The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released a joint statement with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to announce the resumption of the administration of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine after taking a cautious pause due to the identification of several rare cases of a type of blood clot following vaccination. The stoppage was being used to study the cases involving the blood clot, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) also known as thrombosis-thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). Since the pause, the CDC and FDA have determined that the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 but emphasize that clinicians should be aware of the adverse events associated with the Janssen Vaccine and recognize the symptoms associated with TTS. To read the press release, click here. To access the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine fact sheet for providers, click here, and for patients and caregivers, click here.
Newly approved CDT 2021 codes to report COVID-19 vaccines allow dentists to document and reportvaccination services in their practices. The American Dental Association (ADA) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMMS) have established eight new CDT codes. Mentioned in a recent ADA News piece, the new codes include all doses needed to complete vaccination and one new code for molecular diagnostic testing:
- D1701 Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine administration – first dose.
- D1702 Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine administration – second dose.
- D1703 Moderna COVID-19 vaccine administration – first dose.
- D1704 Moderna COVID-19 vaccine administration – second dose
- D1705 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine administration – first dose.
- D1706 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine administration – second dose.
- D1707 Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine administration.
- D0606 Molecular testing for a public health related pathogen, including coronavirus.
To read more about the new codes, click here.
According to a notice of the Federal Register, a new amendment of the U.S. Health and Human Services' (HHS) Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID–19, qualifies licensed dentists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to patients. The announcement, published on March 16, supersedes any state-specific legislation on vaccination by dentists during the COVID-19 pandemic in pursuit of unified action to end the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. To read the new declaration, click here.
The Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention has published their latest guidance on safe post-vaccination activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This webpage answers pressing questions on how you can go about your daily activities and resume being in close contact with others when you have been fully vaccinated. Can you visit with family who are not vaccinated? Do you still need to wear a mask in public? The website is helpfully outlined with three key topics so you can find the information you need with ease:
- What’s changed,
- What hasn’t changed, and
- What we know and what we’re still learning.
The Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Reporting Portal is now open for registration of post-payment reporting of funds over $10,000 from one or more Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments. A Registration User Guide, and Portal FAQ from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are available to help navigate this first step of the reporting process.
To complete registration, users will need the following information:
- Tax ID Number (TIN) or other number submitted during the application process (Social Security Number, Employer Identification Number)
- Business name as it appears on a W-9
- Contact information (name, phone number, email)
- Address (street, city, state, zip code) as it appears on a W-9
- TIN(s) of subsidiaries
- Payment information including TIN of entity that received the payment, payment amount, mode of payment (check or direct deposit ACH), and check number or ACH settlement date
To register through the Provider Relief Fund Reporting Portal, click here.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will continue to offer funding for loans through March 31, 2021, or until resources have been exhausted. Those who have applied or will be applying for $150,000 or less will be happy to know that the SBA is offering a streamlined version of the loan forgiveness application. The new one-page form can be viewed here. Borrowers can also receive the document from their lender.
The SBA advises following these steps to successfully apply for loan forgiveness:
- Contact your PPP Lender and complete the correct form
- Compile your documentation for payroll and nonpayroll expenses
- Submit the forgiveness form and documentation to your PPP Lender
- Continue to communicate with your lender throughout the process
To learn more about applying for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness, click here.
The AAPD has joined other dental and medical organizations in a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to endorse the inclusion of dental, laboratory and autopsy personnel in the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to give health care personnel priority access to COVID-19 vaccines. The letter strongly urges that this clarification be reflected in the Vaccination Playbook for Jurisdictional Operations, a guidance document on the national strategy for vaccine response during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read more.
Update: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clarified the definition of healthcare personnel in a new guidance document on vaccine allocation to healthcare workers. The definition includes dentists, dental assistants and dental hygienists, as well as all other healthcare workers who have direct contact with patients and potentially infectious materials. Click here for more information.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is providing more than $24 billion in new relief to more than 70,000 healthcare providers, according to a December 16 news release, which can be accessed here.
The HHS has completed its review of Phase 3 applications from the Provider Relief Fund program, and the next round of payment distributions is now underway and will continue through January, 2021. Up from the $20 billion originally planned, the addition of another $4.5 billion in funding is being used to satisfy close to 90 percent of each applicant’s reported lost revenues and net change in expenses caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the first half of 2020.
The HHS provides a state-by-state breakdown on the first batch of Phase 3 payments that will be updated until distribution closes at the end of January.
The AAPD has worked closely with the ADA and other dental organizations to ensure dentists were included in the Provider Relief Fund through HHS and the Health Resources and Services Administration, which administers the fund. For more information on the Phase 3 distributions and advocacy efforts, view the ADA News article here.
Along with over 500 national and state/regional trade associations, the AAPD has urged Congress to take action to reverse an IRS technical rule, IRS Notice 2020-32 to preserve the original intent of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The rule being challenged indicates, “no deduction is allowed under the Internal Revenue Code…if the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a covered loan pursuant to section 1106(b) of the [CARES ACT].” In effect, the surprise notice alters the original agreement that PPE loans will be forgiven in a tax-free manner. Click here to read the letter.
Results from the latest ADA HPI COVID-19 poll show that dentists are experiencing an economic and emotional toll from the COVID-19 pandemic as practices report lower patient volumes, decreases in profitability and moderate to substantial increases in the costs of operations. The survey has an accompanying webinar for curious dentists and practice managers on the significance of these results. This week’s topics include an update on the latest data, potential retirement trends, the COVID-19 impact on profitability, strategies to reduce aerosols, student loan repayment and more. Click here to watch.
You have your finger on the pulse of your own practice, but how are your colleagues faring – within your own state as well as across the country? The AAPD Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center is proud to offer Re-emergence: A Report on Pediatric Dental Practice Re-entry into Practice During the COVID-19 Pandemic. This visually appealing report is based on a survey to members of the AAPD Public Policy Advocate Initiative during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Intended to assess the pandemic’s impact on pediatric dental care, the survey honed in on significant questions of the moment to inform us on what we can expect looking forward. Click here to read.
AAPD COVID-19 Resources
AAPD has provided additional resources regarding infection control, practice and staff management, emergency care, office closures/limited services and COVID-19 status.