Masking requirement continues in California health care settings.
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Masks are still required in health care settings, including dental offices. But what is the cost to your business if you fail to impose masking in your practice?
In many California communities, masks are no longer required at stores, schools and other public places. The absence of masks does not, unfortunately, signal an absence of the COVID-19 virus. Currently, California is seeing another surge in COVID-19 cases. Certain locations, like medical facilities and dental offices, have been determined by the California Department of Public Health to be areas of high risk for COVID-19 transmission.
Consistent with CDC guidelines, CDPH direction states that face masks are still required for everyone in specified high-risk settings, which include dental offices and all other health care settings — regardless of vaccination status. Despite evidence that properly worn masks can slow the spread of aerosol-borne viruses like COVID-19, some dental patients, employees and dental practice owners are hesitant to comply with in-office mask use.
CDA’s risk management experts point out that in addition to compliance with Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), following in-office mask guidance can save practice owners money.
What is the cost to your business if you fail to impose masking in your practice?
Workers’ compensation is not the only type of insurance policy that has the potential for claims due to COVID-19 infections if health care facilities fail to comply with infection control practices. A California appeals court just permitted a wrongful death suit to go forward that was based on an employee’s claim that their exposure in the workplace to COVID-19 had led to the death of their spouse from COVID-19. In such a case, it’s likely that the secondary suit will need to be covered by a liability policy.
Considering how quickly COVID-19 cases can spread, it makes sense to do everything possible to minimize risk by following recommended infection control guidelines to minimize the cost of increased claims across multiple insurance policies.
As California and global communities continue to deal with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, prevention of infection is still paramount. Rising costs of doing business during challenging times can be mitigated by following infection control guidelines.
CDA’s expert analysts have developed downloadable templates, posters and other resources to help members communicate face-covering and other requirements to patients. In addition, CDA has updated its COVID-19 Prevention Plan to reflect guidance in the new ETS that took effect earlier this month. Practice leaders can use this customizable plan as an addendum to the practice’s existing injury and illness prevention plan, both of which satisfy the Cal/OSHA requirements.
The Dentists Insurance Company also offers tools to help practice leaders navigate Workers’ Compensation claims. TDIC policyholders can download Workers’ Compensation resources and file claims quickly online.