HHS Opens Provider Relief Fund to Dentists

by | Jul 21, 2020

Dentists, you can now apply to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Provider Relief Fund.

HHS is distributing $175 billion to hospitals and healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response.

The American Dental Association worked closely with HHS and the Health Resources and Services Administration, which administers the fund, to implement this for dentists. As a result of this advocacy, eligible dentists will receive a reimbursement of 2% of their annual reported patient revenue.

“The ADA Council on Government Affairs was proud to advocate for this important funding that will provide badly needed relief to dentists during the pandemic. We thank HHS for their support,” said Dr. Phillip Fijal, council chair.

The CARES Act requires that providers meet certain terms and conditions if a provider retains a Provider Relief Fund payment. If a provider chooses to retain the funds, it must attest that it meet these terms and conditions of the payment.

HHS funding was previously available only for Medicaid and CHIP Providers, but is now available for all dentists who qualify through the Enhanced Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal. The new extended deadline to apply is Monday, Aug. 3. Those applying are urged to apply as soon as possible as the process is time-consuming.  To support payments to dental providers who may not bill Medicare or Medicaid, HHS has developed a curated list of dental practice TINs from third party sources and HHS datasets.

The portal will guide you through the attestation process to accept or reject the funds. Not returning the payment within 90 days of receipt will be viewed as acceptance of the Terms and Conditions. A provider must attest for each of the Provider Relief Fund distributions received.

To be eligible to apply, a dental provider must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Must not have received payment from the initial $50 billion Medicare-focused general distribution.
  • Must not have received payment from the $15 billion Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program distribution.
  • Must have filed a federal income tax return for fiscal years 2017, 2018 or 2019 or 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 (for example, a state-owned hospital or health care clinic).
  • Must have provided patient dental care after Jan. 31.
  • Must not have permanently ceased providing patient dental care directly or indirectly through included subsidiaries. However, dental offices that shut down during the pandemic are eligible.
  • If the applicant is an individual, 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.

HHS will use a curated list of dental practice Taxpayer Identification Numbers to determine eligibility, but it will work to validate applicants who are not on the list. Providers with TINs on the list must meet other eligibility requirements, including operating in good standing and not being excluded from receiving federal payments.

Dentists who previously received payments from the Medicare general distribution or the Medicaid and CHIP distribution — even if they rejected and returned the payment — are not eligible to apply now, but they may be eligible in future distributions of the fund, according to HHS. The ADA has been advocating for this eligibility restriction to be lifted. Other applicants have recommended keeping the help line number, 866-569-3522, handy for questions that come up during the process.

The HHS has all FAQs compiled in one helpful document. Click here to access it.

If you are a Dentist considering applying, contact us and we’ll help determine how to proceed in your situation.

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