Anjana D. Patel, Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in firm’s the Newark office, was quoted in The Philadelphia Inquirer, in “Dental Offices Trying to Reopen Show How Hard Back-to-Work Can Get,” by Wendy Ruderman and Sarah Gantz.

Following is an excerpt:

High stakes to return to work

The vast majority of dentists in Pennsylvania and New Jersey work in privately owned solo or group practices. They remain both medical provider and small-business owner — a dual identity that requires them to consider the health of their employees and patients, as well as the health of their business.

“All of a sudden, they have to shut down, lay off staff. They have loans and business expenses,” said Anjana D. Patel, a lawyer with Epstein Becker & Green in Newark, N.J., who advises health-care businesses. “Once they start opening up, they’re not going to see patient flow like they used to, especially with all these protective measures they have to implement. It’s not going to be the same for a long time, and some of them may not be able to survive that.”

Unlike most medical offices, independent dental practices have not had a larger health system or management organization to help cover ongoing business expenses, such as rent and malpractice insurance, during the pandemic.

While emergency dental work was allowed to continue in most states, including Pennsylvania, emergencies account for just 10% of revenue for dental practices, on average. During the pandemic, general practice dentistry revenue plummeted 95% and oral surgery revenue fell 70% nationally, according to the Levin Group, a dental management consulting firm in Baltimore.

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