UnitedHealth Group will accelerate nearly $2 billion in payments and financial support to U.S. hospitals and health care providers to help address the significant financial pressure many are facing due to COVID-19, Becker’s Hospital Review reported. The reduction and elimination of elective procedures in preparation for COVID-19 surges has resulted in massive decreases in private payments to hospitals. UnitedHealth’s initiative, announced April 7, will fast-track claim payments to medical and behavioral care providers in UnitedHealthcare’s fully insured commercial, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid networks. The health care company will also provide up to $125 million in small business loans to OptumHealth’s clinical operator partners. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has delivered nearly $34 billion in the past week to health care providers on the front lines battling the coronavirus and COVID-19. The money has been provided through the expansion of the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program to ensure providers and suppliers have the resources needed to combat the pandemic.  In a little over a week, CMS has received over 25,000 requests from health care providers and suppliers for accelerated and advance payments and has already approved over 17,000 of those requests in the last week, the agency said in a news release. Before COVID-19, CMS had approved just over 100 total requests in the past five years, with most being tied to natural disasters such as hurricanes.