421.214 Advance payments to suppliers furnishing items or services under Part B.§ 421.214 Advance payments to suppliers furnishing items or services under Part B.
(a) Scope and applicability. This section provides for the following:
(1) Sets forth requirements and procedures for the issuance and recovery of advance payments to suppliers of Part B services and the rights and responsibilities of suppliers under the payment and recovery process.
(2) Does not limit CMS's right to recover unadjusted advance payment balances.
(3) Does not affect suppliers' appeal rights under part 405, subpart H of this chapter relating to substantive determinations on suppliers' claims.
(4) Does not apply to claims for Part B services furnished by suppliers that have in effect provider agreements under section 1866 of the Act and part 489 of this chapter, and are paid by intermediaries.
(b) Definition. As used in this section, advance payment means a conditional partial payment made by the contractor in response to a claim that it is unable to process within established time limits except as provided in paragraph (j) of this section.
(c) When advance payments may be made. Unless otherwise qualified under paragraph (j) of this section, an advance payment may be made if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The carrier is unable to process the claim timely.
(2) CMS determines that the prompt payment interest provision specified in section 1842(c) of the Act is insufficient to make a claimant whole.
(3) CMS approves, in writing to the carrier, the making of an advance payment by the carrier.
(d) When advance payments are not made. Advance payments are not made to any supplier that meets any of the following conditions:
(1) Is delinquent in repaying a Medicare overpayment.
(2) Has been advised of being under active medical review or program integrity investigation.
(3) Has not submitted any claims.
(4) Has not accepted claims' assignments within the most recent 180-day period preceding the system malfunction.
(5) Is in bankruptcy.
(e) Requirements for suppliers. (1) Except as provided for in paragraph (g)(1) of this section, a supplier must request, in writing to the carrier, an advance payment for Part B services it furnished.
(2) A supplier must accept an advance payment as a conditional payment subject to adjustment, recoupment, or both, based on an eventual determination of the actual amount due on the claim and subject to the provisions of this section.
(f) Requirements for carriers. (1) A carrier must notify a supplier as soon as it is determined that payment will not be made in a timely manner, and an advance payment option is to be offered to the supplier.
(i) Unless otherwise qualified under paragraph (j) of this section, a contractor must calculate an advance payment for a particular claim at no more than 80 percent of the anticipated payment for that claim based upon the historical assigned claims payment data as defined in paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this section for claims paid to the supplier. For suppliers qualifying and approved for advance payments under paragraph (j) of this section, a contractor may calculate an advance payment for a particular claim at up to 100 percent of the anticipated payment for that claim based upon the historical assigned claims payment data as defined in paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this section for claims paid to the supplier.
(ii) “Historical data” are defined as a representative 90-day assigned claims payment trend within the most recent 180-day experience before the system malfunction.
(iii) Based on this amount and the number of claims pending for the supplier, the carrier must determine and issue advance payments.
(iv) If historical data are not available or if backlogged claims cannot be identified, the carrier must determine and issue advance payments based on some other methodology approved by CMS.
(v) Advance payments can be made no more frequently than once every 2 weeks to a supplier.
(2) Generally, a supplier will not receive advance payments for more assigned claims than were paid, on a daily average, for the 90-day period before the system malfunction.
(3) A carrier must recover an advance payment by applying it against the amount due on the claim on which the advance was made. If the advance payment exceeds the Medicare payment amount, the carrier must apply the unadjusted balance of the advance payment against future Medicare payments due the supplier.
(4) In accordance with CMS instructions, a carrier must maintain a financial system of data in accordance with the Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards for tracking each advance payment and its recoupment.
(g) Requirements for CMS. (1) In accordance with the provisions of this section, CMS may determine that circumstances warrant the issuance of advance payments to all affected suppliers furnishing Part B services. CMS may waive the requirement in paragraph (e)(1) of this section as part of that determination.
(2) If adjusting Medicare payments fails to recover an advance payment, CMS may authorize the use of any other recoupment method available (for example, lump sum repayment or an extended repayment schedule) including, upon written notice from the carrier to the supplier, converting any unpaid balances of advance payments to overpayments. Overpayments are recovered in accordance with part 401, subpart F of this chapter concerning claims collection and compromise and part 405, subpart C of this chapter concerning recovery of overpayments.
(h) Prompt payment interest. An advance payment is a “payment” under section 1842(c)(2)(C) of the Act for purposes of meeting the time limit for the payment of clean claims, to the extent of the advance payment.
(i) Notice, review, and appeal rights. (1) The decision to advance payments and the determination of the amount of any advance payment are committed to CMS's discretion and are not subject to review or appeal.
(2) The carrier must notify the supplier receiving an advance payment about the amounts advanced and recouped and how any Medicare payment amounts have been adjusted.
(3) The supplier may request an administrative review from the carrier if it believes the carrier's reconciliation of the amounts advanced and recouped is incorrectly computed. If a review is requested, the carrier must provide a written explanation of the adjustments.
(4) The review and explanation described in paragraph (i)(3) of this section is separate from a supplier's right to appeal the amount and computation of benefits paid on the claim, as provided at part 405, subpart H of this chapter. The carrier's reconciliation of amounts advanced and recouped is not an initial determination as defined at § 405.803 of this chapter, and any written explanation of a reconciliation is not subject to further administrative review.
(j) Advanced payments in exceptional circumstances. CMS may approve, in writing to the contractor, the making of advance payments during the period of a Public Health Emergency, as defined in § 400.200 of this chapter, or during the period under a Presidential Disaster Declaration, under the following exceptional conditions:
(1) The contractor is unable to process the claim timely, or is at risk of being untimely in processing the claim; or
(2) When the supplier has experienced a temporary delay in preparing and submitting bills to the contractor beyond its normal billing cycle.[61 FR 49275, Sept. 19, 1996, as amended at 85 FR 19289, Apr. 6, 2020]