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COVID-19 in the News: What You Should Know

This page updates when new information becomes available.

Last updated Apri1, 2020 — 9:30 a.m.

Michigan News   MDA News

ADA Resources   Dental Supplies

Financial Relief   Unemployment/Staffing

Practice Management   COVID-19 Information

 

MICHIGAN NEWS

Stay Home, Stay Safe | Executive Order No. 2020-21

All Michigan businesses and operations must temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. This order is in effect through April 13, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.

Bans on Nonessential or Elective Dental Procedures | Executive Order 2020-17
No Michigan dentist should perform any nonessential or elective procedures. Consequences could include loss of licensure or action against your license, criminal charges from the Michigan Attorney General's Office, monetary fines, and MDA ethical violations. This order continues as long as the state of emergency declared in Executive Order 2020-4 is in effect. NOTE: It does not expire with the Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order. As a health provider you must ultimately decide what is essential for the health of your patient.

Assemblage Restrictions | Executive Order 2020-11
The order prohibits assemblages over 50 people in shared indoor spaces through April 5, 2020, at 5 p.m. Exceptions include health care facilities, workplaces not open to the public, the state Legislature, mass transit, the purchase of groceries or consumer goods, and the performance of agricultural or construction work.

Interim Recommendations for COVID-19 Community Mitigation Strategies
On March 11, 2020, Gov. Whitmer declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 virus. Recommendations include personal hygiene measures, information for individuals, families, individuals at greatest risk, educational institutions, child/adult care facilities, and other organizations.

Dental Practice Guidance for COVID-19
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services prepared a document providing dentists with guidance for prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

Beware of Scams
Attorney General Dana Nessel is warning everyone to be wary of scammers on social media and email asking for donations to help virus victims, offering vaccinations, or claiming they are from the CDC.

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MDA NEWS

MDA Office Closed but Association Remains in Business
MDA headquarters in Okemos will remain closed for three weeks with staff members working remotely. The association remains in business, but the main MDA switchboard is closed. You can still reach individual staff members by email or by telephone. A list of staff phone numbers and email addresses appears on page 5 of your March MDA Journal and links to staff extensions appear below.

If you do not know where to direct your question, submit a question and it will be routed to the correct staff member.

Ask a Question

MDA Recommendation for Dental Offices
The MDA supports the temporary postponement of all non-essential dental procedures until the state of emergency outlined in section 3 of executive order 2020-4 is no longer in effect.

MDA Annual Session Rescheduled for September
The 2020 MDA Annual Session has been rescheduled for Sept. 2-4, with a full-day pres-session course on Tuesday, Sept. 1. If you have registered for Annual Session, there is no need to take action now. Details on the postponement are still being worked out and more information will be posted on the MDA website as it becomes available. Everyone currently registered will be emailed instructions on how to transfer registrations or cancel for a full refund. The MDA appreciates your patience while staff works through the process.

2020 Mission of Mercy Postponed
The Michigan Mission of Mercy program, scheduled for May 28 - 31, 2020, will be postponed. A rescheduled date has not been determined. The MDA Foundation will share additional information and updates as they become available. Contact the MDA Foundation at 800-589-2632 with questions.

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ADA RESOURCES

The ADA website contains extensive information helpful to you during the COVID-19 outbreak. Information is constantly updated and includes practice information, a letter to patients, COVID-19 coding and billing guidance, COVID-19 and ethics, contract information, webinars, and more.

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DENTAL SUPPLIES

Personal Protective Equipment Donations
Many dentists are interested in donating Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to aid healthcare responders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this difficult time, Michigan hospitals appreciate any and all assistance to help protect healthcare workers and prevent the further spread of the virus. The MDA and the Michigan Health and Hospital Association are working together to raise awareness. For a list of Michigan hospitals who have set up donation systems and the current list of needed supplies, please visit https://mha.org/Issues-Advocacy/Coronavirus.

And let us know what you donated by clicking below! Please send your name, location, and a brief description of what you donated.

Tell Us What You Are Donating

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FINANCIAL RELIEF

Financial Relief Resources for Dental Offices (Updated 3/31/20)
The MDA and ADA are working with government officials and other interest groups to help provide financial relief to dental practice owners who have shut down or limited their practice in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Below is a list of current and potential financial relief programs for impacted dental practices. This list will be updated as things develop.

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UNEMPLOYMENT/STAFFING

Employee/Labor Ramifications (Updated 3/30/20)
The Michigan Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance Agency has issued instruction for temporary business closures providing a waiver for employees who are temporarily laid off. Dentists who close their office temporarily need to contact the Unemployment Insurance Web Account Manager and fill out a waiver so employees can receive benefits and will not have to follow the seeking work requirement.

Unemployment Insurance Agency Filing ScheduleTo help manage the call volume, the UIA has released a filing schedule for workers to file for benefits based on the first letter of their last name. The new schedule applies to both the UIA call center and website. The goal of the new filing schedule is to reduce the backups files have experience the past few weeks.

For other HR-related questions, contact Brandy Ryan at MDA headquarters.

Dental Office Closures for Non‐Essential Services (PPE/Exposure)
The MDA has prepared a frequently asked questions document highlighting the top questions staff has received regarding dental practice closure for non-essential services, personal protective equipment, and exposure.

Download the Dental Office Closure FAQS

Critical Infrastructure Worker
The MDA has prepared a letter/email template for doctors to designate certain staff members as critical infrastructure workers allowing them to enter the office during the shutdown. Doctors should fill out the template and provide the completed letter/email to the appropriate staff members. Instruct staff to keep the letter/email in their possession when traveling to and from work to provide proof of their critical infrastructure worker status.

Download the Template

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Updated 4/1/20)
Human resources expert Jodi Schafer, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, has compiled an informative frequently asked questions document detailing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and how it impacts your dental practice.

Download the FFCRA FAQS

NOTE: Employers need to post the requirements of the FFCRA Act model notice. The model notice must be posted "in a conspicuous place on the employer’s premises." For eligible (covered) employees who are unable to come in to work, employers can email or direct mail the notice to them or post the notice on an employee information internal or external website.

Download the FFCRA Notice

Dental Office Staffing/Unemployment
The MDA has developed a Frequently Asked Questions document addressing how the COVID-19 virus outbreak will affect staffing should their dental office temporarily closure.

MDA Dental Staffing/Unemployment FAQs

Say “Temporary Leave” When Filing for Unemployment
Because there is potential congressional action regarding whether and how furloughed workers will be able to access federal paid sick, family, and medical leave resources, the Small Business Association of Michigan is urging employers to place employees on temporary leave and advise the worker that they expect to have work available within 120 days, as opposed to termination. There is no additional cost to employers, employees remain eligible for UI benefits through the state, and employees may remain eligible for potential federal assistance. Doing so will also allow employees to continue their health insurance through the MDA Health Plan.

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PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

Webinar: The Practice Management Impact of COVID-19
View the March 18 MDA webinar addressing insurance, human resources, and insurance questions dentists have about managing the business aspects of their practice during this period, as well as the long-term impact.

View the Webinar

Questions from the Webinar:

Pandemics and Insurance Ramifications
In general, it is possible property and casualty insurance policies may not treat pandemics such as the coronavirus as covered perils, while life, health and disability policies may provide some coverage depending on policy provisions and normal claims procedures. MDA Insurance offers current updates and resources regarding insurance and services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teledentistry (Updated 3/31/20)
A covered health care provider may use audio or video communication to provide telehealth to patients during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency, according to the ADA and the federal Office for Civil Rights, which enforces HIPAA, and is exercising enforcement discretion.

If you choose to use teledentistry please see the guidance provided by the ADA regarding coding and billing.

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COVID-19 INFORMATION

Get the facts about the COVID-19 pandemic from reliable resources describing the virus from cause to symptoms to prevention to treatment. You’ll find all the resources informative and helpful.

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