CMS Issues Updated FAQs for Medicare Fee-for-Service Providers

COVID-19

On August 26, 2020, CMS issued an updated frequently asked questions (FAQ) document for Medicare fee-for-service providers to address several provisions related to the COVID-19 public health emergency, including Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding and cost reporting implications.

One of the most anticipated responses providers have been waiting for CMS to address is how provider relief funds (PRF) received would be treated on the Medicare cost report. CMS has stated any PRF payments don’t need to offset the expenses on the Medicare cost report. Adherence to the Health Resources and Services Administration’s guidance on the appropriate uses of these funds must still be followed (including coronavirus prevention, preparation, and response). See pages 100 to 101, questions 4 and 7, in the FAQ document for additional information.

Charges related to the PRF Uninsured Program must not be reported on worksheet S-10 as uncompensated care charges. The payments related to these are treated just like any other patient payments and don’t offset against cost. See question 6 on page 100 in the FAQ document.

Likewise, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan forgiveness, including the Paycheck Protection Program loan, doesn’t need to be offset against expenses on the Medicare cost report. These funds also must be used for eligible expenses as outlined in the terms and conditions. Additional information can be found on page 100, question 5, in the FAQ document.

These cost reporting discussions are only a portion of responses issued by CMS. To read the full CMS FAQ document, visit CMS’ website

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