Since funds became available, in-home care businesses across the U.S. have received more than $666.36 million in loans of under $150,000 via the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a July Home Health Care News review of federal data found.
They have received hundreds of millions of dollars in large PPP loans at or above $150,000 as well, a new follow-up analysis reveals.
Created by the CARES Act, PPP is a potentially forgivable loan program designed to keep small and mid-sized businesses afloat during the economic fallout triggered by the COVID-19 virus. As of Aug. 3, more than 5 million PPP loans have been approved, adding up to more than $521 billion, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Home health and home care providers have, in some instances, turned to PPP to overcome sudden dips in business due to patients and clients refusing service.
Some providers have additionally used PPP funds to better retain workers by financing bonuses, hazard pay and other compensation initiatives.
“With the help of PPP and other smart financial readiness and resources, Interim HealthCare operators have been able to continue paying [their] essential employees on the front lines,” Jennifer Sheets, president and CEO of Interim HealthCare Inc., told HHCN in an email. “It has allowed owners to expand their reach so home care continues to be a vital resource and strategic weapon to battle this public health emergency and to support more people in their local communities across the 41 states we collectively serve.”
Sunrise, Florida-based Interim HealthCare is a diverse home-based care franchise company with hundreds of locations across the U.S.
Combined, businesses delivering some form of in-home care have received more than 7,400 individual PPP loans at or above $150,000, HHCN’s follow-up analysis found. Those loans range from a minimum of $150,000 to a maximum of $10 million.
The amount any small business is eligible to borrow is 250% of its average monthly payroll expenses, up to a total of $10 million.
Congress mainly designed PPP as a way for companies to keep workers on payroll, but it has also been a valuable tool for paying for costly medical supplies during the COVID-19 crisis.
“We continue to see the need for full loan forgiveness for franchise owners, as other expenses during COVID-19, such as PPE, have been very challenging,” Sheets said.
While the bulk of PPP recipients are part of standalone corporations or independent businesses, many individual franchise locations also received support.
More than a dozen Interim HealthCare locations received PPP support to help with the operational challenges of COVID-19, for example.
“As COVID-19 cases began to rise across the country and hospitals experienced a surge in patients, the need for home health care became more important than ever,” Sheets said. “For those Interim HealthCare owners who applied and received funding, the PPP loan allowed them to ensure their teams of home health aides, nurses and other staff members could continue to serve their patients, safely in the comfort of their own homes by front-line staff who had access to the right resources, including proper personal protective equipment (PPE).”
Franchise locations from Right at Home, Senior Helpers, ComForCare and several other major home care franchisers also received PPP support, federal data shows.
The different ranges
To analyze PPP data, HHCN used NAICS code 621610, which includes “establishments primarily engaged in providing skilled nursing services in the home” and a range of other in-home care entities.
In addition to home health and home care agencies, the code includes hospice providers, companies that deliver in-home therapy services and others.
In the PPP loan category of “at or above $150,000,” most in-home care businesses applied for loans in the range of $150,000 to $350,000. In fact, of the more than 7,400 large PPP loans issued to in-home care businesses, more than half were within that range.
About one-third of in-home care businesses that applied for large PPP loans were in the $350,000-to-$1 million range, HHCN’s analysis shows. Slightly more than 12% applied for loans that checked in somewhere between $1 million and $5 million.
A total of 63 in-home care businesses linked to NAICS code 621610 were issued PPP loans in the $5 million-to-$10 million range.
Examples include Nizhoni Health, a Massachusetts-based home health provider that specializes in patients with acute mental illnesses, along with California-based Mission Healthcare, which recently launched an innovative palliative care program meant to keep vulnerable populations “out of no man’s land.”
The data analyzed by HHCN did not provide specific amounts secured by each PPP recipient.
Current law dictated that the Paycheck Protection Program close at the end of Aug. 8. As such, SBA is no longer accepting PPP applications from participating lenders.
When PPP did close, it did so with more than $130 billion in unused funds left on the table. Depending on what Congress does in terms of passing another federal stimulus package, it’s entirely possible that more PPP support is on the way, however.
When it comes to where PPP funding is going, in-home care companies in Texas received the highest number of large loans, followed by in-home care entities in California and Pennsylvania.
General corporations, limited liability companies and Subchapter S corporations received more than 90% of all large PPP loans that went to in-home care companies. Nonprofit organizations received about 5% of large PPP loans, with sole proprietorships receiving less than 2%.