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Provider Relief Fund now open for next round of funding

Dentists encouraged to apply as soon as possible

October 06, 2020

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services opened the Provider Relief Fund portal Oct. 5 for dentists to begin applying for the next round of funding.

This follows the Oct. 1 announcement that HHS would be allocating $20 billion in new funding for health care providers, including many dentists. 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.

The funds, distributed through the Health Resources and Services Administration, are part of the Phase 3 General Provider Relief Fund. The deadline for eligible dentists to apply for funds is Nov. 6.

The ADA has updated its FAQ to assist dentists in applying.

Under the new Phase 3 general distribution, HHS said dental eligibility will be determined by two criteria. Dentists who just began practicing Jan. 1, 2020, through March 31, 2020, are the only newly eligible dentists who will be able to submit applications. Previous eligibility restrictions also apply, such as validating their Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) as step one in the application process.

The second criterion applies to any dentist who previously applied, accepted or rejected payments from the fund. For these dentists, HHS indicated that if they didn’t already receive the full 2% of patient revenue payment, they can now apply to correct. In addition, all dentists who previously applied, even if they already received the full 2% of patient revenue payment, they can apply for an additional payment. This additional payment to any previous applicant will help all providers who sustained significant added expenses and/or revenue losses as a result of COVID-19, the department said.

On its FAQ page, HHS said that “the actual percentage paid to providers will be in part dependent of how many providers apply in Phase 3, and will be determined after the application deadline.”

The department has also posted a step-by-step guide on how to apply on its website.

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.