Update From The Dentists Professional Liability Trust of Colorado
As promised, the following was written by one of our Trust Attorneys to add clarity to COVID-19 and your Professional Liability Coverage.
The Dental Professional Liability Trust is monitoring the COVID-19 situation and knows that on March 16, 2020, the ADA recommended postponing for three weeks elective procedures over concern for dental providers and to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. To help alleviate the burden on hospital emergency departments, the ADA recognized the benefit of providing emergency dental care. As of now, the Trust is unaware of a governmental requirement that offices be closed. The Trust’s professional liability coverage is unchanged and remains in force.
As health care providers, we should promote measures such as working from home if possible, keeping social distance, covering coughs, and frequent hand washing. The Trust recommends (but it is not mandated by the government) that you:
- Reschedule non-emergent care in accordance with the ADA recommendation. If you wish to give patients just the option of rescheduling, you should reach them by phone or electronically and ask them to at least consider rescheduling non-emergent dental care.
- Post prominently at your dental office a sign stating: Please help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. If you have COVID-19, or have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, please reschedule your dental care, unless it is an emergency. No cancellation fee will be charged. If you need emergency care, please tell us immediately about any exposure to COVID-19. If there is a concern about exposure, you will be required to wear a mask while in our office.
- Review your Coverage Agreement, especially the exclusion to coverage regarding infectious disease, including viruses. Generally, to maintain coverage, you are required to comply with the barrier technique guidelines of the ADA or the CDC. The ADA guidelines can be found at https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/infection-control-resources.
- You and your staff should not work and should self-quarantine if you acquire COVID-19, reasonably suspect you have been exposed to the virus, or are caring for someone at home who has or is suspected of having the virus. Employees should be required to tell management of such exposure. Currently, the common recommendation for quarantine is 14 days.
As always, we are here to answer any of your questions or concerns.
H. Candace DeLapp, DDS
Dentists Professional Liability Trust