LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

Senate Passes CARES Act, 3rd COVID-19 Relief Bill

For the last few weeks, the American Dental Association has advocated on dentists' behalf as federal lawmakers debate the best way to respond to the deepening economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Congress is finalizing legislation that could support dentists during these exceptional circumstances.

Read the latest information on the CARES Act
Webinar: What's In the CARES Act and How It Can Immediately Impact My Dental Practice
Loans Affected by the CARES Act
Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act

HR 6201 Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Read the latest information on HR 6201 Families First Coronavirus Response Act

GOV STITT ISSUES “SAFER AT HOME” ORDER

Gov. Kevin Stitt announced further restrictions to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Oklahoma.  Stitt issued a “safer at home” order for vulnerable Oklahomans to stay at home until April 30, except for essential travels, such as going to the grocery stores or going to the pharmacy.  Read the whole article HERE.

Additionally,  Please find a summary of the actions Governor Stitt took as well as a list of all state actions taken to date to respond to and prepare for COVID-19 HERE.

Governor Stitt's Executive Order 2020-07

HR 1784 Healthy Families Act

Read the latest Information on HR 1784 Healthy Families Act

  • This bill addresses small business and their obligations to their employees. 
HR 3415 Paid Sick Days for Public Health Emergencies and Personal and Family Care Act

H3415 Paid Sick Days for Public Health Emergencies and Personal and Family Care Act

  • This bill expands the availability of paid sick time by requiring employers with at least one employee to provide a minimum amount of accrued paid sick time per work week and additional paid sick time in the event of a public-health emergency such as the coronavirus outbreak
ADA Legislative Package

ADA lobbies Congress’ coronavirus legislative package

Click here to read more about the ADA's efforts to ensure current proposed bills are beneficial to dentists and patients.

Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Oklahoma small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This funding will be provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by President Trump. To qualify for the program, the state must submit documentation of business losses for at least five businesses per county. If approved, an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration will make disaster loans of up to $2 million available to small businesses and private, nonprofit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by COVID-19. According to the SBA, these loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the impact of COVID-19. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere and 2.75% for nonprofits. Businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible for this program. damage.ok.gov

Small Business Administration Clarifies Rule with ADA

ADA has confirmed that dentists are eligible for both the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA).  Read more HERE.

Update from Dr. Chad P. Gehani, ADA President

IMPORTANT MESSAGE

Governor Extends Executive Order Until April 30 for All 77 Counties

In the press conference on 4/2/2020, Governor Stitt issued an extended Executive Order.  #18 of the Order reads:

Oklahomans and medical providers in Oklahoma shall postpone all elective surgeries, minor medical procedures, and non-emergency dental procedures until April 30, 2020.  Therefore, Oklahoma dentists should only be seeing patients for emergency / urgent care until that date.  Violation is subject to Oklahoma Board of Dentistry enforcement.

This may change and could be updated on a day-to-day basis as the news around COVID-19 is rapidly changing.

Reminder:

Treatment is Limited to Emergency and Urgent Care Only

According to the Oklahoma State Dental Act, all dentists are required to follow CDC and OSHA guidelines at all times while practicing dentistry. The CDC has issued specific guidance on the practice of dentistry during the current COVID-19 emergency, specifically limiting the scope of the practice of dentistry to defined emergency and urgent procedures.  To protect yourself, your team and your patients, PLEASE follow these guidelines.

 

Emergency or Non-Emergency?

Concentrating on emergency dental care only during this time period will allow dentists and their teams to care for emergency patients and alleviate the burden that dental emergencies would place on hospital emergency departments.

The following was issued by the ADA and should be helpful in determining what is considered “emergency” versus “non-emergency.” This guidance may change as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, and dentists should use their professional judgment in determining a patient’s need for urgent or emergency care.


Click on the image to download a printer friendly pdf. 

It is up to you to decide what is emergent care in your office, however, only treating patients with dental emergencies will ensure you are doing your part to keep patients out of hospital emergency rooms and help to prevent hospitals from becoming overburdened. The ADA and ODA are committed to providing the latest information to the profession in a useful and timely manner. Please visit ADA.org/virus or okda.org/COVID-19 for the latest information.

By rescheduling elective procedures, dentists are doing our part to prevent community spread. 


 The ODA urges dentists to undertake the above strategies and consider the following additional measures:

  • Use cell phone triage - use the cell phone to take a picture of the area and text to the dentist.
  • Have a detailed questionnaire/conversation before scheduling appointments and prior to any procedure about flu-like symptoms, travel abroad for self and family/friends/co-workers, etc. to permit a thorough evaluation of the patient. (SAMPLE PATIENT QUESTIONNAIRE)
  • Consider taking the temperature of the patient at the outset.
  • Reconsider scheduling high-risk patients unless they need emergency treatment.
  • Evaluate carefully the need for scheduling of ASA 2 & 3 patients.
  • Use of 1% hydrogen peroxide rinse prior to examination of the oral cavity by the patient to reduce microbial load.
  • Use of rubber dam isolation or Isodry and high-volume suction to limit aerosol in treatment procedures.
  • Proper disinfection protocol between patients with a possible repeat of the protocol for a 2nd time.
  • To prevent over-crowding of waiting areas or the possible spread of infection
  • Consider having patients wait in their cars instead of the waiting areas to prevent inadvertent spread of the virus (call patient when surgical area is ready for treatment).
  • Consider staggering appointment times to reduce waiting room exposure.
  • Consider rescheduling elective procedures on ASA 2 & 3 patients (https://www.asahq.org/standards-and-guidelines/asa-physical-status-classification-system).
  • Have front desk staff take measures to prevent exposure.
  • Have sterilization staff, lab technicians and auxiliary staff take adequate measures to prevent exposure
  • Limit access to waiting room use to only patients. Accompanying individuals must wait in their respective transportation.
  • Remove all magazines/toys etc. from waiting area to prevent contamination.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we navigate these very difficult and unprecedented times.

Dentists are a major part of health care delivery in the country, and continuously prioritize the overall health of the patient. Taking responsible action right now is the best thing that can be done at this time for patients, for office teams and for the health care system.

The ODA recognizes that as small business owners, dentists have families and employees who rely on them; the ODA wants to ensure that the long-term impact is minimized as this virus ripples through the country. The ADA is advocating for relief for dental offices at the federal level and the ODA will continue to advocate for our members in Oklahoma.

The ODA will provide updates via email, on our social media platforms and here on our website.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Request for PPE

All practitioners are urged to donate PPE to their local Hospital.

The #1 need is masks!
Other Needed Items Include:
-Nitrile gloves
-Eye protection
-Impermeable gowns
-Touchless thermometers
-Hand sanitizer
-Bleach wipes
-Disinfectant wipes

We know these items are scarce right now, but this type of personal protective equipment (PPE) is the only barrier between workers and the disease. Hospitals need it to not only protect themselves – but the community at large. Thank you for assisting in this fight!

Donation Information

Coding and Billing

The ADA has provided THIS update for COVID-19 coding and billing Interim Guidance. 

*Please check back often for the most up-to-date information. 

Teledentistry and COVID-19

View Information

CDC Guidance for Dental Settings

Key Concepts

  • Dental settings have unique characteristics that warrant additional infection control considerations.
  • Postpone elective procedures, surgeries, and non-urgent dental visits, and contact patients prior to emergency procedures. Stay at home if sick and know steps to take if a patient with COVID-19 symptoms enters your facility.

Learn More

Patient Communication During COVID-19

It is crucial that you stay in contact with your patients during this time to ensure they know you are still there to meet their emergency and urgent oral health care needs. Communicating with your patients not only answers their important questions, but  also validates that you are still accessible and truly care about their health. Also, make sure to communicate with your staff so they are prepared to respond in a helpful, calm, and reassuring manner.

Patient Communication Resources

ADA Sample Letter

Social Media Communication Examples

Infection Control

Can I wash or reuse face masks?
Single-use masks, or disposable masks, should not be washed for the purpose of reusing with patients.

What do I do if I run out of face masks, gloves, or other PPE?
The FDA has stated that it is continuing to monitor the domestic and global supply chain for potential disruptions or shortages and will “use all available tools to react swiftly and mitigate the impact to U.S. patients and healthcare professionals.” In the meantime, the agency encourages healthcare facilities to report any supply disruptions to deviceshortages@fda.hhs.gov.

If you do not have adequate supplies to meet regulations, you should reschedule patient appointments when required PPE is replenished for your office.

Should my office provide face masks to patients while they wait for treatment?
Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. Dentists are advised to only proceed with appointments for patients who do not show symptoms, and the CDC does not recommend a face mask for people who are well.

In small or crowded waiting rooms that offer less than six feet of distance between patients, office staff can offer patients the option to wait in their cars and receive a phone call or text message when it is their turn for treatment.

What policies and practices should my office follow to minimize the chance of exposure?
Interim CDC guidance for businesses and employers recommends that:

  • Employers encourage employees who report symptoms of acute respiratory illness to stay home and not return to work until they are free of symptoms for at least 24 hours without the use of fever relieving or symptom altering medications.
  • If an employee appears to be sick upon arrival to work, they should be separated from other employees and sent home immediately.
  • Employees cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Employees wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used.

CDC recommends employers place posters that encourage coughing and sneezing etiquette and proper hand hygiene at the entrance to their workplace and in other areas where they are likely seen.

Which disinfectants that are effective against the novel coronavirus can I use in my dental practice?

The EPA recently released a list of disinfectants that are effective against the novel coronavirus. You will need to use a disinfectant that also meets the requirements of the state dental board's infection control regulations. Reference this list of EPA- and state-approved disinfectants.

Patient Screening

What is the procedure for screening patients?
CDC recommends healthcare facilities, including dental offices, screen patients before proceeding with an appointment. Information to take note of:

  • Any individual who exhibits or reports signs of acute respiratory illness such as coughing, fever and shortness of breath.
  • Recent travel to any locations that have a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for COVID-19. Verify when the patient returned to the United States. If the patient reports that at least two weeks have passed since their return from one of the identified regions and no symptoms have presented, the dental office can proceed with the appointment. When local, state or federal public health officials declare the disease is at the community level, screening for travel is not necessary.
  • Close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19.

Dentists may also send a notice advising patients who are experiencing acute respiratory illness to remain home and reschedule appointments.

CDC Guidelines for Patient Screening. 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html

Free Online Training
  • Online toolkit for preventing the spread of Covid-19
  • Free concise online training course for you & your team, based on recommendations from the CDC and ADA, to give you the tools to protect yourself & your loved ones, work associates and patients.

ADA CARES Act

  • What's in the CARES Act and How Can it Immediately Impact My Dental Practice?
CDC County Specific Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance can be found here. To make sure dental offices are implementing COVID-19 strategies specific to their local area, please visit the CDC for recommendations on infection control and county-specific guidance.

Oklahoma State Department of Health

Information on prevention, testing, and current Oklahoma case count may be found https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/

Oklahoma Board of Dentistry

Updates from the Board of Dentistry can be found https://www.ok.gov/dentistry/

Emergency vs. Non-Emergency Procedures

 ADA Offers Guidance for Determining Dental Procedures 

Department of Labor
The Wage and Hour Division provides information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to influenza, pandemics, or other public health emergencies, and their effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

ADA NEWS

Infectious Diseases: 2019 Novel Coronavirus

View the ADA’s resources on Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions.

VIEW RESOURCES ➜

State Governor and State Society Position Statements

Read other state's governments and professional dental organization's statements regarding Covid-19.

READ THE STATEMENTS ➜

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act

ADA initiates grassroots campaign in response to CARES Act.

LEARN MORE ➜ 

ADA Joins Other Health Care Organizations in an Appeal for More PPE

The ADA signed statement supporting an increase of PPE and other medical equipment produced and distributed at a federal level.

LEARN MORE ➜ 

ODA NEWS

ODA Staff Working Remotely

The ODA staff is currently working from home. We do not anticipate there to be any disruption in the advice and service they provide for our members on a day to day basis.

If you need to contact the staff, call our temporary number 405.510.0320 or email information@okda.org and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.

Annual Meeting

The ODA has currently CANCELLED the ODA meeting scheduled for April 16-18, 2020  Learn more

Supplies

Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is causing a global increase in demand for face masks and many infection control products. This increase in demand is putting pressure on our manufacturing partners who are working to maintain a steady stream of supply. The ODA endorsed supplier, ODASupply Source, are doing their best to maintain inventories. They have limited some order quantities and we encourage you to reach out to them directly at 877-659-7310 or support@ODASupplySource.com for all your supply needs.

Patterson customers can now elect to defer payments on Patterson Financial Services loans for up to 90 days. This special deferral program is only applicable to Patterson Financial Services loans and does NOT apply to Patterson Dental regular merchandise accounts. Learn more.