Originally posted on July 21, 2020; Updated on July 28, 2020
Good news: All dentists can now apply for financial assistance through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Enhanced Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal.
On July 10, the U.S. Health and Human Services Administration (HHS) opened the provider relief portal to dentists who have not previously received support from the Medicaid-focused General Distribution. The Provider Relief Funds were allocated by the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.
The clock is ticking. While the original deadline was July 24, providers now have until August 3 to apply for the program, which provides eligible dentists a reimbursement of 2 percent of their annual reported patient revenue.
HHS first launched the portal in June to provide relief to Medicaid, Medicaid managed care and CHIP providers who are experiencing a loss in revenue or increased expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many dental providers have already successfully applied for funding under the Medicaid-focused General Distribution. Medicaid and CHIP dentists must apply for funding by August 3.
To support payments to dental providers who may not bill Medicare or Medicaid, HHS developed a curated list of dental practice TINs from third-party sources and HHS datasets. HHS used those datasets to identify eligible dental providers.
In April and May, funds were made available to hospitals, rural clinics, Medicare providers and other health care providers directly responding to COVID-19. Subsequent funding was expanded to reach a broader group of health care providers such as Medicaid providers and, now, dentists.
Important note: These funds are neither a loan nor a grant, but a payment. It’s unrelated to the Small Business Administration (SBA) loans such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) or the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and you are not precluded from applying for this HHS payment if you previously received a SBA loan.
Requirements for eligibility
To be eligible to apply, a dental provider must meet all the following requirements:
1. Must not have received payment from the initial $50 billion Medicare-focused General Distribution.
2. Must not have received payment from the $15 billion Medicaid and CHIP Distribution.
3. Must have either (i) filed a federal income tax return for fiscal years 2017, 2018 or 2019 or (ii) be an entity exempt from the requirement to file a federal income tax return and have no beneficial owner that is required to file a federal income tax return (e.g., a state-owned hospital or health care clinic).
4. Must have provided patient dental care after Jan. 31, 2020.
5. Must not have permanently ceased providing patient dental care directly, or indirectly through included subsidiaries.
6. If the applicant is an individual, must have gross receipts or sales from providing patient dental care reported on Form 1040, Schedule C, Line 1, excluding income reported on a W-2 as a (statutory) employee.
Want to learn more?
Visit the Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal. You can also find general information about the fund at the HHS’ Provider Relief Fund webpage. HHS has also provided a number of FAQs on the Provider Relief Fund.
For help with the application process, HHS has also set up a Provider Support Line (866) 569-3522 to assist with questions.
For additional information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Article compiled by David Peritz.