IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR COS MEMBERS

Dear Colleagues,

As the medical community continues to navigate the pandemic and its impact on public health, many orthopaedic surgeons have concerns regarding their staff and business cash flow as elective surgeries are cancelled and patient office visits are curtailed to protect patients and staff.

The COS is sharing information (attached) regarding state financial assistance available as well as considerations for your practice, changes in CT Tax filing deadlines and state economic initiatives. All the information is outlined below with resource links for more information and details.

As we all work to provide care, employ our staff and do what is right for the safety and health of patients, the COS will continue to provide helpful information and timely updates to the orthopaedic community via the Society’s website, www.ctortho.org.

If you have any additional information, tips or suggestions that your practice and/or ASC is using to help mitigate health concerns and financial impact, please forward to the COS via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you have any questions you would like to submit, we will work to find the best resource to help answer your questions and address your concerns.

Thank you for all you are doing to continue to provide high quality orthopaedic care to patients.  

Stay well and be safe.

Sincerely,

Michael Aronow, MD
President
Connecticut Orthopaedic Society

Connecticut Orthopaedic Society

COVID 19 – Information & Updates for the Orthopaedic Community 


Employer Assistance, Practice Considerations, CT Economic Response and Tax Delay

Employer Assistance-Alternative to Layoffs – Connecticut Shared Work Program
Shared Work is a voluntary program that helps employers during business downturns by providing an alternative to layoffs. Instead of laying off permanent part or full-time employees, hours are cut, and the Program pays partial unemployment benefits for the hours employees have lost. The program provides a weekly unemployment compensation payment to the employees whose work weeks have been reduced. It also ensures that these workers will be available for regular hours when business upturns.

Shared Work preserves jobs and the skilled workforce during a disruption in regular business. Employers are able to reduce work hours for an entire group of affected employees rather than laying off some while others continue to work full time. If business downturns are forcing workforce reductions of 10 – 60%, Shared Work program can help. 

To review the program and application to participate, go to https://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/progsupt/bussrvce/shared_work/SW_employer_info.htm

 

Practice Considerations:
In a time of limited resources with risk of patient, provider and staff infection, orthopaedic surgeons need to decide which surgical procedures are necessary and which should be postponed. The most recent American College of Surgeons, Ambulatory Surgery Center Association and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Guidelines can be found at:

Connecticut’s Economic Response
The federal and state governments are working diligently to provide small business assistance, tax payment extensions and accelerated unemployment benefits. Please understand most of this comes out via press conferences daily with many items still to pass Congress. As a result, it is very difficult to provide specifics. It is a very fluid situation which is being updated daily. The details on these assistance packages, once released, will determine how they will apply to orthopaedic practices. 

The State is responding to the economic components of the current crisis and taking initiatives to help maintain the economy. The seven main initiatives the state is currently taking are listed below.  Resources for businesses can be found here: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Pages/Business-Resources

  1. Help limit and reduce fixed costs
    1. Unemployment benefits for full and part time employees.* 
    2. Shared work program between small businesses and Dept. of Labor
    *Currently, there are over 40,000 unemployment claims in the state since last week, with 12,000 filed yesterday 3/18/2020.
  2. Lending
    1. Importance of capital 
    2. Forbearing on certain loans through June 30th, banks extending credit, lower interest rates, important for banks to act as partners
    3. Declaration for disaster relief--businesses can apply for loans up to $2 million, provide more capital to businesses quickly
  3. Payment Relief
    1. Defer or delay certain payments allowing up to 3 months of payment relief 
    2. Encourage lenders to work with customers 
  4. Tax Relief
    1. Preserve working capital
    2. Implement low interest loans
    3. Extend filing/payment deadline for certain taxes to be paid
    4. Allow more time to complete returns
  5. Temporary Regulatory Relief
    1. Make sure businesses can operate during this time with modifications in sensible way. In other words, modify practices to remain open, but in a safe way and only if necessary. 
  6. Relief on Utility Cost
    1. 30-day moratorium for utility shut-offs for individuals and businesses through May 1st.
  7. Paid sick leave
    1. Employers with fewer than 500 employees get 2 weeks paid sick leave and 12 weeks family and medical leave paid for by the state/federal government

*Additionally, Governor Lamont announced that he has postponed the state’s presidential primary to June 2nd.The decision was made in coordination with other states and our Secretary of the State, and in an effort to carry out Democracy while keeping public health a top priority. 

For additional information on Connecticut’s actions related to COVID-19, click this link.
https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Coronavirus/COVID-19-FAQs.pdf?la=en

 

CT Annual Tax Returns Filing Extension: Physician Practices & ASCs
Effective immediately, the filing deadlines for certain annual tax returns due on or after March 15, 2020, and before June 1, 2020, are extended by at least 30 days. In addition, the payments associated with these returns are also extended to the corresponding due date in June.

https://portal.ct.gov/DRS/News---Press-Releases/2020/2020-Press-Releases/Effective-Immediately-DRS-Extends-Filing-Deadline-for-Certain-Annual-State-Business-Tax-Returns

The impacted returns and the associated filing dates and payment deadlines are set forth below:

  • 2019 Form CT-1065/CT-1120 SI Connecticut Pass-Though Entity Tax Return: Filing date extended to April 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020
  • 2019 Form CT-990T Connecticut Unrelated Business Income Tax Return: Filing date extended to June 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020
  • 2019 Form CT-1120 and CT-1120CU Connecticut Corporation Business Return: Filing date extended to June 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020  

This information is not meant to replace any advice or counsel you should receive from your accountant, lender, business partners and legal counsel.