The entire Willeford Group team is keeping up to date on the COVID-19 epidemic and the ways in which Coronavirus is affecting and may affect our clients’ practices. We’ll be posting regular updates here on how Coronavirus may affect your dental practice, your finances, and your team.  Scroll down for updates – The latest updates will be at the top of the page.

New Details on CARES Act Provider Relief Fund; Terms Have Improved – July 23, 2020

Overview of the Provider Relief Fund (PRF)

Many dentists are asking us: Should I apply?

  • We recommend first calculating whether or not the dollar amount is worthwhile to you.
  • If it is not, then we recommend you ignore this fund and spend the few hours building your business, spending time with family, or taking time to relax.
  • If it is, then we recommend you read the Terms & Conditions and FAQs. Determine if you feel comfortable agreeing to them.

What is the maximum you can receive?

  • We recommend assuming this will be taxable income.
  • Thus, the maximum is 2% of gross revenue on the last filed tax return
  • LESS the federal and state taxes you will pay—a safe assumption is 40%.

Many dentists are choosing not to apply because the net money received is not large enough, in their opinion, to offset some of the terms and conditions. Only you can make this determination based on whether you are concerned about the terms.

That being said, some concerns have been addressed by the HHS this afternoon as shared by the ADA. The ADA’s publication is excellent, and we have copied that below to make sure you have the latest.

In addition, the application deadline has been extended to August 3.

Remember, one of our concerns remains–the dollar amount you receive will be published, so if you are concerned about privacy, then we recommend you consider not applying. For instance, this may be an issue with divorces, child support, or other dentists knowing your income.

Balance Billing Issue Clarified

Many of you have already applied for the Provider Relief Fund, and the number one concern we’ve heard has been about accepting the terms and conditions on balance billing, also known as surprise billing. The ADA worked with HHS to set the record straight, and they’ve now clarified the following:

  • Dental providers who are not caring for patients with presumptive or actual cases of COVID-19 are not subject to balance billing prohibitions. ‘Presumptive’ is defined as a case where a patient’s medical record documentation supports a diagnosis of COVID-19.
  • HHS thinks few, if any, dentists are performing dental work on active COVID-19 patients. So, there should be very few dental patients covered by this bar.
  • Qualifying for payment from the PRF has to do with past treatment earlier this year when HHS broadly viewed every patient as a possible case of COVID-19. Balance billing prohibitions apply only to treating current active COVID-19 patients with a medical record that supports a diagnosis of COVID-19

Reporting Requirements

Again, this is straight from the ADA’s alert.

  • For those concerned about reporting requirements, HHS did release a notice stating that detailed instructions regarding future reports will be released by August 17 and will apply to payments exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate from the PRF.
  • The reporting system will become available to recipients for reporting on October 1, 2020. The reports will allow providers to demonstrate compliance with the terms and conditions, including use of funds for allowable purposes.
  • Recipients of PRF payments do not need to submit a separate quarterly report to HHS or the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.
  • There are plans by HHS to provide recipients with Question and Answer (Q&A) Sessions via webinar in advance of the submission deadline.

Webinars & Other Help Available

  • HHS is hosting a webinar for dentists and Medicaid/CHIP providers to learn more about the application process. Register now. The webinar will be held on Monday, July 27, 2020 at 3 PM ET.
  • The ADA is also hosting a webinar. Register now. This webinar will educate dentists on the PRF as well as Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and updates on Congressional activity. This webinar will be held on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at 8 PM ET.
  • HHS instructions are available to act as a guide for applying for the PRF.
  • Read the recent ADA news article where Dr. Phillip Fijal, chair, Council on Government Affairs, has a conversation on his application process and gives helpful tips. The article also reviews eligibility requirements to apply.

Terms and FAQs

  • Dentists should review the Terms and Conditions and consult the Provider Relief Fund FAQs.
  • For help with the application process, HHS has also set up a Provider Support Line, 866-569-3522, to assist with questions.

The ADA is proud to support dentists as they return to serving their communities. Together, we are driving dentistry forward on its path to recovery. Be sure to CLICK HERE for regular ADA updates