$3 trillion pandemic relief bill: What's in it for dentists

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $3 trillion pandemic relief bill May 15 that addresses a number of the American Dental Associations' priorities.

The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, known as the HEROES Act, was unveiled by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., May 12.

Here are the items included in the bill that benefit dental employees:

  • Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness time frame extension from eight weeks to 24 weeks

  • Reversal of IRS guidance prohibiting entities from deducting expenses paid for with PPP loan funds

  • Increase in domestic production of personal protective equipment and existing medical supply stock

  • Allowing 501(c)(6) nonprofits, which include many dental societies, to apply for PPP loans

  • Elimination of the 75/25 mandate for PPP funds to pay for payroll versus operating costs

  • Allowing entities to receive both a PPP loan and the employee retention tax credit

  • Allocation of an additional $10 billion for Emergency Injury Disaster Loan grants

  • Extending forbearance for federal student loans through September 2021 and applying that forbearance to private loan borrowers

  • Distribution of up to $10,000 in debt relief for borrowers of federal and private student loans

  • Establishment of a loan repayment program to enhance recruitment and retention of the public health department workforce

  • Temporary extension of 100% federal medical assistance percentage to Native American health providers

  • Authorization of $6 billion for public health departments to expand workforce and improve operations

  • Direct access to the national stockpile for the Indian Health Service and other Native American health organizations

  • Allocation of an additional $7.6 billion to expand healthcare services for underserved populations

  • Allocation of an additional $4.7 billion to expand COVID-19 research

  • Allocation of an additional $175 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to support testing and contact tracing, as well as reimburse healthcare expenses or lost revenue

  • Allocation of an additional $2 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for public health agencies to prevent, prepare for and respond to the spread of COVID-19

More articles on dental:
Some Florida dentists adding COVID-19 surcharges
Michigan dentists urge governor to resume routine care, cite potential public health crisis
Dental visits may start to resemble hospital visits

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