Preliminary information on applying for licensure to administer COVID-19 tests in the dental office.
In dentistry, the goal when screening patients for COVID-19 is to identify individuals who test negative so that dental treatment can proceed and to alternatively route suspected positive patients into appropriate medical care. Accuracy and sensitivity in testing are essential because every false negative potentially increases the risk of disease transmission to others.
DISCLAIMER: Although COVID-19 testing is within the scope of practice for California dentists, state law currently prohibits dentists from obtaining the requisite laboratory licensure in order to process rapid tests in the dental office. CDA is working with the governor’s office, Legislature and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to allow dentists to immediately obtain Laboratory Field Services (LFS) laboratory licensing and reporting of positive cases to CDPH. CDA is also advocating at federal and state levels to ensure that dentists are included as essential health care workers in order to be prioritized should government-distributed rapid tests for asymptomatic individuals become available. Additionally, CDA is working with the appropriate entities to advocate for reimbursement for rapid COVID-19 tests by medical and/or dental benefit plans, including Medi-Cal.
This toolkit was created to help dentists in the interim determine whether administering rapid COVID-19 tests in their office is appropriate for their practice. CDA has published this toolkit ahead of when dentists are eligible to apply for laboratory licensure in order to help prepare dentists once they are able to apply once CDA advocacy has been accomplished.
Considerations discussed in this toolkit include licensure requirements, billing and reimbursement considerations and reporting mandates. This CDA Testing Toolkit has been created as a resource in collaboration with the CDA COVID-19 Clinical Care Workgroup as a complimentary resource to ADA’s COVID-19 & Lab Testing Requirements Toolkit.
Find answers to common questions about testing technology and its potential in dental settings.
Learn about the two main types of laboratory tests, and what requirements are needed for dentists to be eligible to administer them.