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Dentists urge aid for dental practices in next round of federal stimulus


Dental practices across the nation are just one category of small businesses that have suffered, both economically and logistically, due to the near-national shutdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And as lawmakers are working on the next relief package, the American Dental Association, on behalf of its 163,000 members, is urging Congress to include language to assist the dental industry in the process of recovery.

The ADA is making a few key recommendations to legislators:

1. Increase flexibility within the Paycheck Protection Program. ADA representatives are asking that the loan forgiveness guidelines allow individual small businesses to make their own decisions regarding payroll and staffing based on individual plans to reopen.

Dentists would like to see Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funds allowed for purchasing additional personal protective equipment (PPE), making safety improvements to offices, and qualifying for tax credit.

2. Allow nonprofit dental and medical organizations to have access to the Paycheck Protection Program or future small business loan programs.

3. Execute better oversight for the distribution and loan forgiveness process in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for PPP loans to guarantee that only those small businesses that were economically distressed as a result of the pandemic receive the funds and forgiveness.

4. Ramp up the production of PPE with more focused distribution to healthcare workers, including dentists.

5. And a big one:Extend the Department of Health and Human Services’ authority to allow licensed dentists to conduct FDA-authorized COVID-19 diagnostic tests until the end of the year.

This last recommendation is an important one as it would help alleviate the burden of hospital emergency rooms across the country who are coping with the pandemic.

Dentists can visit the Legislative Action Center to contact their legislators today regarding these recommendations. For the latest information on COVID-19, visit ADA.org/virus.





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