Wealth Matters for Dentists

ArticleIs Your Dental Practice Now Eligible for Federal COVID-19 Relief?



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By Ryan Graham, CFA, CFP®, Senior Financial Advisor

Have you avoided applying for federal COVID-19 relief for your dental practice because you thought you weren’t eligible?

That recently may have changed. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) earlier in July broadened funding eligibility for dental practices affected by loss of revenue or other related expenses from the pandemic to include providers that may not bill Medicare or Medicaid for patient services. Eligible dentists will receive a reimbursement of 2% of their annual reported patient revenue. Importantly, you are eligible for this reimbursement even if you’ve accepted a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

But note: The application deadline — July 24 — is near for seeking payment via the HHS Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Provider Relief Fund Portal. The funds are part of the larger $175 billion made available to affected health-care providers.

The change, prompted by American Dental Association (ADA) lobbying, adds dentists to those who already received funding under HHS’s Medicaid-focused general distribution. The agency expanded eligibility with a curated list of dental practice Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs) obtained from third-party sources and HHS datasets.

Only for First-Time Recipients

Dentists who received payments from the Medicare general distribution or the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP) distribution — even if they rejected and returned the payment — are not eligible to apply now, but they may be eligible in future distribution rounds, HHS said.[2]

If you’re not sure whether your practice is on the new list, you should make sure you have an active, verifiable dental provider TIN and submit your information via the application portal linked above. You will then be notified if you are permitted to apply.  Any eligible dentists not on the list will be reviewed by HHS and, if validated, be allowed to seek funding.

Eligibility Requirements

Dental providers must be operating in good standing and not being excluded from receiving federal payments, in addition to meeting all criteria shown below, according to the ADA.[3]

•  Must not have received payment from the initial $50 billion Medicare-focused general distribution

•  Must not have received payment from the $15 billion Medicaid and CHIP distribution

•  Must 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)

•  Must have provided patient dental care after Jan. 31

•  Must 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, he or she must 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.

Further questions? See the HHS FAQ on eligibility, or ask an Altfest financial advisor to help you determine if you and your practice meet the requirements for this round of relief.

Looking to discuss COVID-19 relief programs, or another financial topic?  Schedule a complimentary consultation at this link  and learn more at altfest.com/dentists.


Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Altfest Personal Wealth Management, unless otherwise specifically cited.  Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources, but not representations are made by our firm as to other parties’ informational accuracy or completeness.  All information or ideas provided should be discussed in detail with an advisor, accountant or legal counsel prior to implementation.


[1] ada.org

[2] hhs.gov

[3] ada.org


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