How to Reopen Your Practice
Most states are now beginning to see stay at home orders relaxed and elective surgeries resuming. Here in Arizona, Governor Ducey signed executive order 2020-32 allowing elective surgeries, including dental surgery providers, to resume beginning May 1st. Dentists are eager to get back to work, but are facing new provisions and minimum criteria for reopening their offices. Questions about how to handle employees and patients in the wake of these new conditions abound. In this interview with labor law expert attorney Denise Blommel, Allison and Shawn tackle the many concerns dental practice owners might have as they reopen their practices.
Some of your primary concerns may relate to your employees. Denise spells out how to recall employees that have been furloughed, and how this changes their eligibility for unemployment. Allison and Shawn discuss how to handle employees who may not want to come back to work and the reasons that they could be legally entitled to stay home. Denise demystifies the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and discusses how it may apply to your employees. She explains the six specific reasons they could be eligible for emergency paid sick leave from the employer.
This discussion also addresses safety issues both for the employee and the patient. How do you handle a sick employee, or a potential exposure in your office? Dental practices face the challenge of complying with state mandated minimum criteria for reopening. Some of these criteria seem impossible for dental practices to fulfill, such as COVID-19 testing of patients and at risk health care workers. You will be encouraged to hear that dental organizations are working on taking care of these impossible guidelines, so that your practice may legally open even if you have no access to COVID-19 test kits for example.
Lastly, many small business owners, including dentists, have questions about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In this interview Denise weighs the benefits of the PPP loans and gives a few practical tips for those pursing this loan.
Many of you are ready to jump back in to work and make up for lost time. Hopefully this episode is a resource to you as you navigate the many facets of reopening your dental practice in this new normal.