Delta Dental of Washington is pledging financial assistance – in the form of grants and advance payments – for its in-network dentists following orders by Gov. Jay Inslee to halt all non-emergency dental procedures for two months in order to reserve critical equipment for COVID-19 healthcare workers.
“Dentists are a critical part of our healthcare system and many are independent small business owners, employing thousands of hygienists, dental assistants and office staff statewide,” said Delta Dental of Washington CEO Mark Mitchke. “During this unprecedented time we need to help dental practices in Washington by doing everything we can to ensure these critical healthcare providers can hit the ground running once statewide practice restrictions are lifted. We will get through this together so our communities can resume access to the full range of quality dental care as soon as practices can reopen.”
Following the statewide suspension of non-emergency services late last week, Delta Dental informed the nearly 5,000 dentists in its network that as partners in the organization’s mission to improve oral health and overall health, Delta Dental is working to help front-line dental service providers with two new financial assistance programs.
The first program – Delta Dental Independent Dental Practice Assistance Fund – provides $10 million in financial grant support (ranging in size up to $15,000 per practice) for qualified Delta Dental network dentists in independent practice who may be hit hardest by COVID-19-related closures – including recently expanded practices, dentists and staff with recent dental education debt, start-up dental practices, and rural practices located in smaller communities which may already be experiencing economic hardship.
The second program – Delta Dental Independent Dental Practice Reimbursement Advance Program – provides advance payments of up to 25 percent of the practice’s average historical weekly reimbursement levels for an eight-week period (up to a total of $25,000 per practice) to help qualified Delta Dental network dentists in independent practice weather the significant and ongoing financial strain due to the office closures.
“As we continue to see the escalation of COVID-19, we recognize its impact is being felt by all dental practices across the state, and that we have an important role to play,” said Mitchke. “It’s our hope these steps will help our network dentists who have the greatest need.”
Additional details on both programs and application information will be available by Monday, March 30 at www.DeltaDentalWA.com/provider. Delta Dental of Washington encourages its network dentists to continue to monitor this website for updates on these programs and other critical policy changes.