New PPP loan forgiveness applications released
The Small Business Administration released two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness applications: (1) A new, abbreviated application (Form EZ) and (2) a revised version of the original application. Form EZ is intended to be simpler to complete and is available to borrowers who meet one of three conditions. Both forms reflect the changes made to the PPP earlier this month, such as the extended covered period, the 60% payroll cost threshold, and the new safe harbor.
Changes to Section 1557 nondiscrimination rule
On June 12, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule revising Affordable Care Act Section 1557’s nondiscrimination regulations. The final rule, which goes into effect on August 18, 2020, modifies certain policies and also eliminates the following requirements that existed under 2016 regulations:
· The requirement for group practices and other covered entities to issue nondiscrimination notices and non-English taglines in the top-15 languages spoken by individuals with limited English proficiency in their state;
· The requirement that each covered entity appoint a compliance director and adopt grievance procedures to handle complaints; and
· Nondiscrimination protections based on sex stereotyping and gender identity.
MGMA frequently receives questions about language access requirements to provide translation/interpretation services and prepared an overview of changes under the 2020 rule. In our comments on the proposed version of the rule, MGMA urged HHS to establish a reimbursement mechanism for practices that care for individuals that require language assistance services. Although HHS responded that this recommendation was outside the scope of the 2020 rule, MGMA will continue to recommend that practices receive financial assistance or reimbursement to assist with these costs.
MedPAC releases June 2020 reportMedPAC, an independent board that advises Congress on how to improve Medicare, released its biannual report this week. The report focuses primarily on strategies to accelerate the move away from fee-for-service and toward a value-based payment system that offers incentives to providers to control costs while maintaining quality. Accountable care organizations (ACOs) and Medicare Advantage plans could serve as vehicles to speed up payment reform, the report states, if existing structures are improved upon. MedPAC acknowledged ACO savings are greater than other models Medicare has tested but suggested technical changes to ACOs to increase potential savings. MGMA agrees with the MedPAC recommendation that the federal government should do more to support group practices in the move toward value-based payment.