Stepping away briefly from the PPP and EIDL loans that have captured many pharmacy owner’s attention these past several days, the CARES Act includes $30 Billion in relief funds that the Department of Health and Humans Services will release to hospitals and other healthcare providers including pharmacies. This funding is designed to support healthcare-related expenses and lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and to ensure Americans can get testing and treatment for COVID-19.
These payments are grants, not loans and do not have to be repaid. No action is required to receive this relief and is available for providers of Medicare Part A and Part B based on their Medicare fee-for-service billings for 2019.
Some pharmacies may begin to see these payments in their checking accounts via direct deposit or paper check in the coming days, if not already as phase one funding began April 10th. The deposit will display HHSPAYMENT as the payment description. Pharmacies need to be on the lookout for these payments and take action. Pharmacies are required to accept or return the funds within 45 days of receipt.
If pharmacies choose to accept these funds, they must certify that that they will meet the terms and conditions – which are substantial. We recommend thoroughly documenting your efforts to comply with the terms and conditions some of which are highlighted and summarized below. Noncompliance may result in civil and criminal penalties and/or exclusion from Medicare programs. Working with your healthcare counsel is recommended should you choose to accept these funds.
- The recipient certifies that it will not use the payment to reimburse expenses or losses that have been reimbursed from other sources or that other sources are obligated to reimburse
- The recipient certifies that it billed Medicare in 2019; currently provides diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19
- The recipient certifies that the payment will only be used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to Coronavirus, and shall reimburse the recipient only for health care related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to Coronavirus
- The recipient shall submit reports as the Secretary determines are needed to ensure compliance with conditions that are imposed on this payment
- The recipient shall maintain appropriate records and cost documentation
To accept or reject funds, go to this link.
Our advisors work with independent pharmacies all across the country. Throughout the years, we have worked with pharmacies to improve their cash flow, mitigate their tax burden and help them make time to serve their patients and communities.