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HHS opens Provider Relief Fund to dentists

Application deadline is Aug. 3

July 13, 2020

By Mary Beth Versaci

Dentists who were previously ineligible for relief can now apply to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Provider Relief Fund.

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.

Dentists have until Aug. 3 to apply for funding through the Enhanced Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal.

The following dental providers are eligible:

• Dentists who have directly billed their state Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Programs or Medicaid managed care plans for health care-related services during the period of Jan. 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2019.
• Providers who own an included subsidiary that has either directly billed their state Medicaid/CHIP programs or Medicaid managed care plans for health care-related services during the period of Jan. 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2019.
• Providers who have either directly billed health insurance companies for oral health care-related services, or who own an included subsidiary that has directly billed health insurance companies for oral healthcare-related services.
• Licensed providers who do not accept insurance and have either directly billed patients for oral health care-related services, or who own (on the application date) an included subsidiary that does not accept insurance and has directly billed patients for oral health care-related services.

Eligible providers must also meet all of the following requirements:

• Not have received payment from the $50 billion General Medicare Distribution.
• 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).
• Have provided patient dental care after Jan. 31.
• 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. When entering their TIN in the portal, dentists should not use dashes as this will result in their number not processing correctly.

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.

For more information about the ADA's advocacy efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit ADA.org/COVID19Advocacy.