March 2021 Volume LVI Number 2

 
 
 
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Legislative and Regulatory Update

March 2021 Volume LVI Number 2

FEDERAL NEWS

COVID Relief
The following COVID-19 relief provisions in legislation ap- proved by Congress in late 2020 are important for dentists and dental associations:
  • Makes expenses paid for with the PPP loans tax deductible. This fully clarifies the Congressional intent from the 2020 CARES Act that PPP forgiveness is not taxable income.
  • Eliminates the requirement that PPP loan forgiveness be reduced by the amount of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grant that was received by the business. The bill also allocates additional EIDL grant money.
  • Allows PPP borrowers to utilize the Employee Retention Tax Credit. The bill also increases the wage cap and per- centage of eligible wages for that credit.
  • Eases the forgiveness process for PPP loans that are
  • $150,000 or less.
  • Makes 501 (c) (6) organizations eligible for PPP funds if they have less than 300 employees and meet certain lob- bying restrictions.
  • Allows PPP funds to be used to purchase personal protec- tive equipment or to cover the cost of facility modifications that were made to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19.
An ADA News story1 contains additional details, and the ADA subsequently disseminated more information about applying for additional PPP funds under new criteria (businesses must show a 25 percent decline in revenue from the previous year and those with 10 or fewer employees will be given priority).
 
Final Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations and Senate Report Language Supports Title VII Pedi- atric Dentistry and other AAPD Priority Issues
 
The final spending package, approved by Congress in late 2020, includes $12 million each for Title VII Pediatric Dentistry and General Dentistry, as requested by the AAPD, ADA, ADEA, and AADR. This remains the AAPD’s top appropriations priority.
 
Earlier in the fall, the U.S. Senate released their funding recom- mendations and report language, which included the provi- sions highlighted below.2 With the passage of the Consolidat- ed Appropriations Act of 2021, the Senate and House report language now officially guides federal agencies like HRSA and CMS in carrying out their activities in FY 2021. For example, the language directs HRSA to initiate a new Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program (DFLRP) grant cycle with a preference for pediatric dental faculty.
 
"Training in Oral Health Care – The Committee provides $40,673,000 for Training in Oral Health Care programs, which includes not less than $12,000,000 each for general and pediatric dentistry. Funds may be used to expand training in general dentistry, pedi- atric dentistry, public health dentistry, dental hygiene, and other oral health access programs. Funds may also be used to plan and operate training programs, as well as to provide financial assistance to students and residents. The Committee directs HRSA to provide continuation funding for post-doctoral training and dental faculty loan repayment (DFLRP) grants, and to initiate a new DFLRP grant cycle with a preference for pediatric dentistry faculty supervising dental stu- dents or residents and providing clinical services in dental clinics located in dental schools, hospitals, and community-based affiliated sites. . . " (p. 45).
 
"Chief Dental Officer (CDO) – The Committee is pleased that HRSA3 has restored the position of CDO and looks forward to learning how the agency has en- sured that the CDO is functioning at an executive level authority with resources and staff to oversee and lead all oral health programs and initiatives across HRSA. The Committee requests an update within 30 days of enactment of this act on how the CDO is serving as the agency representative with executive level authority on oral health issues to international, national, State and/or local government agencies, universities, and oral health stakeholder organizations." (p. 59)
 
"Chief Dental Officer – The Committee is concerned that CMS4 has not appointed a permanent the Chief Dental Officer position since October 2017." (p. 141)
 
This language is consistent with earlier language from the FY 2021 House Appropriations report.5
 
1https://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2020-archive/december/lawmakers-reach-agreement-on-next-coronavirus-relief-package 2https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/LHHSRept.pdf
3Health Resources and Services Administration
4Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Currently there is a temporary assignment of a pediatric dentist as the Dental Officer for CMS. 
5https://www.aapd.org/globalassets/media/advocacy/fy-2021-house-l-hhs-educ-appropriations-update-7-22-20.pdf

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