July 20, 2020 | Press Release
The Delta Dental Institute applauds the collaborative partnership between the Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make federal relief funding available to dentists whose practices have been affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This funding will allow more dentists to reopen safely and offer the critical oral health care needed to support good overall health for Americans across the country. Dental providers will be able to use relief funding to cover any number of practice-related costs, including personal protective equipment.
"The need for good oral and overall health has been brought into even sharper focus during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Vivian Vasallo, Executive Director of the Delta Dental Institute. "It is great to see HHS recognize the crucial role oral health providers play in the health of their communities. This funding will help ensure that dentists can continue to safely offer necessary care to improve the oral health of Americans both now and long term."
The Delta Dental Plans Association worked closely with HHS on this funding decision, supporting HHS' process by providing comprehensive and timely data, drawing on DDPA's unique national reach, that underscored the immense need for federal relief for oral health providers.
“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,” said Jason Daughn, Vice President of Government Relations, Delta Dental Plans Association.
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.
Across the U.S., Delta Dental companies and foundations remain committed to supporting dentists, nonprofits, and health centers during the pandemic. Click here to learn more.
Read more about the HHS announcement from Delta Dental here. If you are an oral health care provider seeking relief funding, visit the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal.