HHS modifies terms & conditions for CARES Act emergency funds

The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department has modified the terms and conditions that physicians must agree to in order to secure the CARES Act emergency funds that available to physicians and other providers who diagnose, treat, or test patients for COVID-19 to make it clear that every patient is a possible COVID-19 case.

HHS now says that, “If you ceased operation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you are still eligible to receive funds so long as you provided diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19. Care does not have to be specific to treating COVID-19. HHS broadly views every patient as a possible case of COVID-19.”

The terms and conditions also no longer include language requiring providers to attest to “currently” caring for patients – just that they did so after January 31, 2020. The terms and conditions now state that, “The recipient certifies that it billed Medicare in 2019; provides or provided after January 31, 2020 diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19; is not currently terminated from participation in Medicare; is not currently excluded from participation in Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health care programs; and does not currently have Medicare billing privileges revoked.

HHS ‘CARES Act Provider Relief Fund’ website