Congress appropriated $100 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic through the CARES Act and according to Congressman Michael San Nicolas, hospitals and health providers on Guam who are enrolled in providing Medicare services on the island are expected to receive an amount proportionate to their share of Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements in 2019.
According to San Nicolas, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has already released the first $30 billion for immediate distribution to states and territories on April 10.
“We secured for Guam a 100% cash bonus to our Medicare providers equal to their total 2019 Medicare reimbursements, and in return they are to discount services to every patient they treat for COVID-19 so they pay the same as someone on Medicare,” the congressman said in a news release.
“This capital injection to Medicare providers on these terms is a win-win, as Medicare providers get badly needed funding while all patients they treat for COVID-19 get badly needed discounts. This is an initial capital injection, and we anticipate more in similar size as part of the federal relief we secured for Guam,” San Nicolas added.
Per guidance from HHS and as a condition to receiving these funds, health providers must agree not to seek collection of out-of-pocket payments from COVID-19 patients that are greater than what the patient would have otherwise been required to pay if the care had been provided by an in-network provider. These are payments to healthcare providers and will not need to be repaid.