COVID-19 Resources: Upcoming Obligations and Deadlines

Published in Member Communities on November 24, 2020

Craig Douglas COVID-19 Resources Blog

By: Craig Douglas, Vice President of Payer and Member Relations

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us immensely in 2020, not only from a personal standpoint, but from a professional perspective as well. From the business side of things, many DMEPOS businesses saw a sharp decline in business due to patients and physicians alike canceling non-essential appointments and elective procedures that would have resulted in the need for DMEPOS items. Other providers saw their referral stream remain fairly steady or maybe even increase slightly. Providers who were located in COVID-19 hotspots and provide oxygen, ventilators, hospital beds, etc., all of which are key in treating COVID-19 patients in the home, likely saw an increase in referrals for those types of equipment, even while referrals for other types of equipment fell off for them. Regardless of where you fell along that spectrum, there were several government programs that have been created and rolled out this year to help businesses, including, and in some cases, especially for, healthcare providers.

While there were other programs as well, the main two programs were far and away the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and the HHS Provider Relief Fund (PRF). Now that the respective application windows have closed, and barring any new rounds of either program for which you can apply, you are either in the process of using those funds up or have fully used them up, and are now at a point where you need to start preparing your documentation which, if done properly, will mean you get to keep all of the money you received and not have to pay it back to the respective programs. Let’s explore what that looks like for each of the respective programs.

Paycheck Protection Program

To date, over 5.2 million businesses in the United States received PPP loans totaling more than $525B. If the recipients of the loans used the funds appropriately and as spelled out in the terms and conditions of the program, the funds can be converted to a grant that does not need to be paid back. Recipients of PPP funds had to use the funds to cover certain types of business expenses, and they had a set period of time in which the money was to be used, which was referred to as their “covered period” and ranged from 8 weeks to 24 weeks. During that covered period, they needed to keep track of the various expenses that the loan dollars were used to cover in order to prove compliance with the program. Most recipients have reached or will soon reach the end of their covered period. From the last day of their covered period, recipients have up to 10 months to go back to their lender and apply for loan forgiveness. To protect the financial health of their company, business owners must track these expenses carefully, and make sure they reach out to their lender with proper documentation of how the funds were used and within the 10 month window in order to have their forgiveness application processed and approved. Failure to do so could result in having to pay back the money received, plus 1% interest.

The forgiveness application has been made simpler in the past couple of months. While it may get simpler yet (there is no guarantee that will happen), and you do have 10 months from your covered period ending to complete the forgiveness application, there may be an increased incentive to get the forgiveness application done before the end of the year purely from a tax perspective. You can and should consult with your accountant as well as your lending institution to decide what is best for your business.

HHS Provider Relief Fund

Through the passage of multiple pieces of legislation, many healthcare providers qualified for and received a portion of $175B that was set aside to help them prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. Funds were distributed in multiple phases and targeted distributions. Depending on your provider type, you could be considered eligible for certain distributions but ineligible for others. This $175B allocation of monies to healthcare providers is commonly referred to as the HHS Provider Relief Fund (PRF). Much like the PPP, the monies received by providers through this program do not need to be paid back, assuming the dollars are used for approved expense types and according to the terms and conditions of the program.

As with the PPP, recipients of HHS PRF payments need to make sure they familiarize themselves with the terms and conditions associated with receiving and keeping those payments. Failure to do so could and likely will result in them needing to pay back the money they received. In addition to the standard terms and conditions, there are a few other very important things to keep in mind to protect the financial stability of your business:

  • In order to keep the money that was received, it must be used up in full by June 30, 2021. Any unused dollars will need to be returned to HHS.
  • Any provider that received over $10,000 in total payments through the HHS PRF is subject to reporting on how the dollars were utilized by their business. The reporting window will open for providers on January 15, 2021, and the deadline for the first report submission will be February 15, 2021. If the funds were used up entirely prior to that time, they will only need to submit that one report. If the money was not completely used, it will need to be used by June 30, 2021, and they will submit a 2nd and final report no later than July 31, 2021.

comments powered by Disqus

From Our Experts

Using Net Promoter Score to Measure Customer Satisfaction thumbnail Using Net Promoter Score to Measure Customer Satisfaction Your company can probably survive without a customer satisfaction metric, but should it? And if you did want to measure customer satisfaction, where would you start? Stephanie Hookham explains how VGM uses NPS as a tool to gauge customer satisfaction. Telehealth in Complex Rehab: Part 3 thumbnail Telehealth in Complex Rehab: Part 3 In today's episode of Industry Matters President of U.S. Rehab, Greg Packer, and Vice President of Rehabilitation Program Development at HOMELINK, Kyle Walker, wrap up a 3-part podcast series on the importance telehealth has played, and will continue to play in the complex rehab industry. Register for the OPGA Members-Only Portal! thumbnail Register for the OPGA Members-Only Portal! As a member, you have exclusive access to the OPGA members-only portal. With one single login, you get access to all resources and materials available to members. VGM Wound Care and Permobil Discuss the Importance of Seated Posture thumbnail VGM Wound Care and Permobil Discuss the Importance of Seated Posture In this episode of industry matters Director of Wound Care, Heather Trumm, talks with Stacey Mullis, Director of Clinical Marketing at Permobil, where “Every person has the right to have his or her disability compensated as far as possible by aids with the same technical standard as those we all use in our daily lives.” Heather and Stacy are going to dive right into dive into something that is often overlooked, and that is seated posture in wound care. Key Marketing Priorities for HME Providers in 2021 thumbnail Key Marketing Priorities for HME Providers in 2021 Now that 2020 is officially in the rearview mirror, it's time to get strategic in 2021 with resources, priorities, and investments. From a marketing perspective, healthcare delivery models have undoubtedly changed. Lindy Tentinger discusses key marketing priorities that can help your company achieve its business goals and set it up for continued success. CRT Telehealth Update from NCART thumbnail CRT Telehealth Update from NCART NCART and the CRT Remote Services Consortium announced their continued efforts to secure a permanent telehealth option for people with disabilities who require complex rehab technology (CRT). Navigating Lead Generation Safely thumbnail Navigating Lead Generation Safely Lead-generating companies are prevalent in the industry and are legal, but it is essential that providers understand exactly what service they will provide and how they will do it. Member Spotlight: Leo Levine, Owner, Merrick Surgical Supplies & Home Care thumbnail Member Spotlight: Leo Levine, Owner, Merrick Surgical Supplies & Home Care Meet Leo Levine, owner of Merrick Surgical Supplies & Home Care! A VGM member since 2019, Leo has taken what he's learned during his time as a member and used it to help him grow his business.