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HHS Provider Relief Fund open for Phase 3 applications

Council on Government Affairs encourages dentists to apply before Nov. 6 deadline

October 22, 2020

By Jennifer Garvin

Headshot of Dr David White
Dr. White
At first David White, D.D.S., wasn’t sure he was eligible to apply for the Phase 3 General Distribution Funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Provider Relief Fund.

“I previously applied and received my 2% payment, so I thought I was already set,” said Dr. White, who is the new chair of the ADA Council on Government Affairs.

He isn’t alone.

Many dentists aren’t aware that they are eligible for the next round of funding (Phase 3) from HHS, which opened Oct. 5 and ends Nov. 6.

Photo of Dr. Phillip Fijal
Dr. Fijal
The Provider Relief Fund was established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act — known as the CARES Act — and allows dental providers to apply for payments made for health care-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to the pandemic.

HHS is accepting applications for an additional equitable payment from all providers who already received the full 2% of revenue from patient care. While the actual percentage will depend on how many total providers apply for Phase 3 funds and will be determined after the deadline, the ADA is encouraging dentists to apply as soon as possible.

Phillip Fijal, D.D.S., outgoing CGA chair, was a little curious at first but didn’t want to miss out on money that could help his practice recover from the pandemic. He submitted his application Oct. 7.

“Like so many other dentists, I attested to my Phase 2 payment and thought that was that,” Dr. Fijal said. “I applied for Phase 3 as soon as I heard I could receive additional funds to help my practice.”

Dr. White agreed: “It’s definitely important for dentists to apply as soon as possible.”

HHS will also be hosting a Nov. 2 webcast to help dentists with questions. The webinar is free and will take place at 2 p.m. Central. Preregistration is recommended to participate, and providers can also recommend questions they’d like to see answered during the event.

Under the new Phase 3 general distribution, any provider who previously applied, accepted or rejected payments from the fund can apply again for additional payment. HHS also said that providers who just began practicing Jan. 1, 2020, through March 31, 2020, are newly eligible and will be able to submit applications. Additionally, Phase 3 is also an opportunity for any provider to correct any previous miscalculated payments. If a dentist never applied to begin with, they can also try to validate their taxpayer identification number (TIN) in order to apply.

The department has posted a step-by-step guide on how to apply on its website. The ADA has also updated its FAQ to assist dentists in applying.

Dentists with questions should contact the HHS Provider Support Line at 1-866-569-3522 during the hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT Monday-Friday.

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