August 20, 2020
As it has been reported in the media that several healthcare provider associations would receive a letter from the Attorney General’s office concerning PPE fees, the CSDA today received a letter from the Attorney General addressing in-network healthcare providers charging additional PPE fees. The Attorney General stated in his letter (click here to read the full letter) that:
“It is the Office’s position that charging patients an additional fee for PPE constitutes illegal balance billing when the charges are assessed in connection with in-network services covered by the patients’ health plans.”
To be clear, this position relates to in-network providers only. We have requested a meeting with the Attorney General’s office to seek clarification on the out-of-network issues.
We continue to advise you to check your provider contracts and review the terms of your participation agreements before charging for PPE. Please note: It is unethical for healthcare providers to only charge uninsured patients or only seek reimbursement for insured patients for PPE costs. The fee a healthcare provider charges a patient without insurance is considered the dentist’s full fee and should be represented to all third-party payers. The ADA offers a summary and guidance (click here) on billing for PPE as well as a listing of the dental plans currently providing financial assistance during this time. Please be sure to review this document as it has been recently updated on August 18, 2020.
For further guidance on PPE fees, click here to check out the latest coronavirus updates on the CSDA’s website.
Tam Le, DMD
Resources to Extend or Reuse N95 Respirators During Supply Chain Challenges
Difficulties in sourcing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic continue, making it important for dental practices to conserve their supplies, especially N95 respirators. The ADA has developed helpful resources to assist dentists in determining when and how to extend the use of N95 masks/respirators while maintaining appropriate infection control.
The definitions of extended use v. reuse, and links to strategies to optimize the supply of N95 respirators, decontamination and reuse of N95 respirators, and guidance on reprocessing respirators are provided in this helpful resource.
Download the Extending the Use of
N95 Fit Test Information
Want to learn more about fit tests and seal checks for N95 masks?
Download ADA Guidance
List of fit check resources:
CT Department of Labor
- Dynamic Dental Services: Howard Pactovis (www.dynamicdentalsafety.com or 855.674.2337)
- Concentra Occupational Health: 866.944.6046
- Velocity Urgent Care in Rocky Hill: 860.372.4990
- Contact your local Hospital or Fire Marshall for additional contacts
N95 Respirator Training
ADA's Risk Assessment
FDA removes Emergency Use Authorization for some KN95 masks
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has removed its Emergency Use Authorization for several KN95 masks, which are made in China, after they failed to meet a minimum particulate filtration efficiency of 95% in National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health testing. Read more
Obtaining appropriate PPE
Have you contacted your local health department to ask for PPE? Although the quantity, type, and quality may differ from town to town, it’s worth placing a call to request supplies! Click here for local health department contact information.
The ADA has no authority over supply production or distribution, and therefore recommends that each individual dentist contact their personal distributor, perhaps daily, to secure whatever supplies are available. There is no overarching strategy to access needed PPE, as the pinch point is supply vs. overwhelming demand. Click here for the list of the authorized dealers on the FDA website.
Massachusetts Dental Society Webinar on Industry Issues in the Time of COVID
There is still much unease and uncertainty, especially with the supply chain of much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE), as dental practices begin to prepare to reopen their practices. Join Ellen Factor, MDS managing director of membership and dental practice, as she leads a video Q&A with two executives from Henry Schein on “Industry Issues in the Time of COVID.” David Kochman, vice president of corporate affairs and deputy chief of staff in the office of the CEO, and Anthony (AJ) Caffentzis, president of U.S. dental distribution, address testing and the supply chain status. Thank you to the Massachusetts Dental Society for sharing this webinar with our members.
Watch the MDS Webinar