More Dentists Now Eligible for HHS Relief Fund Program

Published on: July 15th, 2020

On July 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it will allow dentists and other dental providers to apply for relief from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (Provider Relief Fund).  The deadline to apply for this Dental Distribution is August 3, 2020.

Eligible dentists will receive a reimbursement of 2% of their annual reported patient revenue

This program is not limited to those dentists that bill Medicare or Medicaid procedures.  To be eligible though you must meet these six criteria:

Must not have received payment from the initial $50 billion Medicare-focused General Distribution; and

Must not have received payment from the $15 billion Medicaid and CHIP Distribution; and

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 healthcare clinic); and

Must have provided patient dental care after January 31, 2020; and

Must not have permanently ceased providing patient dental care directly or indirectly through included subsidiaries; and

The applicant is an individual, has 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.

Please note that this application can be cumbersome and requires coordination with the PPP and EIDL programs from the SBA.  HHS has a FAQ page with helpful information (HERE), and just this week they clarified an important provision concerning the prohibition on balance billing for suspected COVID-19 positive patients:

The prohibition on balance billing applies to “all care for a presumptive or actual case of COVID-19.” A presumptive case of COVID-19 is a case where a patient’s medical record documentation supports a diagnosis of COVID-19, even if the patient does not have a positive in vitro diagnostic test result in his or her medical record. Dental providers who are not caring for patients with presumptive or actual cases of COVID-19 would not be subject to this provision.

The portal to apply for the program can be found HERE and HHS has also set up a Provider Support Line (866) 569-3522 to assist with questions.

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