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Statement on COVID-19 Virus from AAOIC

We understand some AAO members will want to know if they have coverage under their AAOIC Professional Liability Insurance policy for the allegation of transmission of the COVID-19 virus in their orthodontic office(s) .  The answer is that there may be coverage, depending on the facts and circumstances of any claim.  There also may be coverage under your general liability policy.  In the event of a claim, be sure to report it promptly to both AAOIC and your general liability carrier.  Generally, it will be difficult for an individual to prove where they acquired the virus now that there is community transmission of the disease.  However, AAOIC recommends limiting your practice, for as long as practical, to emergency care only, while using enhanced universal precautions.  You should also be available to patients by telephone and electronic media to help resolve problems remotely whenever possible.

 

FURTHER RESPONSE TO INQUIRIES REGARDING THE COVID-19 VIRUS FROM AAOIC

 

AAOIC and AAO do not provide official recommendations regarding  practicing or returning to practice as the COVID-19 begins to come under control and life returns to the new normal.  Orthodontists have been dealing with a crisis none have ever seen or anticipated.   The recommendations of the CDC, White House Coronavirus Task Force and requirements propagated by each insured’s state and local governments should be the controlling factors as to when orthodontists may resume practice.  Insureds can see the official statement of COVID-19 at aaoic.com and there are a multitude of resources available at aaoinfo.org.  AAOIC coverage does require insureds to be in compliance with  “any applicable governmental law, rule or regulation including, but not limited to, a state dental practice act.   So, if you provide care to patients in conflict with these regulations, you will be doing so at your own risk.  In addition, it is unlikely that many practices will have adequate or appropriate personal protective equipment available initially and the use thereof is essential to the protection of the orthodontist, the orthodontist’s staff, the patients and all of their families.  Since most orthodontic treatment is considered non-essential by the state and federal agencies managing this pandemic, AAOIC continues to urge insureds to follow governmental recommendations and regulations.

 

Please click on the following link for the American Dental Association's recommendation on providing orthodontic care during the COVIE-19 pandemic:

 

https://success.ada.org/~/media/CPS/Files/Open%20Files/ADA_COVID19_Dental_Emergency_DDS.pdf