WASHINGTON, July 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA) applauded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) action to make federal relief funding available for dentists harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Delta Dental's collaboration and partnership with HHS was integral in ensuring the nation's dentists were included in the list of providers eligible to receive these much-needed funds.
"America called and Delta Dental answered," said Jason Daughn, Vice President of Government Relations at Delta Dental Plans Association. "Through our engagement with HHS' senior leadership, Delta Dental was able to share critical data that demonstrated the significant financial harm dentists and dental practices are experiencing due to the current pandemic. As a result, HHS moved immediately to add dentists to the list of providers eligible for this funding. By ensuring dentists have access to funding to safely reopen offices and provide care, we are fulfilling our mission of improving America's oral health. We are proud to help make a difference in the lives of not just the 156,000 dentists in Delta Dental's network, but every practicing dentist in America."
At HHS' request, DDPA provided the agency with a significant, national data set including "submitted claims" (payment requests to an insurance company by a dental provider for covered services) received by Delta Dental companies from across the country for parallel weeks: March – April 2019; March – April 2020. The statistics, from the number of claims submitted by providers, to patient counts, told a powerful story. "In the wake of stay-at-home and dental office closure mandates being enforced across the country, the data was clear: The nation's dentists have been seriously harmed and need this funding," Daughn said.
DDPA remained in close contact with senior leaders at HHS to provide assistance and support, including how to most efficiently and effectively get relief funding into the hands of dentists. Ultimately, HHS determined establishing a web portal that providers could visit to request funding was the most practical approach. According to HHS, a dental provider can use this relief funding to cover any number of practice-related costs including, but not limited to, office lease or rent payments, staff salaries, personal protective equipment, and structural office enhancements.
Delta Dental companies are committed to supporting community and public health efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest information on what Delta Dental is doing in your community can be found here. For more information on oral health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit Delta Dental's COVID-19 webpage.
About Delta Dental Plans Association
Delta Dental Plans Association, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, is the non-profit national association of the 39 independent Delta Dental companies. Through these companies, Delta Dental is the nation's largest provider of dental insurance, covering more than 80 million Americans, and offering the country's largest dental network with approximately 156,000 participating dentists. In 2019, the Delta Dental companies provided approximately $76 million in direct and in-kind community support to improve the oral health of adults, children, and infants in local communities across the country. For more information, visit: deltadental.com.
SOURCE Delta Dental Plans Association