COVID-19 Resources for MASO Members
(Click Each Resource for More Information)
State Dept of Health
State Dental Board
|Delaware||Delaware Division of Public Health||Board of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene|
|Maryland||Maryland Dept of Health||Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners|
|New Jersey||New Jersey Dept of Health||New Jersey State Board of Dentistry|
|Pennsylvania||Pennsylvania Dept of Health||Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry|
|Puerto Rico||Puerto Rico Dept of Health|
State Recommendations and Mandates
The ADA has developed a tool that includes the state-by-state recommendations and mandates in your area. This resource is regularly updated Monday through Friday, and AAO members can turn here for the most up-to-date information on closures and new developments in your respective regions.
AAO Re-Opening Resources – Office, Staff, and HR:
Start Strong Resources
The AAO is committed to arming orthodontists with the tools they need to thrive. Over two weeks ago, AAO began creating and distributing resources to help orthodontists reopen their practices and have been consistently adding tools. As many AAO members are now reopening, we have shifted the focus of the COVID-19 Resource Center from closure resources to reopening resources to help you make a strong comeback while keeping yourself, your team and your patients safe.
These resources include:
- When to reopen
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Developing a scripting and scheduling plan
- Operational guidance
Consumer Blog: My Orthodontist’s Office Has Reopened. Is It Safe to Go?
The AAO has developed a new consumer blog piece for practices to post or share after reopening.
When the time comes and your orthodontist’s office reopens, you may be wondering what precautions your orthodontist is taking to ensure your safety. While the appointment process may look a little different, don’t worry, your orthodontist has always been on the front lines of preventing the spread of diseases. From treatment and waiting room disinfection to the strict use of personal protective equipment (PPE), the safety of patients and staff members continues to be of utmost importance.
Informed Consent for the Orthodontic Patient
The AAO has updated the informed consent form adding a new section covering transmission of communicable diseases. This form represents sample informed consent provisions offered as a service to AAO members. It is not intended to serve as legal advice, and each state may require unique provisions. You are encouraged to have this form reviewed and approved by counsel in your state prior to using it. Any such items should be included by you in the space provided. The AAO accepts no liability for any modifications you may make to this form.
Updated PPE Availability – Member Access Only
The AAO has been communicating with our industry suppliers in order to identify those best-positioned and willing to fulfill large orders from AAO members for PPE, especially masks, face shields, gowns and gloves, in a cost-efficient and timely manner. While we have shared this list with members in the past week, please note that additional suppliers are being added as they are identified.
Furthermore, in order to preserve PPE for AAO members, the AAO has placed this list behind a member login. While this creates an additional step for members, we would like to stress that this is being done in order to limit who can access this AAO-curated list.
On April 18, 2020, to aid dentists who may be reopening their practices when state mandates are lifted, the ADA has developed interim guidance on the PPE recommended in order to practice during this pandemic and minimize the risk of virus transmission. Additional guidance documents will be issued regarding protocols for office and treatment procedures.
- ADA Interim Guidelines for Minimizing Risk of Covid Transmission
- Information on PPE, How to Handle Covid Patients, and Clinical Care Guidelines
- Interim Mask and Face Shield Guidelines
- Understanding Mask Types
Practice Rehire Checklist from CEDR HR Solutions
EDR HR Solutions has developed a checklist for AAO members before they begin to bring staff back as Coronavirus shutdowns end. Review this checklist here to make sure you are prepared when your state begins to reopen.
Worksheet: Creating A 90 Day Cash Flow Plan
Cain Watters & Associates has created a guide for AAO to help members create a 90 day cash flow plan for reopening their practice. It looks at the cash flow of an orthodontic practice experiencing a two-month shutdown and the financial implications in the resulting months as the business begins to reopen and see patients. It helps define the cash coming in and out of the practice and then provides an actual worksheet that orthodontists can use to fill in their practice financials and calculate the available cash flow during this unique time.
As you prepare to reopen your office as the Coronavirus pandemic continues, the HR processes involved will likely be very different from typical workplace employment routines. CEDR HR Solutions offers detailed recommendations for AAO members to work through the process and find solutions to challenges that may arise.
CEDR HR addresses how to determine when to resume operations, the process of bringing back employees who were furloughed – or otherwise separated from your workplace, communication about reopening plans and the return to work, reinstating benefits, changes to hours or pay, reviewing sick leave policies and more.
Answers to Human Resources Questions
The AAO’s Coronavirus Resources center has information on office closures, financial information, tips for when you reopen and more.
Crest Oral-B Professional – Offers Free Paste
Crest + Oral-B is also continuing our #SharingCrestSmiles campaign; where offices can request a FREE case of Crest Gum Detoxify or Crest Gum and Sensitivity paste (.85oz – 36 count case) to enjoy and share with friends!
If interested, what you need to do next is:
- Respond sending an email here with the following information: à Office Name, Attention: Contact information, Address to ship paste, City, State, Zip Code, Phone #, E-mail, and Quantity of Cases.
- Once your case arrives, we are asking Dental Professionals to continue to share photos on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag à #sharingcrestsmiles upon receiving the paste ????
* Please Note: these orders will not begin shipment until 5/11; and toothpaste availability for this campaign is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Thus, we are limiting 1 case per dental professional. (Orders may ship to dental professional’s home or office).
AAO Sponsored Webinars:
Practical Guidance for Employers – Provided by CEDR HR Solutions
On Monday, April 13, Paul Edwards with CEDR HR Solutions presented and answered AAO member questions on issues that employers are facing while responding to COVID-19 related closures. We know there is a lot of information – and misinformation – about the Coronavirus and how to handle the HR challenges that it is causing in the workplace. Our goal is to provide you with tools for the impact the Coronavirus may have on your business.
Below you will find two resources from CEDR HR Solutions for AAO members to use:
- View this form letter for offers of reemployment for your employees
- View this form letter for updates on employee health insurance premiums
FREE COVID-19 Webinars and Continuing Education Opportunities
The AAO is providing free COVID-19 webinars on urgent topics.
To enhance skills during any downtime, the AAO is offering complimentary access to the entire online CE library. The online CE library offers convenient, 24/7 access to over 500 hours of CE for you and your team. And because orthodontic staff is so important to your practice, we are also extending free access to AAO’s Orthodontic Staff Club (a $50 value).
Free Recorded Lectures from the AAO
On April 21, Jackie Dorst provided a comprehensive COVID19 Infection Control plan for patient and orthodontic team safety for reopening orthodontic practices. She reviewed the latest CDC Guidance for infection prevention and how the CDC Guidance applies to orthodontic practices. From re-starting equipment to new PPE, the ortho team needs to get organized for safely reopening the office. (Non-CE webinar)
Bentson Copple recorded lecture, “COVID-19: Shaping the Business of Orthodontics Today, Tomorrow and Years to Come” from April 3rd. Available here: https://aaoinfo.digitellinc.com/aaoinfo/sessions/2761/view (1.25 CE)
Peter Ngan presented “Contemporary Use of Fixed Functional Appliances for Treatment of Class II Malocclusions” available now online. https://aaoinfo.digitellinc.com/aaoinfo/sessions/2294/view(1.25 CE)
Cain Watters & Associates presented “Understanding the CARES Act” available now online. https://go.cainwatters.com/l/467721/2020-04-06/866g4(NOT FOR CE)
Listen to a recording of Jackie Dorst’s lecture, “Coronavirus Management in the Ortho Practice”
Please see below for an update on available COVID-19 resources for AAO members:
The AAO Coronavirus Resource Center is updated regularly to provide AAO members with the most up to date information and resources to help you navigate this situation. Here, the AAO has developed and compiled resources from legal and advocacy experts, human resources professionals, AAO leadership, educational advisors and many, many more.
Paycheck Protection Program
On Thursday, April 23rd, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an interim Coronavirus aid package that provides an additional $310 billion to the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and an additional $10 billion to the Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. On Friday, April 24th, President Trump signed this legislation into law. The PPP will still be administered through banks and credit unions, and the EIDL application process will still be administered through the federal Small Business Administration (SBA). Of the $310 billion for the PPP loans, $60 billion is allocated specifically for smaller banks.
It is important that you check with your lender on the issue to confirm that do not need to reapply. For more information to help you strategize what is best for you and your practice, the AAO has provided resources from Cain Watters & Associates. To locate banks who are accepting new PPP loan applications, AAO endorsed student loan refinancing partner, Sofi built a marketplace for small businesses. This resource from Lantern makes it easy to shop across multiple lenders and compare financial solutions, including those that are part of the SBA Paycheck Protection Loan Program (PPP).
Residents’ Resources: Help for Planning Beyond COVID-19
Orthodontic residents may be wondering how COVID-19 will impact residency, graduation as well as future jobs. Rest assured, orthodontic residency programs and institutions are doing their best to keep up in these changing times. Additionally, many residency programs are taking steps to ensure students can complete necessary didactic, clinical and assessment experiences to graduate on time.
For individuals who have scheduled their American Board of Orthodontics exams, look for emails and communications directly from ABO. Please contact ABO at 314-432-6130 or with any follow-up questions or concerns about the exam.
How the AAO is Advocating for Orthodontists
The AAO has also joined over 70 other dental associations to send a letter to Congress requesting additional funding and flexibility with the SBA loan programs and to consider allowing small business dental practices to choose the 8-week period for which they seek forgiveness for the loans and rehire back staff before December 31, 2020, instead of requiring them to rehire staff by June 30, 2020. You can read the full letter HERE
The AAO legal and advocacy team will continue to work with our federal lobbyists to monitor any federal measures to address the impact that COVID-19 is having, or will have, on our members as healthcare professionals and small business owners and, where appropriate, lobby for inclusion of our members in such relief measures.
Advocacy Update – Temporary Dept. of Labor Ruling Issued
As previously reported here, the AAO joined the ADA and other dental organizations on a letter asking the Secretary of Labor to exempt small businesses (under 50 employees) from the new emergency paid sick leave provisions in the recently-passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Under the Act, which became law on March 18 (effective April 1, 2020 until December 31, 2020), employers with under 500 employees could be required to pay for two weeks of sick leave for employees under certain circumstances, or pay for up to 10 weeks of sick leave for an employee whose child is required to miss day care or school because of a COVID-19 closure.
In a temporary rule announced by the Department of Labor on April 1 (which can be viewed here), the Secretary of Labor clarified that employers with less than 50 employees may be exempt from the sick leave requirements if they meet one of three conditions:
- granting such sick leave would cause “the small employer’s expenses and financial obligations to exceed available business revenue and cause the small employer to cease operating at a minimal capacity;”
- granting such sick leave would “pose a substantial risk to the financial health or operational capacity of the small employer because of their specialized skills, knowledge of the business or responsibilities;” or
- the employer “cannot find enough other workers who are able, willing and qualified, and who will be available at the time and place needed, to perform the labor or services the employee or employees requesting leave provide, and these labor or services are needed for the small employer to operate at a minimal capacity.”
The Labor Department further clarified on an April 1 conference call that if an employer falls under one of these criteria, it should create, and retain on file for four years, documentation demonstrating that it falls under the criteria (though the employer is not required to submit this documentation to the Department of Labor).
The AAO welcomes the Labor Department’s announcement and acceptance of the policy arguments made by the AAO and other dental organizations. The AAO, along with its team of federal lobbyists, will continue to monitor coronavirus-related developments and advocate on behalf of its members.
BONUS: Strength in Community
Orthodontists worldwide face uncertainty with Coronavirus and what it means to them, their practices and their patients. Despite navigating through unprecedented times, they are innovating, giving back to their communities and making a difference. Take a look at some of the creative things your AAO colleagues are up to.
The AAO Coronavirus Resource Center is being updated regularly to provide you with the most up to date information and resources to help you navigate this situation. Please share your thoughts and additional questions with us at .
The CARES Act Resources:
The CARES Act
The US Senate Commiteeon Small Business & Entrepreneurship has produced a guide to the CARES Act and how its programs affect aid, relief and economic security.
The CARES Act – Bentson Copple and Associates Resource
Chris Bentson and Shannon Patterson (Bentson Copple and Associates) have developed a summary and FAQ sheet to educate members on the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program and how it affects small business owners.
HUD Announces CARES Act Mortgage Relief
Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development instructed mortgage servicers to refer or reduce mortgage payments for up to six months.
Effective immediately for borrowers with a financial hardship that makes them unable to pay their mortgage due to the COVID-19 National Emergency, mortgage servicers must extend deferred or reduced mortgage payment options – called forbearance – for up to six months, and must provide an additional six months of forbearance if requested by the borrower.
HUD further stated that borrowers who are experiencing hardship should contact their mortgage servicer immediately to discuss forbearance or other options that may be available. More information is available from HUD here.
Employee Retention Tax Credit – Cain Watters Resource
Many members have inquired about the Paycheck Protection Program and how the CARES Act and other legislation have affected this and other Small Business Administration programs. (You can view AAO resources on PPP here.) However, in the event that office reopenings are delayed or the PPP loans are no longer available, AAO members may want to consider alternatives like the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC), which is available to employers who have not used the PPP and are covering wages during a quarter that has been adversely affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.
The AAO encourages its members to familiarize themselves with this program and, for those who opt not to apply for the PPP, this may provide a suitable alternative.
Additional Covid-19 Resources:
Dr. Roger Levin, a well-known consultant in the dental industry, has opened up his resources at no charge to any Dental Professional who wants to leverage it. Anyone can go to his site: https://levingroup.com/ and at the top he has a link titled COVID-19 Dental Practice Management Resources. There he has videos, PDFs, and even checklists/worksheets that dentists can utilize for their planning and preparation coming out of COVID.
ADA Return to Work Toolkit – In this attachment, you’ll find recommendations from the ADA regarding dental practice recovery. Click Here to View.
Coronavirus Impact Video
Dr. Levin’s video on “Dentistry Post-CO-VD19” – https://vimeo.com/402198991r
Global events such as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) make all of us attractive targets for cybercriminals. Our IT team has seen quite an uptick in phishing emails, new targeted scams, and email exploits related to COVID-19 that deliver damaging ransomware and malware and links to malicious websites that download potentially harmful content. We all must remain vigilant and be on the lookout for criminals using scare tactics as a lure to encourage us to open malicious emails, potentially compromising our network security with malware that can steal our browsing history, IDs, passwords and other personal information. It’s important that we all take a few moments to familiarize ourselves with some of the basic recommendations:
(1) Do NOT click on links, call the phone numbers, open attachments or give out confidential information from suspicious or unsolicited emails
(2) Do NOT navigate to any untrusted COVID-19 related update sites or respond to text messages; instead go to reliable sources like CDC, WHO, and NIH websites for current updates on the virus
(3) Do NOT download or install programs from untrusted sources.
Founded in 1952, the MASO has approximately 1,200 members in all categories and is a regional (constituent) association of the American Association of Orthodontists.
Included in its geographic area are the states of Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania (east of the Alleghenies), Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands.
MASO holds its Annual Session in the fall each year in a location selected by the President and planning committee.
The Middle Atlantic Society of Orthodontists shall:
“As a constituent of the American Association of Orthodontists, promote ethical and quality orthodontic care while advocating and providing a voice for our members, components and educational institutions.”