On Friday, July 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made an announcement pertaining to the Enhanced Provider Relief Funds. 

HHS announced that the Enhanced Provider Relief Funds are available for dentists who may not have previously been eligible to receive funding through the Provider Relief Fund. 

Update as of August 27, 2020

HHS announced that the deadline to apply for Phase 2 General Distribution Funding has been extended to September 13, 2020.

Update as of August 3, 2020

HHS announced that it has extended the application deadline for the Provider Relief Funds until August 28, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET. HHS also announced that it will soon be providing a more simplified application form in response to stakeholder feedback. We continue to encourage AAO members to get their applications in as soon as possible.

HHS has indicated that payments will be dispersed on a rolling basis and they encourage providers to apply for Provider Relief Funds as early as they can.

Update as of July 23, 2020:


Apply for the HHS Provider Relief Fund

On July 10, HHS announced that the Enhanced Provider Relief Funds are available for dentists who may not have previously been eligible to receive funds. The application can be found here. On May 27th, 2020 AAO leadership met virtually with HHS Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary Will Brady to discuss the Provider Relief Fund. The AAO discussed the Provider Relief Fund and the need to help dentists and orthodontists whose practices were shut down for months due to COVID-19. We also provided detailed information to HHS on who our members are and what they have been experiencing during COVID and the resulting state stay at home orders. The AAO has stayed in touch with HHS on the Provider Relief Fund over the past two months and made ourselves available to assist with any information HHS needs.

On Friday, July 10, HHS announced that it would be opening a portal for dentists to apply for funds from the Provider Relief Fund. They subsequently released FAQs, which answer many questions our members have.

You may view CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Frequently Asked Questions here.

Webinar for Medicaid, CHIP and Dental Distribution:

The Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal is open to eligible Medicaid, CHIP, and dental providers until August 3, 2020. The portal allows providers to apply for payments made for healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19. Eligible providers may receive a reimbursement up to 2% of their annual reported patient revenue. Register here to attend next week’s final Technical Assistance Webinar on July 27, 2020 at 3:00pm ET.

Who is eligible for this Distribution?

To be eligible to apply, a dental provider must meet all of the following requirements:

  • 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 either (i)  filed a federal income tax return for fiscal years 2017, 2018 or 2019 or (ii) 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. (e.g. a state-owned hospital or healthcare clinic);
  • Must have provided patient dental care after January 31, 2020;
  • Must not have permanently ceased providing patient dental care directly, or indirectly through included subsidiaries; and
  • If the applicant is an individual, 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. 

More information on eligibility and dental distribution FAQs can be found here.

Members of the AAO’s COVID-19 Task Force have spoken with HHS about the possibility of a dental tranche and urged the inclusion of orthodontists.

This development has just been announced, and the AAO will update you as we learn more. Thank you, as always, for your membership in the American Association of Orthodontists.