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Take Action on AB 454:

Advocate for Dental Care Provider Emergency Payments

As an endodontist, a specialized dentist in your district, the health and safety of my patients and staff is my biggest priority. Coined by some as the “ERs of dentistry,” endodontic practices treat those dental emergencies that otherwise become life threatening hospital incidents. Over 84% of endodontists remained open and provided emergency care during the heart of the pandemic, in the Spring and Summer of 2020. Yet, even today, having access to quality, affordable and effective PPE continues to be a challenge - which is why I write to urge you to vote YES on AB 454 (Rodriguez).

My practice and the hundreds of endodontists throughout California were deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The increased costs PPE and additional overhead costs have forced the cost of care to go up – thus negatively impacting the patients I treat. The vast majority of endodontists are solo or small group practitioners that cannot sustain significant increases in cost coupled with a reduced influx of patients. The assistance from the Federal Government while helpful was limited and short term. We need long term state solutions.

The increased costs of PPE and other pandemic related resources and tools continues to be burdensome. A new bill in the California State Assembly aims to lessen those costs. AB 454 a bill sponsored by Assembly member Freddie Rodriguez would give authority — during a future public health emergency — to the California Department of Insurance and Department of Managed Health Care to direct dental plans to support their contracted provider network through various means such as grants, increased rates or payments for mandatory infection control measures like PPE. State regulators need to have adequate authority available during emergencies to ensure that provider networks stay intact and prevent major disruptions in access to care.

I urge you to support AB 454 to prevent closures and consolidations that will increase health care costs and decrease patient access to care.

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