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INDUSTRY NEWS: Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act)

Author: UCA Admin/Thursday, May 14, 2020/Categories: Industry News

Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act)

Key Provisions for Urgent Care Centers

Information provided by Camille Bonta, MHS; Principal, Summit Health Care Consulting, and UCA Policy Consultant


This week, Democrats in the House of Representatives released a proposal for the next phase of major COVID-19 relief legislation – the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. A vote on the bill is expected in the House on Friday.

Following are notable provisions, among many, that are relevant to urgent care centers:

Requires states to list testing sites.

  • Any state receiving funding or assistance under this legislation must establish and maintain a public, searchable webpage on the official website that identifies all sites located in the state that provide diagnostic or serological testing for SARS– CoV–2; and provides appropriate contact information for SARS–CoV–2 testing sites.

Authorizes another $100 billion for the Provider Relief Fund, but this time with more strings attached.

  • Eligible providers would need to apply for relief which would be reviewed on a quarterly basis.
  • The amount of relief would be determined based on 100% of a provider’s eligible expenses (e.g., medical supplies/equipment, PPE) plus 60% of lost patient revenue (compared to 2019 corresponding quarter) less any CARES relief funds (e.g. Paycheck Protection Program) that do not have to be repaid.
  • Providers with revenue losses of 10% or less are not eligible.

Modifies the Paycheck Protection Program by:

  • extending the covered period from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020;
  • establishing the minimum loan maturity at 5 years;
  • extending the covered period for purposes of loan forgiveness from June 30, 2020 to 24 weeks after date of of origination or December 31, 2020, whichever is earliest;
  • extending the exception for rehires, for purposes of forgiveness, from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020;
  • creating an exemption for rehires for purposes of loan forgiveness if the employer is unable to rehire an individual who was en employee on or before Feb 15, 2020, or if the employer can demonstrate an inability to find similarly qualified employees on or before December 31, 2020;
  • prohibiting the Administrator from limiting the non-payroll portion (currently set at 25%) of a forgivable covered loan amount; and
  • expanding costs eligible for forgiveness to include any payment of interest on any other debt obligations that were incurred before the covered period, and refinanced mortgage obligations.

Creates a HEROES fund for essential workers.

  • Essential workers could add a payment premium of $13 for each hour of work performed by the essential worker for the employer from January 27, 2020 until the date that is 60 days after the last day of the COVID–19 Public Health Emergency.
  • Amounts are capped at $10,000 for those making less than $200,000 and $5,000 for those making more than $200,000.
  • Included as essential work is: (iii) Health care work physically provided in outpatient settings (including at physician offices, community health centers, rural health clinics and other clinics, hospital outpatient departments, free-standing emergency departments, ambulatory surgical centers, and other related settings), and other work physically performed in such inpatient settings that supports or is in furtherance of such health care work physically provided in outpatient settings. (Essential work does not include work performed while teleworking from a residence.)

Modifies the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs during the COVID-19 emergency. Specifically, for Part B providers, the legislation modifies the terms of the advance payments by:

  • providing up to 1 year before claims are offset for recoupment;
  • lowering the offset of a claim for recoupment to a maximum amount of 25% (vs current 100%);
  • establishing a recoupment period of no less than 2 years; and
  • setting an interest rate at 1% (vs current 10.25%) after the recoupment deadline.

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