What Dental & Medical Practices Need to Know About COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims

Businesses in all industries have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, including the healthcare industry. But given that we’ve been dealing with a public health crisis, people might be surprised by the fact that some medical practices are among the types of businesses that have faced significant losses because of the pandemic. 

Despite the substantial strain the coronavirus pandemic placed on the healthcare industry, not all types of medical practices were left trying to treat a large influx of patients. According to the Labor Department, the healthcare sector lost 1.4 million jobs in April 2020. Throughout the country, many types of medical practices that weren’t treating COVID patients were either forced to temporarily close or only treat patients needing emergency care. 

COVID-19 Business Losses in Healthcare

Dental practices were hit particularly hard by shutdowns related to COVID-19. In many places, routine, preventative dental care was not considered an essential service and dentists were forced to operate on an extremely limited basis. The American Dental Association reported that in April 2020, 97% of dental practices nationwide were only open for emergency care. On top of that, people who had been planning to have other non-essential types dental care this year, such as orthodontic or cosmetic dental work, have very commonly put those plans on hold until the pandemic gets under better control. 

In other areas of the healthcare industry, practices have been significantly impacted by cancellations and postponements of elective procedures and other non-essential types of care due to shortages of PPE, the need to conserve hospital resources, and concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Things like routine checkups and screenings have also frequently been delayed. 

Primary care practices are another area of the healthcare industry facing a substantial hit because of the pandemic. These types of practices typically depend on income from seeing a high volume of patients and minor procedures. In an April 2020 survey by Primary Care Collaborative, 42% of primary care practices reported having to furlough or layoff employees and 46% said they had enough patient volume to be able to stay open for the following four weeks. 

Like other types of businesses, many medical practices started branching into virtual services as a way to keep business going throughout the pandemic. But while changes to the way Medicare reimburses telehealth services allowed care providers to be compensated for a greater range of services during the pandemic, the cost of getting the technology needed to provide telehealth services can be prohibitive for small, independent practices. 

Business Interruption Claims for Medical & Dental Practices

As restrictions ease, people will eventually resume seeing their doctors. But in the meantime, medical and dental practices still have ongoing expenses to worry about, such as rent/mortgage payments and utility bills. 

As important as healthcare services are, there are times when practices simply might not be able to see patients, such as if the building is damaged because of a storm or a fire or because of a power outage. To prepare for these types of situations, many medical practices have business insurance policies that include business interruption coverage. 

Business interruption insurance is intended to cover the monetary losses caused by temporary closures. Some business owners also purchase civil authority coverage, which is similar to business interruption coverage, but is specifically for temporary closures caused by government orders. 

With countless businesses forced to temporarily close because of the coronavirus pandemic, insurance companies have been receiving a large number of claims for business interruption and civil authority benefits. Unfortunately, this means insurance carriers want to deny these claims as quickly as possible. 

Help with California COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims

If you’ve made a claim for business interruption or civil authority insurance benefits and been denied, you may still have options. By working with a lawyer on your claim, you’ll have someone on your side who has experience taking on insurance companies and holding them accountable. 

The Wallace Firm is now working with California business owners on their business interruption claims. Whether you’ve made a claim and been denied or are still in the process of getting ready to make a claim, we’re here to help. These types of cases are being handled on a contingency basis, so there’s no need to worry about any upfront fees. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your claim.