June 24, 2020

The cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) as an operational expense has dramatically increased due to the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that your office is open and the invoices are coming in, you face the reality of your increased PPE expenses. If you haven’t done so already, you may want to consider charging patients to offset the increased costs.

How to:

1. Open the Procedure Codes & Conditions page (Settings > Procedure Codes & Conditions).

2. Search for and select the existing procedure code D1999 as recommended by the ADA

3. Edit the Description, enter the Location fee (example: $10.00), and set the Bill to insurance switcher to On. Change the Office code to something like “PPE”. Click Save.

Additional Information

  • After setting up a new PPE code, let your patients know that they may be charged for the increased cost of the personal protective equipment used for their appointment.   
  • Since this code falls into the preventive code range, which is usually covered at 100%, set the fee for this procedure to $10.00 in all fee schedules, including those for PPO plans. For carriers that do not cover this charge, create a “Not Covered” exception in the coverage tables for those plans, so the fee will be the patient’s responsibility.
  • Reimbursement varies by insurance carrier. You could add a multi-code with ADC (Appointment Day Screening) & PPE, so both get posted to the ledger in a single step, saving time and ensuring it doesn’t get missed.
  • If the carrier does not allow a patient to be charged, create a patient note that appears in the ledger as a reminder to not charge the patient and to add a write-off adjustment. For tracking purposes, when you enter the PPE write-off, remember to tag it.
  • To learn more about more how to best use Dentrix Ascend to implement some COVID-19 ideas, read The NEW Normal in the Dental Office (Covid19 Ideas) in the Resource Center.