March 31st, 2020: Congress Passes ‘CARES’ Act; Details on PPP & EIDL Programs. What does this mean for your practice?
Congress has passed, and sent to the President for signature, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act” legislation, commonly known as the CARES Act.
The CARES Act amends the Small Business Act by creating a new Business Loan Category under Section 7(a) of the SBA called the Paycheck Protection Program. The SBA either directly, or through currently approved lenders in the private sector will have the ability to make loans to businesses, thus side-stepping the current process to more quickly provide funding.
Use of Proceeds
In general, businesses may, in addition to uses already allowed under the SBA’s Business Loan Program, use the loans for:
- Payroll Costs (subject to certain exclusions)
- Interest on any other debt obligations
The CARES Act requires lenders to provide payment deferment relief (for principal, interest, and fees) for impacted borrowers for six months to one year. Lenders are required to provide such relief during the covered period.
SBA PPP Loan Application will be made available April 3rd, 2020.
In addition to expansion of the SBA’s Business Loan Program described above, the CARES Act expands the EIDL program.
The covered period for this section is January 31, 2020 to December 31, 2020. In addition to current eligible entities, the following may receive SBA disaster loans:
- A business with 500 or fewer employees;
- Sole proprietorships, with or without employees, and independent contractors;
Entities applying for loans under the Disaster Loan Program in response to COVID-19 may, during the covered period, request an emergency advance from the Administrator of up to $10,000, which does not have to be repaid, even if the loan application is later denied. The Administrator is charged with verifying an applicant’s eligibility by accepting a “self-certification.” Advances are to be awarded within three days of an application.
Items required to apply for the EIDL Loan include the following:
- Total 2019 Sales
- Total 2019 Cost of Sales
- Business bank routing & account number
Under the CARES Act, individuals who are not already eligible for state unemployment programs will now be provided a set amount of $600 a week for up to four months on top of the state benefit. Benefits are available for up to 39 weeks. These newly eligible individuals include self-employed workers, independent contractors, low-wage workers and those with a limited work history.
March 19th: Congressional leaders introduced the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Among many healthcare related provisions, the act will provide new and expanded telehealth flexibilities. The bill will also allow Medicare reimbursement for care providers using telemedicine to treat patients to avoid hospital and physician’s offices, where they could risk exposure to COVID-19
March 4th: Telehealth Services During Certain Emergency Periods Act of 2020: Expanded telemedicine by waiving Medicare’s geographical restrictions.
Business Interruption Insurance – No Commercial General Liability policy will cover COVID 19 related claims where your med spa has been subject to a shut down by Civil Authority. Only for physical damage.
Medical Professional Liability Insurance – Since these are “claims made policies”, you have to keep your coverage in force in order to report a claim. Moreover, canceling the claims made policy triggers the “extended reporting” provision, or “tail.” The bottom line is that cancelling your policy, especially with the intent that you can start it back up again, is way more costly that to ride it out for a month or two. You would have to notify all your healthcare providers and your Medical Director that your policy is canceled and they have no way then to report a subsequent claim.
Can I file a claim under my business commercial general liability “Business Interruption Insurance”?
A: No, the typical Commercial General Liability policy will not cover COVID 19 related claims where your med spa or wellness center has been subject to a shut down by Civil Authority. Only for physical damage. But refer to your policy for specific wording. The pandemic has been excluded with our major insurance carriers.
A: Since most policies are “claims made policies”, you have to keep your coverage in force in order to report a claim. The policies have no mechanisms or wording to suspend or put coverage on hold.
The insurance company’s contract is their “duty to defend” you and pay for associated damages in the event you were served with a lawsuit, they still must respond. Moreover, cancelling the claims made policy triggers the “extended reporting” provision, or “tail.”
The bottom line is that cancelling your policy, especially with the intent that you can start it back up again, is way costlier than to ride it out for a month or two. You would have to notify all your healthcare providers and your Medical Director that your policy is canceled and they have no way then to report a subsequent claim.
A: To file a WC claim relative to COVID 19, the employee would need to demonstrate that the illness arose both out of and during their employment. For layoffs and payroll relief, check with your state agency for programs pertaining to COVID-19.
For the period from February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020 (covered period), the law allows the SBA to provide 100% federally-backed loans up to a maximum amount to eligible businesses to help pay operational costs like payroll, rent, health benefits/insurance premiums, interest, and utilities. Applications will be made available April 3rd 2020. Learn More
Can I get medical professional liability insurance for my virtual/telemedicine practice? If so, what are my liabilities?
A: Telemedicine will be expanding now with COVID 19. Most patients now would consider seeing a provider virtually. We can assist you in obtaining coverage for liabilities associated with Telemedicine. Let us help you throughout the entire process, schedule a free consultation with our experienced agents today.
There are many options for telemedicine web platforms, and many more coming online. Making a decision can be difficult, given you may need this right away. WMPG recommends TeleMD Solutions, a source for a HIPAA compliant telemedicine platform. Let WMPG help you with your Telemedicine platform plan at https://telemd.solutions/
Your professional liability extends to your “virtual practice.” With existing policies, the medical professional liability insurance companies are taking each one on a “case by case” basis. Approval conditions include:
- A HIPAA Compliant Telemedicine web platform
- Adherence to the AMA’s telemedicine policy guidelines
- Applicable state licensing requirements
My current policy does not cover telemedicine. Can I specifically apply for separate telemedicine coverage?
A: Yes, you can apply for standalone telemedicine coverage. Get a free telemedicine insurance quote or schedule a consult with our experienced agents today. Do you have any additional questions or concerns? Don’t hesitate to call us: 855-851-2968 or email us at email@example.com
A: This is possible. Many premium financing companies are focusing on extending the premium finance payment terms and affording providers some time by offering flexibility on payment terms or even eliminating late payment fees or penalties.