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Alternatives to Medicare loans

Focus on grants and loans designed for nonprofits first.

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The Accelerated and Advance Payments program has helped many hospitals during the coronavirus. However, with the quick due date still set at 120 days, it may be smart to borrow from an alternative source to avoid having Medicare stop reimbursing claims if your hospital is unable to repay the advance. And if your hospital missed the opportunity to borrow before the program closed, these alternatives could help you make ends meet.

How we picked these lenders

These six lenders offer a wide range of terms so your hospital can take advantage of funding that won't be due shortly after you borrow it. We based our decision on the types of loan offered as well and included two lenders that work specifically with nonprofits so your hospital has the best chance of finding the funds it needs before you need to repay your advance under Medicare's Accelerated and Advance Payments.

6 alternatives to Medicare loans

Smartbiz

Starting at 4.75%

$5 million

Best for quickly applying for an SBA loan.

U.S. Bank

6.49% to 17.99%

$1 million

Best for hospitals looking for a wide range of loan options.

First Republic Bank

Starting at 2.25%

$500,000

Best for nonprofit hospitals looking for tax-exempt funding.

Propel Nonprofits

Starting at 6.5%

$600,000

Best for nonprofit hospitals located in the midwest.

Lendio

Starting at 6%

$5 million

Best for comparing lenders with large loan amounts and long loan terms.

Newtek

Starting at 6%

$10 million

Best for hospitals looking for online SBA funding.

Other business loans you can apply for today

To compare lenders, select your hospital's desired loan amount, annual revenue and time in business as well as your personal credit score on the table. Then click Show loans.

Data indicated here is updated regularly

Name Product Filter Values Loan amount APR Requirements
BHG business loans
$20,000 – $500,000
Starting at 6.99%
660+ credit score, no bankruptcies in the past year, licensed professional
Flexible financing for licensed professionals.
Lendio business loans
$500 – $5,000,000
Starting at 6%
Operate business in US or Canada, have a business bank account, 560+ personal credit score
Submit one simple application to potentially get offers from a network of over 300 legit business lenders.
Credibly business loans
$5,000 – $250,000
6+ months in business, $180K annual business revenue, 500+ credit $15K+ in monthly deposits
Funding to cover business expenses with daily or weekly repayments.
ROK Financial business loans
$10,000 – $5,000,000
Starting at 6%
Eligibility criteria 3+ months in business, $15,000+ in monthly gross sales or $180,000+ in annual sales
A connection service for all types of businesses — even startups.
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How to choose the best lender for your hospital

Your hospital will need to be on the lookout for lenders that offer larger loans and long terms to help keep monthly repayments low.

  • Loan term. Medicare's Accelerated and Advance Payments program only has a term of 120 days — which may not be long enough for many hospitals faced with a crisis. When searching for a lender, consider its maximum loan term and your hospital's ability to repay on a month-to-month basis.
  • Loan amount. Many lenders limit their maximum loan amount to $500,000 or less. Ensure any lender you choose offers a loan large enough to cover the amount you need reimbursed for Medicare expenses. This may limit you to SBA loans, which can be more difficult to qualify for.
  • Eligibility criteria. More than likely, a hospital will meet the minimum revenue and time in business requirements set by most lenders. But each owner will also need to pass a credit check, and you will need to provide your lender with balance sheets, business plans and revenue projections when you apply.
  • Location. Some of the lenders on our list only service businesses — including hospitals — in a select number of states. If a lender doesn't service your area, your hospital will be automatically rejected.

3 alternatives to private business loans

  1. In general, grants should be first on your list of funding opportunities. Many specifically work with nonprofits or businesses that work with underserved communities. Hospitals, especially those in rural areas, may be able to benefit from grants for businesses.
  2. Loans from community development financial institutions (CDFI) may also be helpful for small hospitals. These focus on helping businesses — especially nonprofits — access funding. And while they're still loans, you may qualify for lower rates than banks, credit unions and online lenders might otherwise offer.
  3. Government-backed loans, like SBA and USDA loans, should also be considered. Although many business loan programs during the coronavirus pandemic have ended, your hospital may still have access to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, among others.

Bottom line

While these are our top alternatives to Medicare loans, there are a wide variety of other business loan options your hospital may be able to take advantage of during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

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