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HHS Updates on Provider Relief Fund for Dentists – ADA NEWS ALERT

Here is the ADA position on the HHS Provider Relief Fund for Dentists. We along with the ADCPA received many calls from our clients about the “balance billing” issue if you were to participate with this grant (relief funds). You will see below, the ADA worked with HHS to resolve this issue. It ONLY becomes an issue if you are treating patients that have been diagnosed with the virus.

You are welcome to SHARE with your friends and colleagues.

Finally, please consider registering for the webinars as listed below. They will be very informative!


HHS Updates on Provider Relief Fund for Dentists
Hello, Fellow Dentists: As you may recall, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Friday, July 10 that all dentists with a verifiable dental provider Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) are allowed to apply for funding through the Enhanced Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Payment Portal. The deadline to apply has been extended to Monday, August 3. Balance Billing Many of you have already applied and the number one concern we’ve heard has been about accepting the Terms and Conditions on balance billing, also known as surprise billing. The ADA worked with HHS to set the record straight and they’ve now clarified that:
  • Dental providers who are not caring for patients with presumptive or actual cases of COVID-19 are not subject to balance billing prohibitions. ‘Presumptive’ is defined as a case where a patient’s medical record documentation supports a diagnosis of COVID-19.
  • HHS thinks few, if any, dentists are performing dental work on active COVID patients. So, there should be very few dental patients covered by this bar.
  • Qualifying for payment from the PRF has to do with past treatment earlier this year when HHS broadly viewed every patient as a possible case of COVID-19. Balance billing prohibitions apply only to treating current active COVID-19 patients with a medical record that supports a diagnosis of COVID-19.
Reporting Requirements
  • For those concerned about reporting requirements, HHS did release a notice stating that detailed instructions regarding future reports will be released by August 17 and will apply to payments exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate from the PRF.
  • The reporting system will become available to recipients for reporting on October 1, 2020. The reports will allow providers to demonstrate compliance with the terms and conditions, including use of funds for allowable purposes.
  • Recipients of PRF payments do not need to submit a separate quarterly report to HHS or the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.
  • There are plans by HHS to provide recipients with Question and Answer (Q&A) Sessions via webinar in advance of the submission deadline.
Webinars and Other Help Available
  • HHS is hosting a webinar for dentists and Medicaid/CHIP providers to learn more about the application processRegister now. The webinar will be held on Monday, July 27, 2020 at 3pm ET.
  • ADA is also hosting a webinar. Register Now. This webinar will educate dentists on the PRF as well as Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and updates on Congressional activity. This webinar will be held on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 8pm ET.
  • HHS instructions are available to act as a guide in applying to the PRF.
  • Read the recent ADA News article where Dr. Phillip Fijal, chair, Council on Government Affairs, has a conversation on his application process and gives helpful tips. The article also reviews eligibly requirements to apply.
Terms and FAQs The ADA is proud to support dentists as they return to serving their communities. Together, we are driving dentistry forward on its path to recovery. Be sure to visit ADA.org/COVID19Advocacy for regular updates. Stay Well,
Chad P. Gehani, DDS President

All Dentists Now Eligible for Provider Relief Fund Payment

As part of the 2.2 Trillion CARES Act signed by the President on March 27, $175 billion was allocated to the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. This fund was intended to provide funds to healthcare providers to help them fight the COVID-19 virus for their patients. This fund was limited up until recently to physicians, hospitals and other healthcare providers other than dentists. As of last Friday, all Dentists are eligible.

Many of you that are ADA Members received an e-mail from the ADA (see below) this past Friday evening announcing that all Dentists are now eligible for the #175 Billion in HHS Payments. Initially when the program was first introduced, the HHS Program was only for those Dentists providing services to patients that are Medicaid eligible (Please see >> Schiff Client update, June 10, 2020 at 8:00 PM). This is not the case now  as a result of the ADA’s advocacy. This Program is now available for all Dentists. Go ADA!

From my reading of the updates (please see below), it appears a dentist wouldn’t know if they were eligible until they start the application process. You will need your Federal Identification Number (TIN) along with your annual collections.  You are eligible only if your Federal Identification Number matches a list approved by the HHS. There are steps in the FAQs to follow if your TIN is not on the approved list.

The amount of money you receive, if eligible is 2% of Gross Revenue on the most recently file tax return. Note that the funds you receive will be made public so if privacy is a concern to you then you may not want to apply for the Relief Funds. Anyone reading the list will be able to estimate your annual Collections. For example, if you Gross $1 million you are eligible for $20,000. As of now, the funds will be “taxable”. The ADA is lobbying to get these funds to a “non-taxable” state! Stay tuned!

HHS Announces Over $4 Billion in Additional Relief Payments to Healthcare Providers Impacted by the Coronavirus Pandemic

https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/07/10/hhs-announces-over-4-billion-in-additional-relief-payments-to-providers-impacted-by-coronavirus-pandemic.html

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is announcing approximately $3 billion in funding to hospitals serving a large percentage of vulnerable populations on thin margins and approximately $1 billion to specialty rural hospitals, urban hospitals with certain rural Medicare designations, and hospitals in small metropolitan areas. HHS is also opening the provider portal to allow dentists to apply for relief.  HHS recognizes the urgent need these vital funds play in supporting safety net providers and those serving large rural populations facing financial devastation catalyzed by the pandemic.

Welcome to the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced $175 billion in relief funds, including to hospitals and other healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. This funding, along with additional relief funding outside of the CARES Act, supports healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and ensures uninsured Americans can get treatment for COVID-19. This site is open to all providers who want to apply for a Provider Relief Fund payment, regardless of network affiliation or payer contract. HHS is contracting with UnitedHealth Group to facilitate delivery of the funds.

How were dental providers determined to be eligible for this Distribution?  (Added 7/10/2020)

Many dental providers have already successfully applied for funding under the Medicaid-focused General Distribution.  To support payments to dental providers who may not bill Medicare or Medicaid, HHS has developed a curated list of dental practice TINs from third party sources and HHS datasets.  Providers with TINs on the curated list must meet other eligibility requirements including operating in good standing and not be excluded from receiving federal payments.  As a next step, HHS will work with states and its vendors to authenticate dental providers not on the curated list.

How can a dental provider find out if they are on the curated list?  (Added 7/10/2020)

When a dental provider applies, the first step of the application process is to validate that their TIN is on a curated list of known dental providers. HHS will work to validate applicants that are not on that list.  If you are concerned you were not on the curated provider list, please ensure you have an active, verifiable dental provider TIN and submit your information to the Provider Relief Fund application portal.  You will be notified if you are permitted to continue your application for PRF payment.  Any eligible dental providers not on the curated list will undergo additional review and if validated will be permitted to apply for funding.

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

  1. Must not have received payment from the initial $50 billion Medicare-focused General Distribution
  2. Must not have received payment from the $15 billion Medicaid and CHIP Distribution
  3. 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)
  4. Must have provided patient dental care after January 31, 2020
  5. Must not have permanently ceased providing patient dental care directly, or indirectly through included subsidiaries
  6. 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.

https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/faqs/dental-distribution/index.html

The terms and conditions to the program.

PLEASE READ THESE CAREFULLY. There are a few of these terms and conditions which need clarification. Below are three of the terms and conditions to carefully review:

  1. A) The Recipient certifies that it provides or provided after January 31, 2020 diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19
  2. B) Recipient is not currently terminated from participation in Medicare or precluded from receiving payment through Medicare Advantage or Part D; is not currently excluded from participation in Medicare, Medicaid, and other Federal health care programs; and does not currently have Medicare billing privileges revoked.
  3. C) The Recipient certifies that it will not use the Payment to reimburse expenses or losses that have been reimbursed from other sources or that other sources are obligated to reimburse.

https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/terms-and-conditions-medicaid-relief-fund.pdf

Portal to apply for HHS Funds >

https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/for-providers/index.html

The documents you will need to upload so you can be prepared when you start the process.

  1. Most recent business federal tax return for 2017, 2018 or 2019 (IRS Form #1120S Corporations, IRS Form#1040  Schedule C – LLC’s and Sole Proprietors, IRS Form #1065 for Partnerships / LLC’s). Please e-mail your Schiff Team Member if you need copies of your 2019 Income Tax Return.
  2. First Quarter 2020 Form 941, Form 940 Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return (2019)
  3. Applicant’s FTE worksheet https://hhs.gov/sites/default/files/prf-fte-worksheet.xlsx
  4. Gross Revenue Worksheet https://hhs.gov/sites/default/files/prf-gross-revenues-worksheet.xlsx

Good luck with the application process! You have until July 24, 2020 to apply. I would start the application process now, in case there are “glitches” during the way!

ADCPA | 4 Money-Saving Tips to Keep Your Dental Practice in the Black

Running a profitable dental practice requires a significant investment of both time and money. Regardless of the size or age of your office, you have ongoing overhead and expenses related to things like:

  • Instruments, tools, and equipment 
  • Marketing
  • Office rent or mortgage
  • Utilities 
  • Staffing and payroll
  • Insurance
  • Technology and software
  • Building or equipment maintenance

With so much to keep up with, you might be wondering if there are tangible ways you can actually save money while continuing to help your practice grow. Here are some proven accounting tips that can get your dental practice headed in the right direction:

  1. Select the right software: Choosing accounting software customized for your practice can help you accurately assess and track your expenses and revenue. While there are several “good” programs out there, you might not be getting all of their intended benefits unless you’re using a system designed specifically for your field of business. 
  1. If possible, automate patient interactions: Web-based portals allow patients to interact with your office online, 24/7. Utilizing such technology can save you and your staff significant amounts of time when it comes to appointment scheduling, answering the phone, accepting payments, or addressing simple billing questions. Once perceived as impersonal, online portals are increasingly becoming a preferred service by most patients because of their convenience.
  1. Track your marketing efforts: Marketing your practice is essential for attracting and converting prospective new patients. The question is, are you analyzing your efforts to ensure that you’re getting the best return on your investment? If you aren’t sure what your ROI is, it will be impossible to know if your marketing budget is being invested wisely or simply wasted altogether.  
  1. Hire a professional so that you can focus on what you do best: Investing in a professional dental accountant may feel counterintuitive if your goal is to cut overall costs, but in many cases, hiring a financial advisor can help you find, make, and keep more of your hard-earned money.

The accounting needs of a dental practice are detailed and complex. While there are reliable do-it-yourself programs designed to make small business accounting easy, there are additional benefits that come with hiring an accountant who specializes in dental practice operations. Contact us today to learn more about how our small-business accounting services can help your practice thrive.

ADCPA | Does Your Practice Really Need an Accountant?

In many ways, we rely on the internet to solve our problems and answer all of the questions we ever have, instantly. The internet is such a useful tool, that more doctors are beginning to turn to it for their accounting needs, making it seem as if an accountant really isn’t all that necessary.

But while the internet can be an extremely useful place, don’t be fooled. The internet can’t solve everything and your practice really does still need an accountant.

Our accounting team doesn’t just crunch the numbers. We have years of experience and education that allows us to explain your financial statements. In turn, we help you understand those statements in order to truly grasp the ins and outs of your business. These insights can include useful information on cash flow and any recognizable patterns, how your inventory is being managed, whether the pricing of your services is reasonable, and even your business financing. 

From those insights, we can help you analyze which areas are ready for growth, what changes need to be made and how you can create a plan for continued success. In short, an accountant gives you the resources and guidance you need to make better, more informed decisions for your practice. The internet might be able to help you in some ways, but it can’t provide the level of depth and personalized understanding of individual situations that we can.

Accountants are also great for all the roles they are usually associated with. We can provide expert advice and oversight on aspects of your practice finances, such as payroll and estimated tax payments.

We work efficiently, avoiding costly errors that someone with less experience could make and we make sure that everything is completed fully and on time to help protect you from audits.

Hopefully, we’ve convinced you of the benefits an accountant can have for your practice. If so, get in touch with our team and have a conversation about how we can best serve your practice and financial goals.

Free Exclusive Webinar: 4 proven strategies to reduce practice overhead to 60% or less

Academy of Dental CPAs | Is Your Business Healthy?

One thing I believe in is “if it’s been done before then it must be possible.”

This quote was shared by one of my mentors, Dr. Omer Reed who has been an inspiration to both myself and my clients, to truly believe in the fact that it is not impossible to achieve our dreams and goals.

As we face these uncertain times, I am reminded of how we bought our practice, LifeSmiles in May of ‘07, (which at the time was a practice that was dysfunctional in every possible way), and then faced a nationwide economic crisis during ‘08 and ‘09.

We did not know the future of our practice during those times yet we managed to not only survive the downturn of the economy but also thrive in the midst of it.

In fact, in a market where 400 dentists failed, Life Smiles was able to thrive in the midst of it.

I believe this story brings tremendous hope to those who hear it.

The strategies I will be sharing during this webinar are the very same strategies that helped us develop LifeSmiles into our ideal practice.

Therefore, I encourage you to join me and my good friend Allen Schiff, on Tuesday, 28th July at 5 PM PT (7 PM CT/ 8 PM ET) to learn The 4 Proven Strategies to Reduce Your Practice Overhead to 60% or Less and implement them in your practice with the knowledge that, “if it has been done before, it must be possible”.

I also look forward to answering all your questions during the live Coaching / Q&A segment.

Here’s the link to Register: www.thrivingdentist.com/webinar/adcpa/ 

I look forward to seeing you at this exclusive live webinar!

Schiff Client Update June 24, 2020 3:30 PM

PPP – Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020

On June 5, 2020, the “Flexibility” Act was signed into law. As a result, the covered period has been extended from 8 weeks to 24 weeks. In addition, the Payroll Costs have been reduced from 75% to 60% in order to gain maximum PPP Loan Forgiveness. As a result of the 24 week period, we are encouraging all clients to use the 24 week period as opposed to the 8 week period. Also, you should be able to obtain maximum PPP Loan Forgiveness just accounting for the payroll costs during this new and extended period.

PPE Tax Credits & PPE Equipment & Supplies

The ADA is working hard and encouraging Congress to allow Dental Practices to obtain a “tax credit” up to $25,000 for the cost of PPE. It is my understanding at this time, it will be a dollar for dollar credit. In other words, if you spend $1,000 on PPE, and if this Tax Bill is passed, you will receive a Tax Credit in the amount of $1,000. Speaking of PPE, if you are in need of PPE, please click here>>> https://www.crazydentalprices.com/schiff/    In order to use your Schiff coupon, please place “Schiff10” in the coupon section of your order.

Retention Tax Credit (RTC)

There is a possibility, Congress will revisit this Tax Credit (RTC) in the near future and allow you to take the “Tax Credit, even though you received a PPP Loan. This would be amazing! Why? Because the requirements for the Tax Credit are, your business would have to have suffered a loss, calculated by measuring the 2nd Quarter of 2019 vs. the 2nd Quarter of 2020 Collections. If your collections are down by 50% or more, you would qualify for this tax credit. For example,  Let’s assume you collected $100,000 per month for the months of April 2019, May 2019 and June of 2019 or $300,000 and you compare that to April 2020, May 2020 and June 2020 (Q2 2020) at $150,000 or less, you would qualify for the RTC. If so, the credit will be increased from 50% of the 1st $10,000 in wages per employee to 80%  of such wages, for wages paid during Q2 of 2020. So, as of now, if you received a PPP Loan, you do not qualify for the RTC. However, this could change in the future….please stay tuned!  :>)

Maryland Unemployment Update – You may have this question!

Question – As I understand it, the maximum weekly unemployment benefit for Maryland is $430.00 plus the Federal stimulus of $600.00 a week  Based on the formula, how much can an employee in Maryland earn on a weekly basis without impacting the above?

Answer – The amount a claimant can earn each week depends on a few things. The claimant must be working less than 35 hours per week and earning less than the Regular UI benefit amount.  For instance, if a claimant is eligible for $400 in Regular UI per week, is working 30 hours per week and earned $350 that week, they would still be eligible to receive a partial unemployment check along with the additional $600 in federal stimulus.  However, if the claimant earns more than their Regular UI weekly benefit amount, regardless of the number of hours worked, they are not eligible.  If they are working 35+ hours per week, regardless of their wages earned, they are not eligible.

EIDL Loan Update

As of the date of this writing, please hold onto your EIDL Loan. We will assess the situation this coming Fall. At that time, we will determine if we are going to payoff the EIDL Loan. Borrowers can obtain their EIDL loan payoff information by contacting the SBA Disaster Loan Servicing Center at (800) 736-6048.

Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). 

Now that offices are starting to open, I wanted to provide additional guidance on the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  The ADA lobbied and was successful with the under 50 employee limit. So, if your practice has less than 50 employees, you are exempt from providing the additional 10 weeks of FMLA leave.

However, under FFCRA, employers with under 50 employees are still required to provide their employees with paid sick leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. This rule will impact most dental practices.

Paid Sick Leave

This leave is available to employees from the time you reopen the office.  The employees did not qualify for leave during the closure of your office due to Covid-19. The Act provides that covered employers must provide the following to all employees:

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds (2/3) the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor.

While full-time employees may receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave (if they work 40 hours per week), part-time employees are entitled to a pro-rata number of hours based on hours worked over two workweeks. If, for example, a part-time employee works 15 hours per week, this team member would be eligible for up to 30 hours of paid sick leave.

Qualifying Reasons for Leave for paid sick time:

Here are the qualifying reasons for paid sick leave. Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because the employee:

  1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
  3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  4. is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
  5. is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.

There are dollar limits on how much can be paid for sick leave.  For reasons 1, 2, and 3 (above), the daily rate of pay is capped at $511. The two-week cap is $5,111 (10 days).  For reasons 4 and 5 (above), the daily cap is $200, and the total cap for the two-week period of leave is $2,000 (10 days). If, for example, you have a full-time employee who is unable to work because she is caring for a child due to a COVID-related daycare closure (reason 5), he/she is eligible for paid sick leave of up to $200 per day and $2,000 over the two-week period.

Can an Employee Take Intermittent Leave?

The Act does not permit intermittent leave unless there is a written agreement between the employer and employee. Intermittent leave can only be used for childcare (reason #5 above).  For example, you may have an employee who can return to work, but she can only work reduced hours because childcare is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19. If the employer and employee have a written agreement that permits intermittent leave for this situation, the employee can receive paid sick leave for the missed hours of work.

What to Do When an Employee Requests Leave

If you have an employee request leave under FFCRA, we recommend you have them fill out a “leave form” located here >https://mcusercontent.com/0cd89d595f6ac2e6699fc9924/files/7d5b7b14-6002-4c7f-9ead-fc601c3c4f36/FFRCA_Leave_Request_Form.pdf

Payroll Tax Credits Offset the Cost

Covered employers qualify for dollar-for-dollar reimbursement through payroll tax credits for all qualifying wages paid under FFCRA. Qualifying wages are those paid to an employee who takes leave under the Act for a qualifying reason, up to the appropriate per diem and aggregate payment caps mentioned previously. Applicable tax credits also extend to amounts paid or incurred to maintain health insurance coverage. When reporting payroll to your payroll provider (ADP Payroll Services), please make sure to specify hours for FFCRA so they have that information for the tax credit.

Also, if you have not already done so, you should post a notice in your office regarding FFCRA. Here is the notice >https://mcusercontent.com/0cd89d595f6ac2e6699fc9924/files/78143208-5f6b-4084-909e-5f5d7e83ae60/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non_Federal.01.pdf

Finally, this is my understanding of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). I would suggest you consult with an HR Attorney for further guidance. If you need a referral for an HR Attorney, please e-mail us.

ADCPA | Bookkeeping Basics to Help Your Practice Thrive

As a small business owner, you likely wear a lot of hats. When it comes to managing your office finances, you’ve likely realized that there are many tasks that demand more time and attention than you have to offer. While there are reliable software packages designed to streamline do-it-yourself small business accounting, there are also numerous benefits associated with hiring an accountant trained in your practice field. For example, a skilled accountant:

Understands your industry. Specialized accounting professionals will stay abreast of trends that impact your profitability and bottom line. That means they can offer you practice-specific tax advice to make sure you maximize your annual tax savings. They are also knowledgeable about new tax laws so you stay compliant in your ever-evolving field.

Can offer advice on equipment purchases. Investing in the latest technology and equipment is an important part of keeping your practice on the leading edge. A specialized accountant can advise you on the financial benefits and liabilities associated with these types of investments, so you can make informed choices that save you money in the long run.

Is trained to help you see the big picture. Industry-specific accounting professionals can provide useful comparisons that benchmark your practice against other similar ones. This kind of insight can help you make informed choices when it comes to hiring, adding products and services, or expansion decisions that require a financial investment.

Can assist with retirement planning. If you are self-employed (and many dental practitioners are), responsibility for retirement planning is solely up to you. A good CPA can advise you on the right types of plans for your situation and help you strategize on your long-term financial goals.

Is connected with other industry professionals. Perhaps you want to purchase a larger facility or add a partner to your practice. A specialized accounting firm can connect you with banking professionals or loan officers who understand the nuances of your field, and also advise on business structure best practices when it comes to creating a partnership agreement.

Accounting for a dental practice encompasses so much more than simply preparing an annual tax return. A skilled small-business accountant can offer sound business advice, help analyze the financial health of your practice, provide long-range financial planning, and guide you toward business decisions that keep you in the black. To learn more about how our small-business accounting services can help your dental practice thrive, contact us today for more information.

ADCPA | Common Characteristics of High Performing Teams

Teamwork makes the dream work, or so the saying goes. With a team of rockstars behind you, your practice can truly soar into the success that you envisioned when you first started your own business. However, creating that amazing team can be more difficult than you may have thought. Even if you have the right people, there may be something that is holding them back from reaching their full potential. Look at this list of common characteristics of high performing teams. Which ones are your team performing well on? Which do they lack? By comparing this list to your own, it may just give you the insight you need to reach the next step.

No Individual Member is More Important than the Team:

In any business, there are going to be some members of the team that are in positions of power. However, this should not make them more or less important than any other member on the team. When your team knows that they are all equals working to accomplish the same goal of success for your practice, it can help create a team that relies on the necessary people to get the job accomplished.

Each Person Carries Their Own Weight:

It’s important for every team member to be performing optimally in their own role. When one person is falling behind, the rest of your team can struggle to pick up the slack while maintaining their own work. Ultimately, what this characteristic boils down to is mutual respect. If you have a team that respects each other, they’ll be working to ensure everyone has what they need in order to do their job as best they can. Without that respect, it’s likely that people will be performing the bare minimum in their role.

Trust:

As important as mutual respect is the level of trust your employees have in each other. When you have a team that trusts one another, it allows for strong cohesion, conflict management and natural agreement when issues arise. Cohesion built upon trust means that every member of your staff is working towards the same goals, knows how to work together, and can make the right judgement calls when problems arise.

Understanding Limitations:

Some of the best teams know when it’s time to ask for outside help. Whether it’s a task that your team may not have the experience or knowledge to fully complete, or the workload seems to be simply more than they can handle, outside assistance or perspectives are nothing to be ashamed about and can help your team succeed at a higher level.

If you and your team require help with tax prep, retirement planning, or any accounting related service, we are here for you. Contact us today and let us know how we can help. 

Schiff Client update, as of June 4, 2020 at 6:00 AM

Yesterday, at approximate 7:00 PM EST, the SENATE approved HR7010. We are expecting President Trump to sign the Bill today.

Here are the highlights of HR7010, Changes to the Small Business PPP Loan Programs

Below is a summary of the changes to the Small Business PPP Loan Program. These modifications to the program require a new strategy but provide significant flexibility for a practice to reopen and rehire its employees and still be able to obtain maximum PPP Loan forgiveness. It is very important to realize that this will require a new round of guidance to be issued by the Treasury and SBA but provides time for them to issue updated information we will need, due to the extension of the program from 8 weeks to 24 weeks.

 Changes to the PPP loan program:

1)8 week covered period extended to 24 weeks

Practice tip: The PPP loan was based on 2.5 months, approximately 11 weeks, of payroll and you now have 24 weeks to spend it. This eliminates most of the challenges of the program and allows employees to be rehired when the practice is ready to open up.

2)75% rule reduced to 60%

Practice tip: Due to the 24 week covered period, the new 60% rule should not be a problem. We are recommending that you spend 100% of the loan amount on payroll over the 24 weeks as that will make the Loan Forgiveness application process go much easier, because you will only need to attach payroll reports to support your forgiveness. However, if you spend less than 60% of the loan on payroll, you will have $0 (NONE) “no” loan forgiveness which is a drastic change from the previous 75% rule.  So the takeaway here is, please spend at least 60% or more of your PPP Funds on payroll, so you can avoid this trap.

3)Rehire date moved from 6/30/20 to 12/31/20

Practice tip: Your practice now has until 12/31/20 to rehire employees back to the 2/15/20 level.

4)Required FTE goal for the rehire exemption is reduced if you are unable to rehire employees or business has declined due to HHS, CDC, or OSHA requirements regarding COVID-19

Practice tip: Continue to plan on rehiring your employees back by December 31, 2020. However, if guidelines (HHS, CDC and / or OSHA) are issued that restrict the number of employees you may have in the office, this should give the practice flexibility in adjusting staffing levels to a new normal. This exception is new and we will need new guidance to clarify it.

5)New PPP loans will have a minimum maturity of 5 years

Practice tip: The goal of the program has shifted back to trying to get 100% forgiveness. However if you do not obtain this, we believe you will need to contact your bank to modify the terms to the allowable 5 years. We recommend trying to avoid doing this unless absolutely necessary. Current PPP Loans will mature over the original 2 year period.

Indirect changes to the PPP loan program:

1)  We still don’t know about:

  • payments to related parties
  • 2019 retirement plan contributions
  • misc. other payments but they may not matter.

2)  We assume the $15,385 per individual payroll limit will be increased to $46,154 but will need confirmation from the SBA. The $46,154 is the product of $100,000 / 52 weeks x 24 weeks = $46,154. We will need to confirm this.

3)  As we predicted, the Original SBA Loan forgiveness application will be completely changed, as a result of the above changes.

4)  Although utilities, health insurance, SUTA, and other small costs are still eligible, they become less important. Rather than worry about tracking small receipts (invoices / leases / canceled checks) , we are recommending focusing on the big items that are easy to show to the lender that will support the forgiveness application. Examples would be >>> payroll and rent.

5)  Due to the December 31, 2020 rehire date, practices typically won’t be filing forgiveness applications until January 2021 at the earliest.

Example of 24 Weeks

Out of all of our clients, the earliest a client received their PPP Funds was on April 13, 2020.

So, for example, if you received your PPP Loan proceeds on April 13, 2020, your 24 weeks began on April 13th and will end on September 28, 2020. This will be your “covered period” in order to meet the 60% / 40% Test as outlined above.

Maryland Unemployment Issues

If you need any additional help, for…….

Your own unemployment claims, please call 410-949-0022 or email     ui.inquiry@maryland.gov.

Employer related questions (not concerning your own claims) please email   dluisides‑dllr@maryland.gov

Please e-mail us any questions you may have. Hopefully, these are the final changes to the PPP Process, but as we have seen, it could change again!

We are here for you!
Please stay well!
My best to all,
Allen

Schiff Client Update as of Wednesday, June 3, 2020 , 9:00 AM

CARES ACT – Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020

Today, the SENATE will be voting on the major changes to the CARES ACT, especially within the PPP Loan process. Here are the major changes as we see them as of today. Please keep in mind, they are proposed and they have NOT passed as of now.

  • 75% / 25% current PPP Loan requirements to change to 60% to 40%
  • 8 week covered period could change to as many as 24 weeks, to 24 weeks or December 31, 2020, whichever is earlier
  • The June 30, 2020 rehire date could be changed to December 31, 2020
  • Expanding the two (2) year repayment of the PPP Loan to five (5) years
  • Allowing borrowers who receive the PPP Loan Forgiveness to also defer payroll taxes

Charging for PPE Equipment and Supplies

I have been actively involved with the MSDA, especially since their Friday e-mail of last week to its members over the issue, “Can you charge a Patient a PPE Fee”? It is my understanding you can only have “one fee schedule”. What this means is, you must charge all patients the same whether they are an insurance based patient or a fee for service patient. Some of you are charging a separate “PPE Fee”. It is my understanding, the PPE Fee varies between $15 to $25 a patient visit. This is your choice. I would recommend you just do a fee increase at this time, and not show the “PPE Fee”. By doing so, you can start to capture the new PPE costs that you are incurring as a result of the Covid-19 precautions.

As far as Dental Insurance is concerned, you can bill the Insurance Company for the PPE Fee. It is their choice as to whether they choose to reimburse you. If you practice like this, it is also my understanding you should charge the same PPE Fee to a FFS patient as well, thus only having one fee schedule.

Further and from my understanding, recently a Maryland Patient went to the Maryland Attorney General (Consumer Protection Division) and filed a complaint about a Maryland Dentist charging this PPE Fee, even though the Patient was an Insurance Based Patient. This is potentially a violation of your Dental Insurance Contract along with a violation of Maryland Consumer Protection laws, so my suggestion is, you should cease this practice immediately to further limit any liability you may have. This is true for any Medicaid Patients you are seeing along with any HMO Patients.

My advice, please consult with your Attorney for further guidance on this issue. Also , please reach out to Greg Buckler greg@msda.com , Executive Director of the MSDA for further guidance.

Maryland Unemployment Issues

I hope most of you have resolved your Maryland Unemployment issues. If you need any additional help, please reach out to

Your own unemployment claims, please call 410-949-0022 or email     ui.inquiry@maryland.gov.

Employer related questions (not concerning your own claims) please email      dluisides@maryland.gov.

2020 Schiff Client Mid-Year Meetings

As many of you are opening your offices and getting back to the “new normal”, we wanted to reach out to you about your 2020 mid-year consulting meetings.

This year we would like to schedule meetings upon your request. With the many challenges you have been faced with, we thought this would be most appropriate.

We can meet via ZOOM or in person, if the situation is safe for everyone. We are estimating 1.0 to 1.5 Hours per meeting. This year will be more challenging for Tax Planning due to the fact, we are still uncertain if the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will change its position with respect to the expenses we are paying with our PPP Funds. Currently they are non-deductible. We are hoping Congress will put the necessary pressure on the IRS and reverse its decision.

Please contact your Schiff Team member if you would like to schedule a meeting and we will make it happen.

2020 Quarterly Tax Vouchers – 2020 Q1 and Q2

As a reminder, the 1st Quarter and 2nd Quarter Tax Vouchers are now due as of July 15, 2020. Please contact your Schiff Team Member if you need any guidance on these payments.

2019 Individual Tax Preparation

Also, for those of you that are still compiling your 2019 Tax Data, please send to us as soon as possible, so we can get started on its preparation. As a reminder, the 2019 Individual Tax Returns are now due July 15, 2020.

PNC Bank – SCAM UPDATE: Tax-related scams and government stimulus checks

As initially predicted, unfortunately, there are current scams over the Government issued “Stimulus Checks”. Please be careful with text messages, e-mails and phone calls. The IRS only communicates via US Mail and not through and of these other mediums. Please read PNC Bank’s detailed e-mail here. It is very informative.