How to Keep Your ABA Practice Running During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted many sectors of the economy, including many ABA therapy offices that are now grappling with the question of whether to retain their employees and stay open. Fortunately, there are various federal government relief programs as well as other resources that can help small businesses like therapy practices weather this storm. We’ve compiled a list of resources that may help your ABA therapy office stay in business in the next few months.

COVID-19 FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR YOUR ABA PRACTICE

Small Business Administration Relief Options

The Small Business Administration is also administering several other COVID-19 relief options that your ABA therapy practice could qualify for. The Economic Injury Disaster Loans can provide up to $2 million in loans to small businesses. When you apply for the EIDL, you may also qualify for the EIDL Emergency Advance which can provide up to $10,000 in grant funding for small businesses that have experienced a temporary loss of revenue due to the pandemic. SBA Bridge Express Loans can give businesses who already have a relationship with an SBA lender access up to $25,000 quickly. The SBA Debt Relief program is also providing up to 6 months of debt relief for SBA loans. Compare SBA COVID-19 Disaster Loans in this chart.

Employee Retention Tax Credit

If your practice has been impacted by COVID-19, you can apply for either the Paycheck Protection Program or an Employee Retention Tax Credit, which is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid to employees. Read about eligibility requirements and how to receive the credit at the IRS website.

State, Local, and Private Sector Relief Programs

The federal government isn’t the only entity providing emergency loans and grants. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has compiled a List of Programs Providing Financial Assistance to Small Businesses run by state and local governments and the private sector.

SBA Access to Capital

Your practice may opt to take out regular loans to increase your liquidity during this time. The SBA offers a number of loans (that are not disaster relief loans) to small businesses. Find out more about them here.

Paycheck Protection Program

Note: The Paycheck Protection Program is not currently accepting applications, but this may change based on new regulations and need.

 

As part of the economic stimulus bill passed by Congress in response to COVID-19, the Paycheck Protection Program will provide $350 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses that keep their employees on payroll. As an ABA therapy practice, if you retain or quickly rehire your therapists or office staff, you can apply for a loan amount equal to two months of your average monthly payroll costs plus an additional 25%. The loan amount that you spend on payroll, rent, mortgage interest, and utilities will be forgiven.

 

All businesses with less than 500 employees are eligible to apply. To be considered, you’ll need to apply by June 30, 2020 through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Read more about who can apply and how to apply in this FAQ sheet.

 

FAQs: Treasury.gov PPP Information Sheet and U.S Chamber of Commerce Guide

Form: Paycheck Protection Program Application Form

Business Continuity Strategy

CO: Surviving the Coronavirus – Resources for Small Business (visit)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has created a resource hub with a growing collection of articles intended to help small businesses during the pandemic. The blog posts cover topics such as strategies to curb business losses, managing employees, keeping up morale, communicating with customers, and transitioning to virtual work.

COVID-19 Business Resource Center – Hello Alice (visit)

This resource center curates a large number of resources (articles, webinars, guides) produced by various companies and organizations to help small businesses during the crisis. Recommended by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Coronavirus Small Business Resource Hub – SCORE (visit)

SCORE, an organization which partners with the Small Business Administration to provide advice to small businesses, is publishing a variety of articles with a focus on small business financing, solving cash flow problems, and managing employees during the crisis.

SBA Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources: COVID-19 (visit)

The SBA provides guidance on financial assistance and common issues small businesses may face during the crisis.

Business Interruption Insurance

As a group practice, you may have business interruption insurance coverage through your insurance policy (which is also known as business income insurance). This blog post provides some answers as to whether your business interruption insurance might cover some of your recovery costs. The New York State Department of Financial Services has also released a helpful FAQ on business interruption insurance during COVID-19.

Business Continuity Software

Telehealth

Telehealth allows your clients to keep their sessions with your practice without having to leave the comfort of their home. thera-LINK is partnering with CodeMetro to provide an industry-leading telehealth video platform that is easy to use and HIPAA-compliant. Take your ABA practice online with telehealth provided by thera-LINK.

EHR Software

The speed and efficiency of your business operations can help ensure that you are continuing to serve your patients and bringing in revenue. Practice management software can keep every aspect of your business running smoothly and features scheduling, billing, payroll, and reporting.

Data Collection

Improve your clinical results by using Catalyst to collect the data you need from your client sessions. You can also enable employees to track and review data from wherever they are.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be used in lieu of practitioners own due diligence, state and federal regulations, and funders’ policies. During the Coronavirus pandemic, and when implementing telehealth, be sure to use your resources and complete the proper follow-up with funders and insurance.

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