New draft legislation to amend PPP loans

After hearing from constituents, Congress identified several issues with the PPP as currently implemented. As a result, a number of bills were introduced to amend the PPP to provide borrowers with more flexibility. One of these bills, the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, is scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives today. MGMA supports this legislation, which would allow loan forgiveness for expenses beyond the eight-week covered period, eliminate the restriction that limits nonpayroll expenses to 25% of the loan amount, extend the two-year maximum loan term requirement, and allow PPP borrowers to utilize the payroll tax deferment incentive established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

MGMA advocates for additional relief for physician practices, ACOs

Last week, Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced the ‘‘Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act,” which includes several provisions that directly pertain to medical practices. The legislation would make further amendments to the PPP, Medicare’s Advance Payment Program, and the Provider Relief Fund. While this bill is not expected to pass due to lack of bipartisan support, MGMA offered several key recommendations for consideration as Congress works to come to a bipartisan agreement.

Additionally, MGMA and other industry-leading associations have urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide flexibility for practices participating in a Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) and to protect them from potentially harmful losses created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, MGMA called on CMS to:

  • Adopt a policy to give ACOs an option to be protected from losses in exchange for a reduced shared savings rate, no less than 40%;
  • Extend the current June 1 Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) deadline to voluntarily terminate to avoid financial losses to no earlier than Oct. 31;
  • Reverse its decision to cancel the 2021 MSSP application cycle; and

Pay ACO shared savings payments and advanced alternative payment model bonuses as soon as possible

Provider Relief Fund attestation deadline approaching

Group practices who received a payment from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Provider Relief Fund must sign an attestation confirming receipt of funds and agreeing to conditions of payment within 45 days of payment. That means groups who received funding from the initial distribution on April 10 have until May 24 to attest. Notably, not returning the payment within 45 days of receipt will be viewed as acceptance of the funds and associated terms and conditions.

HHS also announced this week that providers have until June 3 to submit revenue information to be considered for an additional payment from the $50 billion general distribution. While HHS automatically disbursed payments from the first tranche ($30 billion) starting on April 10, most group practices must submit a request to receive additional funds from the second tranche ($20 billion).

Finally, HHS updated and clarified FAQs on the Provider Relief Fund general distribution. With the Department updating their FAQs and website periodically without any formal announcement or notification, MGMA recommends that group practices review this new guidance. See MGMA’s resource on financial relief programs for more information.