May 20, 2020 | Issue 47
Reimbursement for PPE
Recently, we’ve heard from many of our members voicing concerns about the substantial increase in costs for each patient visit in the COVID-19 era. New challenges such as purchasing extra PPE, hiring more staff, and treating fewer patients during the course of a day all raise concern for dentists. Some of you have asked, “What is the IDA doing about this?”
 
Antitrust laws prohibit the IDA from being involved in pricing and reimbursement discussions. These laws provide that competitors, such as dentists, cannot get together and discuss pricing. An association like IDA is essentially a group of competitors, and as such the IDA cannot be involved in PPE pricing discussions with individual dentists or third party payers. IDA is also not allowed to negotiate reimbursement rates for the CDT code D1999, and cannot be involved in discussions on what dentists should charge patients for PPE, as this could potentially be a violation of antitrust statutes. Unfortunately this is not an area where we can support our members.
 
You as an individual provider are certainly entitled to contact your third party payers to identify solutions to these issues. The ADA recently issued a Statement on Third Party Payer Reimbursement for Costs Associated with Increased Standards for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which directs third party payers to “either (1) adjust the maximum allowable fees for all procedures or (2) allow a standard fee per date of service per patient to accommodate the rising costs of PPE. Not doing so would be deemed an automatic reduction in reimbursement rates.”
 
The IDA shares the ADA’s concern that “it is inappropriate for any third party benefit program to unfairly place the cost burden on dentists by disallowing or bundling charges for PPE on the pretext that the payment for additional required PPE is included in the payment for any other procedure billed for the visit.” 
Dr. Kathryn Kell Honored By IADR
Davenport dentist and Past President of the FDI World Dental Federation, Dr. Kathryn Kell has received the 2020 International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Honorary Membership Award for her contribution in support of dental research. Dr. Kell is a past president of the IDA and Davenport District Dental Society, as well as a former ADA Board of Trustees member. In addition to her commitment to organized dentistry, Dr. Kell is a long-time supporter of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, and is a recipient of the college’s Leadership Award and Dental Alumna of the Year. The IADR presented their awards locally due to the cancellation of their annual meeting. View all the awardees by clicking here .
IEDA Survey to Assess the Impact of COVID-19
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is requesting assistance in determining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iowa. They have developed a survey to assess how businesses, including dental offices, are handling the current crisis. The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, May 22 at 5:00 PM. 
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ADA Launches Accelerator Series
Designed with the input of a diverse group of dentists, the ADA Accelerator Series is a hub for financial, leadership, and work/life balance tools. This series includes regular webinars, with the first session, What Makes Humans Happy: The Science of Well-Being, led by Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos. During this webinar Dr. Santos will discuss the top 10 insights from the Science of Well-Being to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits.