In a letter, the American Dental Association asked major dental insurance payers to consider the increased overhead from the pandemic when negotiating fees with private practices.

ADA News reports that the American Dental Association’s Council on Dental Benefit Programs sent a letter to all major dental insurance payers informing them of increases in dental office overhead due to COVID-19, imploring them to consider allowing dental offices to discuss fees with the payers.

Findings in the latest ADA Health Policy Institute report have shown that PPE costs and wage inflation coupled with a lack of needed personnel have placed a heavier burden on private dental practices.

“In consideration of these trends, it is extremely important to have this conversation with dental insurance payers and ask them to be fair in discussing fee issues with dental offices,” said Kevin Dens, DDS, council chair.

In the letter, Dens referenced an April 2020 statement from the ADA that detailed high costs associated with increased standards for PPE in response to the pandemic.

“What is now becoming evident is that the data is bearing out what we feared would occur — dental offices have seen a dramatic increase in the cost of doing business while patient volumes have yet to recover,” Dens states in the letter.

Research provided by HPI is being shared with payers to illustrate the challenge dental professionals face filling vacant positions while patient volumes continue to recover.

“The ADA is asking dental carriers to consider these increases in dental office overhead and provide an opportunity for dental offices to meaningfully discuss fees,” said Dens.

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