CARES Act 2020

March 30, 2020

On Friday the President signed the $2 trillion stimulus and COVID-19 relief package, which Congress approved last week. The AMA provided this brief overview of how the package might impact your medical practice.

The stimulus package:
• Creates a new loan product within the Small Business Administration for loans of up to $10 million to help cover payroll and overhead costs, with expanded loan forgiveness criteria. Physician practices with not more than 500 employees may qualify.
• $100 billion in direct financial support to hospitals, physician practices, and other health care providers under the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund. This support is for costs of treating COVID-19 patients as well as to ease the financial impact on those who lose revenue due reductions in other services as a result of the pandemic. Exact eligibility criteria and application process is not yet defined pending implementation.
• Suspension of the 2 percent Medicare sequester in May through December 2020.
• Limitations on liability for volunteer health care professionals during COVID-19 emergency response.
• A temporary waiver of the face-to-face visit requirement with home dialysis patients.
• Authority for the Secretary of HHS to waive telehealth coverage requirements for new patients during a national emergency. Previous legislation provided flexibility only for established patients seen within the past three years.
• Secretary will also allow for enhanced use of telehealth under Medicare for federally qualified health centers.

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