The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recently opened up the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund to dentists. This fund allows qualifying providers to apply for grants of 2% of prior year revenue reported on the most recently filed tax return. Because the funds are grants, not loans, there is no repayment. However, these funds are currently subject to tax so recipients will need to budget for taxes.
While the application deadline was this Friday, July 24th – the HHS website now indicates the deadline has been extended to August 3rd.
What must the funds be used for?
- Supplies used to provide health care services for possible or actual COVID-19 patients
- Equipment used to provide health care services for possible or actual COVID-19 patients
- Workforce training
- Reporting COVID-19 test results to federal, state, or local governments
- Building or constructing temporary structures to expand capacity for COVID-19 patient care or to provide health care services to non-COVID-19 patients in a separate area from where COVID-19 patients are being treated
- Acquiring additional resources including facilities, equipment, supplies, healthcare practices, staffing, and technology to expand or preserve care delivery
- Developing and staffing emergency operation centers
Because any patient is a possible COVID-19 patient, regular expenditures for dental supplies, lab and equipment would appear to qualify. Additionally, these funds may be used to offset additional expenditures required to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among you, your staff, and patients. Finally, the recipient attestation also lists the recovery of “lost revenue attributable to coronavirus” as appropriate use of funds.
How do you apply?
The application is a two-step process.
- First, you must validate your Taxpayer Identification Number. Once validated, you will need to confirm your revenue and tax information. It is advised that you complete this form https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/medicaid-provider-distribution-application-form.pdf before beginning the online application.
- After completing the information form, proceed to this website https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/for-providers/index.html and click the link “Apply For Funding” to complete the online application. If you have questions, you may call the Provider Support Line at (866) 569-3522.
After receiving your funds, you have 90 days to accept the terms and conditions of the program or return the money. If you do not complete the attestation within 90 days, you are assumed to have accepted the terms and conditions.
One final point, if you received any money from HHS in the General Distribution phase of the program, you are ineligible to receive a grant from the Enhanced Provider Relief Fund. There is currently no provision for repaying the General Distribution money to qualify for the Enhanced Provider Relief Fund unless you are inside the 90-day attestation period for the General Distribution and have not signed the attestation.
If you have any questions about program eligibility or completing the application, please contact our office.