Financial Viability During COVID-19
Physicians are trained to put patients first, but we can't ignore that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus will impact the profession immensely. Many of our physicians are risking their health and the health or their families, and all pf Washington's physicians are being impacted by the economic fallout of this disease as we stop elective and non-emergent procedures and move to telehealth or as patients head our advice and stay home.
Take Action: Urge Lawmakers to Support Physician Practices During COVID-19 Response
Lawmakers in Washington D.C. and Washington state are engaged in ongoing efforts to provide emergency support to our state's businesses. They need to hear from you on what your practice needs in the coming days, weeks, and months as the response effort continues.
Send a message to your elected officials—both in Congress and the Washington State Legislature—to share your story about how your patients and you, professionally, have been impacted by COVID-19. We've made it easy for you to do so—click on the button below to send a message today.
Send a message
It is imperative that practices get the resources they need to remain open and to provide care to all Washingtonians in their local communities. Help elected officials help you by telling them what you need to keep serving their family and neighbors!
Physician Practices Qualify for Federal Small Business Loan Program
A recent WSMA survey of physician clinics in our state found that virtually all respondents are being financially impacted by COVID-19, with several having to close their doors altogether. The federal stimulus package (a.k.a. CARES Act) is intended to provide financial relief to individuals and businesses through a number of programs. The “Paycheck Protection Program” is likely to be of most utility to physician practices, as it provides loans of up to $10 million to qualifying businesses of less than 500 employees that under some circumstances do not need to be repaid.
Intended primarily as a tool for businesses impacted by COVID-19 to cover payroll costs as well as some operational expenses, the PPP loans do not require collateral and can cover up to two months of your average monthly payroll costs from the last year, plus an additional 25% of that amount (with payroll calculations capped at $100,000 per employee). Provided that the funds are used to primarily cover payroll costs, and that staff and payroll are maintained for the duration of the loan, the loan can be forgiven. Beyond payroll, up to 25% of the loan may be used for operational expenses such as rent, interest on mortgages, and utilities.
The PPP launches on Friday, April 3, and given the projected demand for loans, early participation is strongly encouraged. As a first step, consider reaching out to the bank your practice works with as all federally-insured financial institutions are eligible lenders. A fact sheet on the program from the Treasury Department can be found here, and a the application form can be found here.
Other Financial Assistance During COVID-19
The WSMA is urging our state's Congressional delegation officials to pursue a number of different policies to secure financial relief for physician practices during the pandemic. Read the letter, delivered March 25, 2020, which details the measures urgently needed.
The US Small Business Administration is offering a low-interest loans to help small business owners meet financial obligations, cover operating expenses, and alleviate economic injury caused by COVID-19. Click here to determine your eligibility. For more information and to apply, click here. For questions, 800.659.2955 or email@example.com. (March 20, 2020)