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Greetings to Everyone:
I know this is long, but I have a lot of info I need to pass on.
We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. We are preparing our office to reopen soon. I am reading through the daily updates related to new CDC/OSHA regulations. Governor Newsom has not given the greenlight for Dental Offices to open unless we meet some benchmarks.
If you had an appointment cancelled during this time, please be patient. We will try to accommodate as many patients as we can. We do have to make some adjustments to how we operate and schedule. Covid-19 has given our profession a few challenges to overcome.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable. Since the 1980’s, the dental profession has assumed the philosophy of “Universal Precautions”; we treat everyone as if they have an infectious disease: many of the previous diseases were Blood Borne transmission. With Covid-19 we now must be cognizant of Air Borne transmission. (I feel like I have a mini degree in Epidemiology from the University of Zoom!).
When we do open please be aware of some new procedures in the office:
Do not keep your appointment if you have any symptoms related to Covid-19 or any cold/flu; or if you have been in close contact with anyone with symptoms.
You will be required to wear a mask while in the waiting room and use hand sanitizer provided at the front desk.
We will be checking Temperature (under 100.4), Oxygen Level (90% or above), and Blood Pressure (case by case) before seating each patient.
In order to maintain physical distancing, we cannot accommodate multiple people coming with a patient. A child or a patient needing assistance can have a + one.
Our scheduling will need some tweaking; this means you may not have as many options for appointments as we try to catch up with so many we had to cancel.
The cost of PPE (Masks, Gloves, Shields.) as you have heard has increased significantly during this time, this involves all healthcare professionals. Additionally, I have had to invest in enhanced High-Volume Evacuation tools for myself and my hygienists and enhanced Air Purification to minimize Aerosol in the office for the safety of my staff and patients. These are part of the requirements to re-open.
Due to this added expense, Dental Insurance Plans have not increased fees in years, and frankly, some plan’s fee schedules are 30-40% under the usual and customary fee for Pasadena; I will need to establish a per visit fee of $15.00 for this enhanced Infection Control. There is an ADA code D1999 for this purpose. This fee will be submitted to your insurance, but they may not cover it. This fee will be your responsibility to pay. The charge can be paid for by HSA/FSA reimbursement accounts.
I wrestled with this, but the alternative would be to drop several of the lower paying insurance plans. I would not be a provider and the out of pocket would be greater to those patients. I had to weigh losing patients for out of network reasons versus an added fee for their protection.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we are taking take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 626-793-6930. 
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.
Kathleen J. Lucas, D.D.S. and Staff