Apparently I did not read the CARES ACT thoroughly. I knew about the personal stimulus checks. I knew that I could get a small business loan that would be forgiven as long as 75% of it was used for payroll. I even knew that I could get accelerated Medicare payments to keep my practice solvent if I applied. But what nobody mentioned was that buried deep in the bill were grants to Medicare providers of slightly over 6% of yearly collections with apparently the only caveat being that if you see out of network Covid patients, you agree not to balance bill for more than their usual copayments under their insurance.
I was doing my usual Friday night bookkeeping (pay the bills, transfer money between accounts to cover payroll, make sure all checks have cleared, etc), and when I went to check the deposit account (the one all the payments are electronically sent to) there was a big chunk of money from “HHS stimulus”. I figured it was an error of some kind since I have been double paid by insurance before and then of course they took it back.
So I went to try to research this and found this:
So apparently it is real and it couldn’t come at a better time. Over the last month, my patient visits have dropped about 60% since nobody wants to come to the doctor. We have started telemedicine but we are just now getting it up and running. I’m just surprised that I didn’t hear about this money. I guess it is because the large majority has gone to hospitals and to large practices and most of my physician friends are employed so the money goes to the employer, not to them.
Anyway, I guess I need to thank Congress for actually thinking of those like me that are not so much directly in the trenches, but are still trying to keep our practices open.
Where does this money come from? I heard the word Trillion being thrown around. Has this already been collected in taxes, just sitting there for a rainy day? Or does it just get addded to the borrowed 4-trillion Iraq War debt that we haven’t started paying back yet?
I assume that the money comes from the same place that the rest of the stimulus money comes from. Isn’t Trump paying for it? He acts like he is personally giving people money. Seriously, though, this is keeping me from getting one of the small business loans, which the government is paying to forgive anyway, so I am not going to net any extra money. I may not be actively treating sick patients but I like to think that I am helping to keep patients out of the ER so keeping my practice open does yield some value.
”Money” is fundamentally an agreement that we have collectively made to honor the exchange of goods and services with a promise of future value. The vast majority of the world economy is not based upon actual goods and the real (i.e. immediately realized) value of property, but instead upon speculation of some future valuation. This is basically the entire premise of the commercial mortgage industry which assumes the inflated values being paid for prime commercial real estate will be met by either future inflation of values or some kind of business model in which people just drive in with dump trucks of cash.
If you are looking for gold bullion, or shipping containers full of hundred dollar bills…well, we literally lost plenty of those in Iraq, and invested more into infrastructure projects in Afghanistan that never saw the light of day, for which exactly no one has been held accountable. By comparison, taking on federal debt now to secure the future of small businesses, which employ nearly half of all American workers and that provide many essential services including making sure your toilet doesn’t back up into your kitchen, is an eminently sensible measure under the circumstances, given that the alternative is to let the entire economy fold into itself like a blow-up sex doll punctured by an errant nipple ring.
Cool! I just saw this word last night. I’m reading Angle of Repose. I’d heard it before but never really knew what it referred to.
Also, when I was in Cornwall about 30 years ago, a local publican asked if my friend and I were “Cousin Jacks.” I’d never heard the term before or since. And Angle of Repose used this it, too. It refers to Cornishmen who left Cornwall for America. Turns out that, although I didn’t know it then, I actually am 5% Cornish – a Cousin Jack!