed here. PLEASE read the terms and conditions carefully and speak to your accountant and lawyer to ensure you are keeping the proper documentation and building appropriate procedures as required by the terms and conditions.
Are my relief funds taxable?
Initial guidance has been unclear if these funds are taxable, so we are trying to gather information from HHS to ensure we have the correct answer for you.
Where can I turn to for additional information and answers to questions?
OSMA encourages you to seek expert counsel from your accountant and lawyer to ensure you are able to meet all the requirements listed under the terms and conditions and can plan accordingly before you officially attest to receiving the funds. OSMA is working to provide additional information and resources on the CARES Act relief funding over the next week.
As you know, Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) is committed to keeping Ohio physicians informed on state and federal updates related to COVID-19, especially how they impact Ohio’s medical practices and healthcare professionals.