There are two potential CARES Act Programs that provide support funding to Pediatric practices.
- The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): This loan to grant program provides a SBA loan to Pediatric groups for which the most to all of the loan amount can be forgiven (grant). Most Pediatric groups applied in early April and received funds by May 1st. The bank that provided the PPP SBA loan will provide details on how to apply for the loan forgiveness (either 8 weeks of payroll and up to 25% of the loan amount as Rent, mortgage, utilities or can use up to 6 months of payroll with up to 40% of the loan used for Rent, Mortgage, utilities).
- Provider Relief Fund for Medicaid/CHIP:
On June 9th, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Pediatricians that participate in Medicaid/CHIP will be able access financial relief from the CARES Act provider relief fund. Some general notes:
- The $15 Billion Provider relief fund is designed to provide revenue to Medical Practices that were not eligible for the first phase of Provider relief funds (since this program is based on Medicaid/CHIP vs. Medicare).
- HHS states that the revenue to each provider (e.g. Pediatric Practice) will be at least 2% of reported gross revenue from patient care with the final amount distributed to each provider (e.g. Pediatric Practice) determined after they review the data that Practices complete as part of the application process.
- The on-line CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Application form can be completed via https://cares.linkhealth.com/#/ . This form is accessed by entering your Optum ID and Password (note: if you do not have an optum ID/Password, please feel free to contact your Physician Xpress Account Manager to help you obtain one).
- The on-line form is three stages – Validate TaxID, Enter Revenue and Tax Information, and attest to the payment.
- There is a customer support number (866-569-3522) for questions on completing the CARES Act Provider relief Fund Application. Note that HHS contracted with United Health Group to manage the process of applying for this program.
- Practices have until July 20th to apply for this program.
If your Pediatric Practice decides to apply for provider relief funds, below is some specific information to utilize during the application process.
Note that there are some detailed terms & conditions related to receiving these funds.
There is a ten-page terms and conditions that all practices need to attest to within 45 days of receiving the funds. We recommend that all practice decision makers read the details to understand all the terms that the practice agrees. Some terms are political (like none of the funds provided can be used to advocate gun control, lobbying, or use for abortions) while other terms provide background on some specialty reporting for entities receiving > $150K from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Provider Relief Fund (or any other government grant related to CARES Act).
Completing the Form:
The application for the provider relief is found on the following link:
Customer Support (by United Health Group) related to questions on applying to the Provider Relief Fund: (866)569-3522
Some notes on the application process for the provider relief fund:
- Enter your Optum (UHC) Username and Password. If you do not have an Optum (UHC) username and password, contact your Physician Xpress account manager who can set up an Optum ID.
- The first phase is to validate the TaxID via the Optum site.
- The second phase is to enter Revenue and Tax information via completing the DocuSign application in the portal.
- The last phase is to Attest to Payment and Terms established by HHS.
HHS has a FAQ web site that is updated routinely at https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/faqs/index.html#medicaid-targeted
The good news is that your practice has until July 20th to complete this process if the practice would like to apply to the Provider Relief Fund related to Medicaid/CHIP