We are now over two months into COVID-19 affecting our lives and practices. While things are starting to reopen and you are headed back to the office, it’s more important than ever to stay diligent and creative for your patients’ and staff’s safety and comfort.
As we look out forward to the rest of the year, things can seem daunting. When will you open your office back up? Will patients even show up? And most importantly – how can you make your practice thrive while people continue social distancing?
These are big questions, and the answers are unique to your practice. But as you consider them and other questions about your practice’s transition through COVID-19, there are two resources you should keep in mind – Teledentistry and The CARES Act. Here is some info on them both, and how they can help your practice in the coming months.
Teledentistry has been around for a while, but the COVID-19 pandemic has brought it and other telehealth services to the forefront. Insurance companies are offering more coverage for teledentistry service. Practices are adopting it as a new way to care for their patients during COVID-19 and beyond. Getting set up to provide teledentistry allows you to consult with your patients, diagnose common issues, prescribe medications, and provide palliative care until they are able to able to visit your office for treatment.
There are great guides online (like RevenueWell’s) that go into detail on what teledentistry can do for your practice and how to get set up while staying HIPAA compliant.
The CARES Act
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was put into place in March to create a $2.2 trillion dollar lifeline to the American economy and help businesses stay on their feet through COVID-19. But what does it mean for your dental office?
As a business owner, having a firm grasp of the different opportunities and options it can bring to your business and employees will be hugely helpful. So we encourage you to read through the CARES Act yourself, if you haven’t already. But, one element of the CARES Act that’s especially important for dental practices to be aware of as this crisis continues is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Here is a quick overview of the PPP:
- PPP loans are available until June 30, 2020.
- The PPP Appropriates $349 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) Section 7(a) loans.
- Eligible businesses employ less than 500 employees. Your dental practice is likely eligible!
- Loan amounts can be up to 250% of the practice’s monthly payroll cost for the year leading up to the loan.
- Costs include things like salaries, healthcare benefits, local and state taxes, etc.
PPP requirements could potentially change with new legislation. Make sure to check SBA.gov for details and more information on the eligibility of your practice.
These are just two things to consider as you are creating a plan for your practice during the next few months.
If you’re looking for more information on how COVID-19 is affecting dental practices, check out the ADA Health Policy Institute – they have a few helpful webinars and resources on COVID-19’s impact on dentistry. And for some tips on how to keep in contact with your patients via social media during COVID-19, download our FREE social media guide below!