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Winter 2022 Newsletter

Sunday, January 16, 2022 | Posted in GEHA Connection Dental Network Provider Newsletter

CDC revises guidelines for patient treatment during the COVID pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and evolves, so does our understanding of the best ways to combat the virus. In September 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares updated guidelines for health care personnel.

In the first adjusted recommendation, the CDC allows that there may be limited situations where fully vaccinated individuals in a county with low to moderate community transmission may choose not to wear a facemask. However, the safest practice is for everyone to continue wearing facemasks while in the office and not receiving oral treatment.

The second adjusted instruction concerns fully vaccinated patients who have close contact with a positive COVID infection. The CDC now states these fully vaccinated patients do not need to quarantine following exposure, but that community guidelines replace all other suggestions. We encourage you to check cdc.gov for updates.

When patients with moderate-to-severe immunocompromised systems are exposed to COVID but display no symptoms, the CDC instructs conducting at least two respiratory tests more than 24 hours apart. If two consecutive tests come back negative, the patient is not considered to be at risk.

Finally, the CDC proposes postponing all non-urgent dental treatment for patients with confirmed or suspected COVID exposure until quarantine is completed. Dental treatment for patients not suspected of COVID exposure should be conducted in individual patient rooms, oriented near return air vents. When performing aerosol-generating procedures, dental care workers should wear N95 or higher respirators and use high evacuation suction and dental dams to minimize the spread of aerosol droplets.

Consult your state dental board and state and local health departments for the latest current information and recommendations specific to your community levels of transmission.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infectioncontrol-recommendations.html

Medicare Advantage payors
Did you know that some GEHA Connection Dental Network payors offer Medicare Advantage plans in addition to commercial plans? Medicare Advantage plans use the same GEHA Connection Dental Network fee schedules as commercial plans. Currently, Medicare Advantage plans are offered by Humana, Dominion National, UnitedHealthcare, Paramount Dental, United Concordia and Aetna.

New features added: Automated fee schedule faxback

You can request a copy of your GEHA Connection Dental Network fee schedule, location effective date and initial application status through an automated interactive voice response (IVR) system.

This allows you to receive a faxed copy of your fee schedule 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by following a provider validation prompt on the IVR system. Get your information today by calling 800.505.8880 and follow the requested phone prompts. Remember, you can also log into the provider portal at connectiondental.com to view and print your fee schedule.

2022 CDT Code Changes

The American Dental Association CDT procedure codes and nomenclature have been updated for the 2022 calendar year.

Effective January 1, 2022, GEHA Connection Dental Network made the following CDT updates to our fee schedules for covered codes:

Please begin using the 2022 CDT codes on claims for treatment provided on and after January 1, 2022.

ADDED CDT CODES INCLUDE: D3911, D3921, D4322, D4323, D5227, D5228, D5725, D5765, D6198, D7298, D7299, D7300, D9912, D9947, D9948, D9949 DELETED CDT CODES INCLUDE: D4320, D4321, D8050, D8060, D8690

The GEHA Connection Dental Network Provider Panel now forming!

You are invited to participate in a unique opportunity to directly influence the evolution of policy, procedures and interactions for the GEHA Connection Dental Network. We hope you recognize how important you are to us and consider joining this elite panel group of highly qualified professionals who will help shape how we can work together to improve the dental industry.

Interested in joining? Please contact Rachel Cox at rachel.cox@geha.com to sign up.

What's new

Be sure to check out the What’s new section in our web Resource Center to stay up to date on new and revised payor notices, provider manual and state specific policies and procedures. We encourage you to check the Resource Center on a regular basis to see updates as they occur. Here is a recap of the updated documents that are important to you as a Connection Dental Network provider:

New provider document: Humana Medicare flyer for providers

Date posted: 9.15.2021

Health equity and dentistry

The American Medical Association and Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Center for Health Justice recently released an important guide to language, narrative and concepts for advancing health equity. Narrative and context matters when working directly with patients. Dental providers and all members of the health care team have an opportunity and obligation to overcome the deep divides that exist between groups in the United States and create spaces for understanding and healing. We can learn and understand how to communicate with each other and improve encounters with the people we serve to promote healing. The guide explores how narratives matter, defines concepts and acknowledges debates over definitions and usage.
The CDC also recently published these five key principles for unbiased and inclusive communication:

  1. Avoid use of adjectives such as “vulnerable” and “high-risk.”
  2. Avoid dehumanizing language. Use person-first language instead.
  3. Remember there are many types of subpopulations.
  4. Avoid saying “target,” “tackle,” “combat” or other terms with violent connotation when referring to people, groups or communities.
  5. Avoid unintentional blaming.
  6. We hope you find helpful information in this guide about communication and language for health equity to improve patient care. For tips on how to use more inclusive language, see: https://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/Preferred_Terms.html


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