PPP Ending with Deadlines
Some practices and healthcare providers not only took loans from programs specifically for healthcare, but also received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The window for forgiveness of PPP loans is fast approaching. The timeline for asking for forgiveness will be based on the date PPP funds were received. From that date of receipt, you have 24 weeks to use the funds and then 10 months from that date to request forgiveness.
If you do not apply for forgiveness, or do not do so timely, PPP loans convert to a standard SBA loan with interest.
For many who participated in the program, deadlines will begin in July and extend into August and for almost all loans, the last deadline will be in September. Make sure you timely apply for forgiveness.
Non-competes are everywhere and the Biden Administration has asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue new rules limiting the use of non-competes and similar agreements. We do not yet know exactly the form any such rules would take but we do believe the following are likely to be addressed in any FTC order:
- There will likely be an annual income limit under which non-competes will generally prohibited. This means it is likely that non-competes affecting nurses and NPs will probably be limited or prohibited in the future;
- Non-competes could be prohibited in certain occupations. Currently attorneys are prohibited by their ethical rules from having non-competes. It is possible that physicians will be included in a list of occupations for whom non-competes will not be allowed except under extraordinary circumstances where the physician truly is a participant in a venture that has trade secrets. Currently, some hospitals claim to have trade secrets when they are all using the same billing programs and the same operating systems. I suggest that hospitals need to start planning for a day in the near future where non-competes will not be allowed for providers of medical services whether physicians, NPs or nurses;
- The enforcement mechanism is still a question since many non-competes are created under state laws. Certainly, healthcare will be affected since most healthcare providers receive Medicare or other federal funds for the construction of their buildings, for reimbursement for services provided or for research. This is why I believe that healthcare will be one of the industries most affected by any FTC order limiting non-competes;
- Still not known is whether existing non-competes will be valid for the portion of the contract term remaining or whether all non-competes, upon the issuance of the order, will be invalid if covered under any FTC order; and
- Also not known is whether entity non-competes, where perhaps a hospital and a physician group create a joint venture to provide medical services, will be covered.
Anthem Even Richer
For the first six months of 2021, Anthem’s revenue was $66.2 Billion. The company predicts revenues for the year of $137 Billion with profits approaching $8 Billion for the year.
Something to remember for your next Anthem claim denial.
Only $1.5 Billion?
Cigna reported its second quarter 2021 profit at $1.5 Billion. Its revenue for the quarter was reported at over $43 Billion.
Cigna claims to have over 100 million pharmacy benefit customers and expects its full year 2021 revenue to be $170 Billion.
This newsletter is edited by Paul Wallace of Jones • Wallace, LLC, a member of the American Health Lawyers Association who has been representing physicians and healthcare practices for over 25 years. Mr. Wallace assists physicians, practices and hospitals in contract items, federal legal compliance, practice entity creation, estate and wealth planning and similar issues. Please feel free to call if you have any questions on this newsletter or legal matters at (812) 402-1600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.