To our Valued Facility Partners:
As we work together to continue to ensure continuity of care for your residents, we want to let you know that our preventative care services are ready and available for your residents. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our services were put on hold or limited in many parts of the country. On September 17, 2020, CMS released a memo indicating that healthcare workers, “who are not employees of the facility but provide direct care to the facility’s residents…must be permitted to come into the facility as long as they are not subject to a work exclusion due to an exposure to COVID-19 or show signs or symptoms of COVID-19 after being screened…we remind facilities that all staff, including individuals providing services under arrangement as well as volunteers, should adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention and must comply with COVID-19 testing requirements.” 1 HealthDrive wants to ensure you that we are prepared to provide services to your residents and are in compliance with all CDC infection control recommendations and COVID-19 testing requirements.
Due to the nature of COVID-19, there has been widespread concern over outside ancillary medical and dental providers, HealthDrive wants to assure you that we have taken all necessary steps to ensure the safe delivery of services to your residents for all services offered. Please find below a brief FAQ concerning our services.
Is it safe to have a HealthDrive provider come to my facility?
Due to COVID-19, there are additional safety precautions in place for all HealthDrive providers. These precautions have been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All providers will have their own PPE in accordance with the update HealthDrive Infection Control Policy. In addition, all HealthDrive providers are being tested weekly for COVID-19, with results always available for our customers.
What about dentists and hygienists that are working in a resident’s mouth?
In accordance with the CDC and American Dental Association recommendations our dentists and assistants wear masks, gowns, gloves, and face shields for all treatments so dental and hygiene procedures can be performed safely. The ADA and CDC have issued guidance on limiting aerosol generating procedures, as these treatments pose the highest risk for potential transmission. Accordingly, HealthDrive Dental Group has suspended all aerosol generating procedures until further notice.
How is HealthDrive responding to the outbreak of COVID-19?
The health of our patients, employees and facility partners is of utmost importance. Our Regulatory Affairs team is constantly monitoring the latest guidelines as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA). Our staff are trained in the use of personal protective equipment and have been supplied sufficient personal protective equipment to safely see patents. In the event of virus spread causing the need for enhanced precautions, our dental teams will remain available for emergency triage and visits as needed.
What are the risks for my residents?
Through the use of PPE in accordance with our infection control policy, limitation of aerosol generating procedures, weekly testing policy, and continued adherence to the CDC and ADA guidelines, we are confident that the risk of infection and/or spread from all services supported by HealthDrive is very low.
I support emergency dental care but concerned about routine, preventative care. Are there risks if my facility continues to hold preventative care services?
Each resident has a different oral health care plan. There is significant data available that poor oral health contributes to the symptoms and advancement of multiple disease states, including COVID-19. A recently published dental study found, “Elderly patients are more likely to suffer from chronic gum disease than any other age group…and this demographic faces significant risks from COVID-19 as well. The researchers further note that their findings underscore the need for people who believe they may have gingivitis or more serious gum disease to get their teeth and gums checked and cleaned as soon as possible…the study suggests that COVID-19 patients with bad gums face a much greater risk of generating harmful IL-6 proteins that spread to their lungs and trigger a life-threatening respiratory crisis.”2
Ultimately, HealthDrive supports each of our facility partners in their decision on preventative services as each facility will have its own circumstances and decisions. We look forward to continuing to partner with you to provide safe, quality care to your residents. If you would like to reach out to HealthDrive to schedule a visits please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe, stay healthy.
President and CEO