Regulation

COVID-19 has initiated large changes in regulation to allow flexibility in local and state responses as needed. Expanded payment and guidelines around telehealth, pathways to initial licensure, and scope of practice restrictions have all been modified. The following resources summarize these changes and evaluate which have evidence to suggest they should be sustained post-COVID-19.

(10/21/2020) Bridging the Miles—And the Pandemic—Teledentistry Makes Some Dentists Wince
Teledentistry allows dental professionals to provide care remotely. While proponents of teledentistry claim it can help provide oral health to rural Americans with limited access to care, barriers to adopting teledentistry include difficulty getting insurers to pay for it and technological obstacles. This article by Kaiser Health News describes some barriers which prevent widespread adoption of teledentistry.

(11/12/2020) Public Support for Social Safety-net Policies for COVID-19 in the United States, April 2020
The article describes a survey of US adults which aimed to examine public support structures (health insurance, income support, and unemployment policies) during the earlier months of the COVID-19 pandemic and to assess varying public support about the role of government. During the initial phase of the pandemic, most US adults were supportive of a range of safety-net policies.

(10/29/2020) Oregon Dentists Trained to Give Vaccines
A news article describing a recently passed law by Oregon lawmakers (Oregon House Bill 2020), permitting dentists to administer vaccinations, becoming the only state allowing this with no restrictions on vaccination type or age group of vaccine recipient.

(10/23/20) ADA Supports Efforts Allowing Dentists to Administer Vaccines
On October 19, the ADA House of Delegates passed a resolution (Resolution 91H-2020) offering support to dentists who seek to administer vaccines, including a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 when it becomes available.

(10/23/20) ADA Supports Allowing Dentists to Expand Scope of Practice During Public Health Emergencies
A resolution passed by the ADA House of Delegates in October 2020 supports increasing medical capacity to participating dentists during declared public health emergencies. The resolution (Resolution 20H-2020) states dentists should be allowed to administer critical vaccines, perform FDA-authorized diagnostic tests, take patient histories and triage patients, and perform other ancillary medical procedures and activities to expand the nation’s surge capacity.

(08/31/20) State Levers to Support Dental Care in COVID-19’s Public Health and Economic Emergency
This article describes support for dental coverage in Medicaid programs, including the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund, and actions designed to reward dentists who accept Medicaid. It also discusses the use of teledentistry to address gaps in access to care and state Medicaid teledentistry guidance in response to COVID-19.

(07/28/20) New ADA Flowchart Covers Steps if Staff, Household Member Test Positive for COVID-19
This article by the ADA discusses a new flowchart with guidance to follow if a staff member or someone in their household tests positive for COVID-19.

(04/30/20) Find COVID-19 Dental Regulations by State With ADA Interactive Map
The ADA COVID-19 State Mandates and Recommendations webpage is an interactive map where dentists and dental societies can identify regulations, recommendations, and mandates regarding the practice of dentistry in their respective states during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Various Dates) The CARES Act Provides Assistance for State, Local, and Tribal Governments
The US Department of the Treasury website has a number of resources related to the CARES Act, providing assistance for state, local, and tribal governments.

(03/20) Fast-Track to Teledentistry: Removing Barriers to Care While Maximizing Overall Health
A white paper by DentaQuest titled “Fast-Track to Teledentistry” discusses teledentistry as a means of removing barriers to care.