COVID-19 Updates: WSDA continues conversations with DOSH, CDC releases new dental guidelines, request PPE from your local health jurisdiction & more.
DOSH Update & New CDC Dental Guidelines
WSDA has had several conversations with DOSH leadership since directive “General Coronavirus Prevention Under Stay Home – Stay Health Order” was issued and updated by Labor and Industries’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) late last week.
Today, the CDC released new “Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response.” In a conversation with WSDA this afternoon, DOSH leadership indicated that they will be reviewing the new CDC guidelines, and WSDA is urging them to update their directive based on this new guidance.
Excerpt from CDC Guidance for Dental Settings
“DHCP should wear a surgical mask, eye protection (goggles, protective eyewear with solid side shields, or a full-face shield), and a gown or protective clothing during procedures likely to generate splashing or spattering of blood or other body fluids…During aerosol-generating procedures conducted on patients assumed to be non-contagious, consider the use of an N95 respirator or a respirator that offers a higher level of protection such as other disposable filtering facepiece respirators, PAPRs, or elastomeric respirators, if available. Respirators should be used in the context of a respiratory protection program, which includes medical evaluations, training, and fit testing. Of note, it is uncertain if respirators with exhalation valves provide source control.
If a respirator is not available for an aerosol-generating procedure, use both a surgical mask and a full-face shield.
Ensure that the mask is cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a surgical mask. Use the highest level of surgical mask available. If a surgical mask and a full-face shield are not available, do not perform any aerosol-generating procedures.”
View CDC Guidelines
Request PPE From Your Local Health Jurisdiction with Assistance From NWHRN
We want to make you aware of an opportunity for dentists to individually request PPE supplies from their local health jurisdiction with assistance from the Northwest Healthcare Response Network (NWHRN). While NWHRN does not order, store, nor provide PPE directly to facilities, the organization does assist in the resource request process.
Visit nwhrn.org to download the request form and be sure to pay special attention to the instructions for your county on how to individually request PPE from your local health jurisdiction.
Understand PPE Coding and Billing
The ADA released a guide on coding and billing for protective personal equipment. This guide includes information and responses to frequently asked questions, especially as they relate to charges for PPE when participating with third- party payment programs. Some third-party payers are launching programs to provide financial support for dental offices to support the increased cost of PPE. A tracking sheet of payer policies is included in the guide. For questions about billing and coding, contact email@example.com.
Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application Now Available
The Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Department of the Treasury released the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application on May 15. According to the SBA, the application form contains “several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process.” The agency also said it plans to issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers and lenders.
The ADA is “urging Congress to increase the flexibility within the Paycheck Protection Program, including modifying the loan forgiveness provision,” and the ADA and Organized Dentistry Coalition “are also asking Congress to allow the loan funds to be used for purchasing additional personal protective equipment as well as for tax credits to be provided for personal protective equipment.” Read the ADA letter to Congress here.
Dr. Dennis Bradshaw