Joseph Holland 0

Mississippi Dentists: Problems and Solutions to Recover from COVID-19

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Over the past 8 weeks, the country has experienced significant health and economic impacts. The COVID-19 pandemic has punctuated our society, which will require a new normalcy going forward. The new normal for all industries will require paradigm shifts involving restructuring best practices. The dental community seems to be the forgotten patriots during this COVID-19 crisis, yet, they have been impacted significantly too. As Mississippi dentists attempt to recover from the economic disruption due the mandatory shutter, the signatures below represent the voices of the Mississippi dental community. Your signature will help promote the solutions listed below to governmental leaders and stakeholders.

Problem Analyses of MS Dental Practices:

Operational Problems

  1. Mandated to shut down with only partial resources for personnel and interest and rent, etc
  2. Additional mandated overhead continued without revenue or federal assistance
  3. Business disruption will cause revenue lag for 6-8 months due to black out production
  4. Commercial property insurance carriers are communicating to their dental practice policy holders that the business interruption coverage does not apply in a Pandemic.
  5. Based on anecdote, dental practices that have been in business less than 10 years exceed significant expense to revenue ratio. Therefore, the excessive amount of overhead and debt these small businesses are carrying is forcing them in a position of financial despair, teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

Clinical Problems

  1. Increased regulations for PPE without a national supply to access and without reimbursement from insurance companies for the increase in cost per patient
  2. Increased regulations enhance inefficiencies in production (less patients as well as decrease in types of procedures allowed for foreseeable future) and increased expense
  3. Clinical social distancing

Due to these circumstances and the reopening phases, it has caused our offices to restructure our entire business model which has, in many cases, required the permanent layoff of employees.

Potential Alternatives for MS Dental Practices

  1. State of MS should provide direct grants to dental providers.
  2. State of MS should subsidize additional PPE cost, until revenues exceed previous expenses.
  3. State of MS should develop a mandate for commercial property insurance carriers to provide business interruption coverage for this Pandemic.
  4. State of MS should encourage dental insurance providers to increase fees to pay for mandated PPE per patient, including MS Medicaid and its contracted affiliates.
  5. State of MS should work directly with Homeland Security to secure PPE and ration PPE to dentists without cost to the dental provider.
  6. MS Dental Board should provide unequivocal guidelines and regulation, due to the inconsistencies between the CDC and OSHA.
  7. The MS Legislators and committee chairs should hold virtual hearings immediately to develop a stronger understanding of the clinical issues that are manifesting in practices.

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