Update Aug. 3:
The deadline for physicians who treat Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) patients to apply for federal Provider Relief Funds has been extended to Aug. 28.
Original Story (July 31):
If you or your practice are considering applying for federal emergency assistance from the Provider Relief Fund, the deadline to do so is Monday, Aug. 3.
Apply for funds online, but be aware of terms and conditions and other requirements associated with the funds.
Also be aware that your practice likely will have to pay taxes on some of those payments.
“A payment received by a tax-exempt health care provider from the Provider Relief Fund may be subject to tax … if the payment reimburses the provider for expenses or lost revenue attributable to an unrelated trade or business,” the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has said on its website. The IRS also says that for-profit physicians and providers, including sole-proprietorships, may not exclude these grants from gross income as a qualified disaster relief payment.
Grants obtained through the Provider Relief Fund are part of emergency grants Congress allocated from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Provider Relief Fund payments “will be at least 2 percent of reported gross revenue from patient care,” the federal Health and Human Services (HHS) Department has said.
Physicians who treat Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) patients are eligible for those funds.
To be eligible, physicians and health care providers must not have received payments from previous relief funds paid to physicians who participate in Medicare. Also, they must have directly billed their state Medicaid/CHIP programs or Medicaid managed care plans for health care-related services between Jan. 1, 2018, and May 31, 2020.
“The final amount each provider receives will be determined after the data is submitted, including information about the number of Medicaid patients providers serve,” HHS has said.
To help you make informed decisions for your practice during the pandemic, TMA has published a Practice Viability Toolkit that provides up-to-date information and resources. The toolkit includes a section on cash flow, including loan assistance, lines of credit, payment deferrals, loan refinancing, and loans from private banks.
You can find the toolkit and other tools, resources, and information on the practice viability section of the TMA COVID-19 Resource Center.