Ohio Dental Association working on members’ behalf during COVID-19 pandemic
The Ohio Dental Association has been working diligently on members’ behalf from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. From advocacy efforts to providing information to emergency meetings of the Executive Committee to answering questions, ODA leadership and staff have been busy.
Here are some examples of steps the ODA has taken for members:
- The ODA has been in contact with the governor’s office and state of Ohio to ensure that dentists would be able to provide care for patients with emergency dental situations.
- The ODA advocated on members’ behalf by sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor asking for dentists to be exempt from certain provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. At the time of publication, the ODA was awaiting a response.
- The ODA has advocated for additional funding for unemployment benefits and other resources for unemployed dentists and dental staff.
- The ODA advocated in support of the state of Ohio making unemployment compensation immediately available.
- The ODA has advocated for additional grants and loans for dentist small business owners.
- The ODA has been in contact with private insurers, Medicaid and Medicaid HMOs asking them to cover services provided through technology in order to help triage dental patients and preserve PPE.
- The ODA has been researching and providing information to members through email, www.oda.org, Facebook and Twitter.
- ODA staff have personally responded to more than 800 phone calls, texts and emails to members with specific questions related to COVID-19 and provided personalized answers and resources. Topics have ranged from assisting dentists who are working through unemployment compensation issues, SBA loans, dental insurance reimbursement and credentialing, HIPAA compliance and everything in between.
- The ODA advocated in the state of Ohio to ensure employer sponsored health plans could continue to provide coverage for employees impacted by COVID-19 who were temporarily laid off or not actively at work.
- In recognition of the impact COVID-19 is having on small employers, specifically dental offices, the ODA Wellness Trust was able to provide increased flexibility for those members enrolled in the plan. This includes extended coverage for employees laid off or not actively at work because of office closures, a 30-day extended grace period (60 days total) to remit payment for monthly invoice amount, and coverage for COVID-19 testing at no member cost sharing.
- During this unexpected down time for dental offices, the ODA has provided resources for dentists, including a Facebook live event with ODA president Dr. Sharon Parsons updating dentists about the coronavirus pandemic in Ohio, an online opioid CE course and a webinar about in-office membership plans – all free for ODA member dentists.
The ODA will continue to work on members’ behalf throughout the rest of this pandemic and into the future. For resources and information about coronavirus for dental offices in Ohio, visit https://www.oda.org/member-center/resources/covid-19/.
During Ohio’s Stay at Home Order, ODA staff continue to be available remotely. Dentists with questions should call the ODA at (800) 282-1526 or email email@example.com.
Please also be aware that the deadline to renew your membership is April 30. If you have not already done so, please renew your membership to ensure you continue receiving these services provided by the ODA at www.oda.org/renew.