The May 2014 issue of the CDA Update includes the latest news on CDA's sponsored bill that targets low-value dental plans. The issue also has information on a state dental director being included in the governor's budget update. Also highlighted are the new product launches taking place at CDA Presents.
The May issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association is now available. It covers a variety of topics including nutrition and periodontal disease, dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, factors affecting dentists’ incomes and more. One specific clinical case report describes the steps involved in treatment planning, treatment, laboratory communication and materials for the replication of natural polychromicity to restore and match incisors to the rest of the natural teeth.
CDA received a ruling on April 10 from the arbitrators hearing the case against Delta Dental, who decided that CDA cannot participate as a claimant in the arbitration because CDA itself is not a party to the Premier provider agreement that contains the arbitration clause. However, CDA can still offer legal representation to all dentists who are parties to the binding arbitration and will continue to work with and support them throughout the proceedings.
CDA-sponsored legislation to require dental plans to adhere to the same administrative cost limitations as medical plans took a major step forward April 8. AB 1962 passed the Assembly Health Committee on a 15-3 vote over strong opposition from the dental plan industry. AB 1962 would remove the dental plan exemption from state law that requires health plans to allocate a minimum of 80 percent of their premium revenue to actual patient care.
May 1 marks the date of formal restoration of adult benefits in the Denti-Cal program. CDA offers a few suggestions to help dentists make sure they are prepared for the program to return: familiarize yourself with the benefits available to adults; confirm that you are an enrolled provider in the Denti-Cal program; and attend the lecture that will cover the renewed program at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim.
Available for download now from the iTunes App Store and the Google Play store, the new CDA app features sections for CDA Presents, the latest dentistry and member news, practice support information and member surveys. The app has a comprehensive and intuitive home screen that makes navigation seamless.
CDA has recently learned that the Dental Board of California has begun taking disciplinary action against dentists who are providing Botox/Dysport or derma filler treatments to patients for cosmetic purposes or teaching courses to dentists to do so.
As of March 31, the first open enrollment period in health care reform implementation through the California Health Benefit Exchange’s individual market (Covered California) is in the books. So, it is now time to start thinking about what happens next for the people who have new dental policies and what treating these patient will mean for dentists. If and when a patient comes into your office with Covered California dental coverage, it is important to remember that what they really have is private dental insurance.
CDA is now recruiting for volunteer leadership positions beginning service in November 2014. The online application process takes about 20 minutes to complete, and applicants can apply for positions on CDA councils, committees and boards as well as for shorter-term positions on task forces and workgroups or serving as a CDA Presents host or assistant.
If you forgot to register online for CDA Cares Solano, April 25-26, you can still volunteer. Dentists and dental professionals are needed for Friday, April 25 at the Solano County Fairgrounds, 900 Fairgrounds Drive, Vallejo. Go to volunteer registration at McCormack Hall. The goal of CDA Cares is to relieve pain and infection and educate the public and policymakers about the importance of good oral health and the need for an adequately funded dental safety net. Since 2012, the CDA Cares volunteer dental program has provided $6 million in care to more than 8,000 patients.
The Scholastic education component of the Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign led by the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives and the Ad Council has created a big impact in classrooms across America. Since launching last October, Scholastic’s “Two Minutes, Twice a Day” in-school program materials were delivered to 125,000 teachers nationwide via print and have reached more than 3,750,000 children and their families.
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to raise public awareness of the disease. According to National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates, there were more than 40,000 cases of oral and pharynx (throat) cancer in 2013 and nearly 7,900 deaths. NCI estimates that 1.4 percent of all cancer deaths are from oral cancers. There are many educational materials available that dentists can print and share with their patients.
The CDA Foundation has numerous grants and scholarships available throughout the year with various deadlines and submission periods. Currently, the CDA Foundation is accepting applications for the Student Loan Repayment Grant, Humanitarian Award and the Latinos for Dental Careers Scholarship.
CDA and a coalition of health care organizations are ready to fight a ballot measure over California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), which now appears inevitable after trial lawyers submitted more than 800,000 signatures to qualify their anti-MICRA initiative for the November ballot.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a new security risk assessment tool that helps dentists and other health care professionals be in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It is important for dentists to conduct a security risk assessment as required by HIPAA to protect their patients' information and minimize liability risk. A recent review of HIPAA enforcement actions reveals that entities were penalized for not having a documented risk analysis or for having an incomplete analysis.
Inquiries have increased to CDA Practice Support recently on the subject of movie licensing. Dental practices are being contacted by mail or in person by individuals seeking to collect licensing fees. Many dentists assume it is OK to play movies they have purchased in their waiting rooms, but that is not always the case.
Dentists gained firsthand knowledge of practice model selection, contractual analysis, legal implications of claims and more at CDA's Dental Benefits Workshop. Held at CDA's headquarters in Sacramento, more than 70 people, including dentists and staff from 40 practices, attended the March 20-21 event. Attendees were able to earn up to 12 hours of continuing education and improve their skills analyzing and evaluating existing dental plan contract performance in their practices.
There are many business and technical issues in dental software contracts that dentists need to recognize and address, and the onus can fall on them to adequately prepare. Signing a bad contract could negatively impact a practice for years to come. CDA, along with a veteran health care software expert, has identified the top five mistakes dentists make when signing a dental software contract.
There will be something for everyone on the dental team at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim on May 15-17. From lectures on equipment care and repair to search engine optimization, social media and online marketing — the course lineup is enriched with key information for dentists and staff. Dentists interested in bringing their entire staff to CDA Presents in Anaheim can use the following list of workshops to help plan their schedules at the convention.
The establishment of a state dental director position to provide leadership and direction for oral health care in California, a goal CDA has actively pursued for more than two years, will soon become a reality.
A CDA Cares dental clinic is scheduled for April 25-26 at the Solano County Fairgrounds in Vallejo. To help provide oral health care services to the large number of expected patients, the CDA Foundation needs various volunteer types to sign up. From general dentists to nurses to lab technicians, there are opportunities for many health care professionals to change lives at the event.
The April issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association is now available. This issue helps readers understand the value of having a robust state oral health program and how it benefits the public and the profession. The importance of a state dental director who can impact oral health policy is also covered.
A ballot measure fight over California's Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) now appears inevitable after Consumer Watchdog (a trial lawyer front group) submitted more than 800,000 signatures to county elections officials Monday to qualify their anti-MICRA initiative for the November ballot. Slightly more than 500,000 valid signatures are needed for the measure to qualify. The signatures will be verified over the next several weeks.
The Dental Hygiene Committee of California (DHCC) faced its first legislative "sunset review" hearing last week. Based on that hearing, all indications are that the legislature will continue the committee for another four years but will not support expanding the committee's authority or the hygiene profession's scope of practice as proposed by the DHCC and the California Dental Hygienists Association.
Dental professionals spend a tremendous amount of energy ensuring they provide a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan to their patients. Equally important is to regularly examine and assess the overall health of the dental practice. A lecture at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim on Friday, May 16 will walk dentists through recommended practice assessments, or "exams," teach them how to "diagnose" the problems, and ultimately, "treatment plan" the solutions.
Studies are continuing to show significant expansion of dental group models in California and across the country. Their impact on the dental marketplace is making it more important to understand and classify the various practice models that exist. The ADA's Health Policy Resource Center identified six basic types of group practices that indicate two or more dentists are somehow affiliated with each other. CDA breaks down these classifications and provides examples of some of these group practices in California.
The April 2014 issue of the CDA Update offers dentists tips on ways in which they can boost their star rating on Yelp. The issue also provides a glimpse into how dentists can "empower" their staff by taking them to CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim in May.
As the annual state budget process begins to unfold in the legislature, CDA is advocating on a variety of significant issues, ranging from funding a state dental director, improving Denti-Cal reimbursement rates and maintaining or restoring the state's public oral health program infrastructure. This year, CDA's top advocacy priority in the budget process is the establishment of a state dental director position within the Department of Public Health.
CDA continually works on behalf of its members to provide quality services and benefits — support that allows California dentists to be successful and better serve their patients. CDA is currently surveying members to determine their interest in the association developing and operating a dental practice management service organization (MSO).
With the receipt last month of final approval from the state Office of Administrative Law, initial and biennial dental licensure fees will be increasing for the first time since 1998, effective July 1, 2014. A group of ancillary fees that is linked by law to the biennial renewal fee will be increasing as well.
TDIC Professional Liability policyholders whose Risk Management premium discount expires soon should register for their last chance to complete TDIC's Risk Management seminar, The High Cost of Shortcuts. California dentists must successfully complete the seminar by April 25th to maintain and/or receive the discount. However, for those who attend the CDA Presents Risk Management seminars, the discount will apply to the July 1, 2014 renewal. In addition, registrants will earn 3.0 C.E.
CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim will provide attendees with a multitude of learning options and opportunities to view the latest technology in dentistry, but there also will many ways to unwind and socialize. CDA has identified some of the top events and activities dentists and their staff can attend at the meeting.
March 20 is World Oral Health Day, a day to celebrate the benefits of a healthy mouth and to promote worldwide awareness of the issues around oral health and the importance of good oral hygiene for everyone old and young. World Oral Health Day is organized by the FDI World Dental Federation in collaboration with the ADA and recognized in more than 50 countries worldwide. California components, schools and businesses across the state can celebrate the day by holding events under the slogan "Celebrating Healthy Smiles" and the benefits that come with good oral health.
A recent ADA study finds that dentists could save the health care system millions of dollars each year by incorporating overall health assessments into chairside screenings. Specifically, the ADA Health Policy Resources Center found that savings could reach $102.6 million each year, simply by conducting screening for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol in the dental office.
Dentists who have decided to accept online forums such as Yelp as a marketing tool they can use to benefit their practice face a common question: How do I get and maintain high-star ratings? The first and most important thing is to maintain high standards in the practice and focus on patient communication.
The Dentists Insurance Company has announced its 20th consecutive year earning the A.M. Best Company’s “A” rating. The A.M. Best Company rating includes comparisons to peers and industry standards as well as assessments of operating plans, philosophy and management.
A CDA member’s dental practice lost a computer server to thieves last year, and is now responding to U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) inquiries on that practice’s HIPAA compliance. CDA has been assisting the practice in this process, and is offering members recommendations so they can avoid a similar situation.
CDA’s arbitration with Delta took a step forward on Feb. 25 with a “preliminary hearing” conference call with the panel of arbitrators assigned to the case. The purpose of the call was to schedule dates for different stages of the arbitration. In light of the extensive briefing that has already been submitted by both parties, the panel of three arbitrators has indicated it will likely decide two significant issues by early April.
Establishing, building and maintaining a practice can take an entire career to accomplish, and when a dentist is ready to put that practice up for sale, there is a lot to think about. A lecture at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim will take the selling dentist through the necessary steps and precautions that must be taken during such a transaction.
Several major sponsors, through in-kind donations and resources, are stepping up to make sure CDA Cares Solano provides the most oral health care possible to patients in need. CDA Cares Solano will be held at the Solano County Fairgrounds on April 25-26 with the help of hundreds of volunteer dental professionals and other community volunteers. On top of volunteers, the CDA Foundation relies heavily on the financial support of its sponsors. Solano County, First 5 Solano, the Del E. Webb Foundation and Kaiser Permanente in Napa and Solano counties all are donating and/or matching funds up to $20,000 or more, for a total of $160,000.
Dental professionals from around the world attend CDA Presents to learn about the latest clinical and technological advances in the industry, earn C.E. and take advantage of networking opportunities. In the process, they hear from some of dentistry’s most captivating speakers, which will be the case at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim on May 15-17.
Making sure the patient is comfortable at every communication point with a dental practice is important when it comes to him/her accepting the treatment that the dentist ends up recommending.
To enhance the member experience with its “ePub” versions of the Update and Journal, CDA has implemented a new feature that makes sharing content easier. CDA launched digital versions of the Update and the Journal in 2013 as a way to communicate industry and member news across more platforms. New for 2014 is the Stream sharing feature.
CDA applauds the decision by CVS Caremark to discontinue the sale of tobacco products. For decades, CDA and other health organizations have been warning tobacco users of the dangers of these products and urging them to kick the habit. CVS recently announced that it will stop selling cigarettes and all tobacco products at its more than 7,600 stores nationwide by Oct. 1.
CDA's Practice Support often receives questions related to dental staff who are employed on a part-time basis, but may work beyond eight hours in a given day. Robyn Thomason, director of CDA Practice Support, provides clarification based on information from the Department of Labor in the latest edition of "Dear Practice Support."
To help give dental students a voice, CDA hosted a Grassroots Advocacy Day at the Capitol with the UCLA School of Dentistry. Five CDA student representatives from the school traveled to CDA’s headquarters on Feb. 12 and spent the day meeting with legislators and touring the Capitol building.
Nearly five years after the state eliminated dental benefits for adult beneficiaries in the Medi-Cal program, many of those benefits are being restored as of May 1, 2014. This comes largely as a result of the pent up need for dental care, so visibly demonstrated at CDA Cares.
Even with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) barely under way, Covered California, the agency charged with implementing the ACA in this state, devoted considerable time last month to planning for expanded dental benefit offerings for 2015. CDA has continued to push for making a variety of plan options available to all consumers, including adults, and the state is now moving in that direction, with many details still to be worked out.
The March 2014 issue of the CDA Update highlights the top speakers to be featured at CDA Presents the Art and Science of Dentistry in May. Also in this issue is the latest on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and Covered California's efforts to plan for expanded dental benefit offerings in 2015.
The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 protects dentists and other health care providers from frivolous lawsuits and outrageous malpractice rates that drove many practitioners out of the state. The law is now under attack by trial lawyers who are circulating petitions to force a November ballot initiative, in essence to allow bigger payouts to pad their pockets. CDA President James Stephens, DDS, outlines why dentists need to preserve MICRA and support the fight that CDA and other health care organizations are involved in this year.
CDA’s legal action against Delta took a step forward with a decision by the American Arbitration Association to select three arbitrators to hear and decide the case. The selection of an arbitration panel meant the case was able to move forward with a preliminary conference scheduled Feb. 25.
The March issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association is now available. It covers a variety of topics including the clinical, radiographic and histopathologic features of internal and external root resorption, pharmacology of tacrolimus and its use in oral lichen planus, the use of cone beam CT in orthodontics and the treatment of a patient with severe mandibular anterior crowding.
Dentists interested in implementing Caries Management By Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) strategies into their practice will have some training available to them at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim. Jean L. Creasey, DDS, will lead a lecture titled Preventing Your Way to Success ... Implementing CAMBRA in Private Practice on Thursday, May 15, and Friday, May 16, at the Anaheim Convention Center.
The CDA Foundation offers financial support for oral health programs and dental education statewide. In this way, funding reaches local communities where it's needed most. Numerous grants and scholarships are available throughout the year with various deadlines and submission periods. Several of application deadlines approaching.
The California Dental Association is sponsoring a patient protection bill introduced by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, (D-Berkeley), to ensure that a minimum percentage of consumer premiums are actually spent on their dental care instead of insurance company overhead and administration costs.
With a new legislative session under way, CDA’s volunteer leaders and its Sacramento advocacy team are simultaneously on offense and defense on a wide range of legislative and regulatory issues impacting dentists and patients across the state. The issues range from dental insurance and malpractice reforms to state oral health policy leadership and regulation of dental hygienists.
Dentists interested in learning more about the world of restorative dentistry will have many options at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim. From anterior and posterior etched ceramic restorations to posterior bonded porcelain, CDA Presents has more than 20 lectures/workshops for dentists to take advantage of throughout the May 15-17 event at the Anaheim Convention Center.
February is American Heart Month, and in an effort to increase oral health awareness, the California Dental Association is highlighting the importance of good oral hygiene habits to help keep mouths and hearts healthy. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, several studies have shown periodontal disease to be associated with heart disease.
Having financial assistance to help him through dental school is something that molded Dr. Don Rollofson’s perspective on giving back. Now the chair of the CDA Foundation, Rollofson heads up two of its major programs – the Student Loan Repayment Grant and CDA Cares, both of which enable dentists across California to give back to the communities they serve.
According to U.S. News & World Report, dentist is the nation’s third best job of 2014. U.S. News ranked the “100 Best Jobs of 2014” based on employment opportunity, salary, work-life balance and job security. Dentist ranked just below software developer and computer systems analyst, and just above nurse practitioner and pharmacist.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a new public awareness campaign around the dangers of tobacco use. The youth tobacco prevention campaign, “The Real Cost,” launched Feb. 11 and will run across multiple media platforms, including TV, radio, print and online for at least a year.
Dental electronic health records (EHR) are changing practices rapidly as it relates to benefits and clinical operations. There are many options in terms of vendors and software offerings in addition to federal EHR incentives, new HIPAA rules and the push to move everything to the cloud. Despite the complexity, dental practices need to stay up-to-date. To help dentists in these situations, CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry on May 15-17 will host a lecture to provide guidance on how to deal with purchasing new, or updating old, dental software.
It is important for dentists to conduct a Security Rule risk analysis as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to protect their patients’ information and minimize liability risk. A recent review of HIPAA enforcement actions reveals that entities were penalized for not having a documented risk analysis or for having an incomplete analysis.
The CDA Foundation is pleased to announce it has confirmed the dates and locations of four upcoming CDA Cares volunteer dental events, including Fresno in 2015. At each event, volunteer dentists — with the assistance of other dental professionals and community volunteers — will provide cleanings, fillings, extractions, oral health education and assistance in finding a dental home.
CDA receives thousands of member calls each year on the four major topic areas of a dental practice: dental benefits, employment, practice management and regulatory compliance. Dental benefits receives more than 3,000 calls per year, and of those calls, approximately half of them are related to a dental plan not doing what the dentist (and their staff) expected.
CDA Presents in Anaheim on May 15-17 is going to be one of the most innovative professional conferences to date. An example of that is the Advance Local Anesthesia of the Oral Cavity and Maxillofacial Complex lecture/lab, which will be led by Mel Hawkins, DDS, BScD (AN), and Mark C. Paxton, DDS. The May 15 lab will offer attendees the opportunity for light, site-specific, hands-on human cadaver demi-head dissection, isolation, pathway tracing and identification of anatomical structures.
As questions increase about the use of Botox in dentistry, The Dentists Insurance Company advises California dentists that the use of preparations such as Botox and Dysport must be within the scope of dental practice.
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. The ADA's Give Kids a Smile campaign is a way for dentists to join with others in the community to provide dental services to underserved children. Dentists and other team members volunteer their time, and services, to provide screenings, treatments and education to children throughout the United States. Registration is under way for Give Kids a Smile Day set to be held on Feb. 7.
At the beginning of the year, a few hundred dentists received a letter or telephone call from a dental plan indicating that they had been selected for a quality assurance audit. A CDA dental benefits analyst addresses some common dentist questions related to this and offers a few suggestions for navigating the audit process.
The February issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association is now available. The issue covers controversies in dentistry and how the professional environment is changing. It also includes commentaries on the increasing shift from small dental practice to corporate dentistry; a review of the current dental education that questions if and how the educational philosophy is changing; an overview of who will mind the dental health care safety net; and more.
There is still much uncertainty regarding the overall and long-term impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the health and dental care delivery systems. What we do know, however, is that the ACA will usher in access to dental care for many more children outside of the ACA-created online insurance marketplaces – including coverage through most private health insurance plans.
The February 2014 issue of the CDA Update includes information on how dentists can use Yelp to their advantage for marketing purposes. Also in this issue is an interview with Jim Wood, DDS, who is running for the 2nd Assembly District. If elected, he would become the only dentist in the state Legislature.
To ensure compliance with state radiation regulations, dental practices, clinics and dental educational programs should obtain the recently updated Radiation Safety in Dental Practice
There has been a lot of speculation around the use of Windows XP as it relates to HIPAA violations. Many IT consultants are saying if dentists’ information systems are operating on Windows XP after April 8, 2014, they are in violation of HIPAA. The HIPAA Security Rule does not specifically require the use of operating systems that are manufacturer-supported so continuing to use Windows XP after April 8 is not in itself a HIPAA violation.
As a precaution to the risks of liver injury, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says dentists and other health care professionals will need to limit the amount of drugs they are prescribing to patients that include acetaminophen.
CDA has learned that United Concordia plans to adjust reimbursement rates for its National Fee for Service Maximum Allowable Charge (MAC) schedule. United Concordia has sent letters to approximately 5,000 contracted providers in California impacted by this action. Providers in other United Concordia networks are not affected by these changes.
The U.S. Surgeon General has updated Dr. Luther Terry’s landmark report on smoking and health. According to the ADA, the 998-page report, titled The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2014, updates evidence on the implications for oral health from tobacco use and the “expanding use of multiple products or the replacement of conventional combustible cigarettes with other nicotine delivery systems.”
Starting a dental practice takes a lot of work and knowhow, which is why the CDA Practice Support Center makes sure to keep dentists up-to-date on what they need to know as they go through this process. For dentists interested in training in this area, the Practice Support Center is hosting a four-part symposium series titled Starting or Purchasing a Practice.
Dentists interested in learning about and implementing Caries Management By Risk Assessments (CAMBRA) into their practices can take advantage of the new app developed by the UCSF School of Dentistry and Firsthand Technology Inc. The MyCAMBRA mobile app, available in the iTunes store, lets dentists perform a CAMBRA risk assessment right on their iPhone or iPad.
Dental care spending remained flat through 2012 over the prior year, according to an analysis conducted by the ADA. The ADA analysis points to working age adults visiting dentists less frequently and fewer people covered by employer-sponsored dental benefits, as a couple of the key factors.
In an effort to motivate parents and caregivers to take action to reduce their children’s risk of oral disease, the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives have released a new, free mobile gaming app called Toothsavers. The goal of the game is to motivate kids to save their own teeth by brushing for two minutes, twice a day.
Denti-Cal providers received positive news Jan. 9 regarding CDA efforts to stop the state from implementing retroactive reimbursement cuts, which were not included in Gov. Brown’s proposed 2014-15 budget. CDA advocated strongly against the 10 percent “clawback” of payments made since June 2011, citing the devastating impact on the provider network and patients’ ability to access care.
Jim Wood, DDS, is running for election in the 2nd Assembly District, which covers all or part of Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity and Sonoma counties. If elected, he would be the only dentist member of the California Legislature. Wood, who has been active in the policy arena with CDA, vows to be a strong advocate for dentistry and health care in the Legislature.
With federal and state law supporting a patient's right to post about a dental practice on online forums, there is little dentists can do to prevent a negative review. But they can use websites like Yelp to their advantage in their marketing efforts, say some social media experts.
The CDA Cares San Diego volunteer dental clinic at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in December provided more than $1.6 million in charitable dental services to 2,203 patients, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of some key sponsors. Presenting Sponsor Benco Dental Company, which has backed the program since the first CDA Cares event in Modesto in May 2012, the county of San Diego, Carestream Dental, Patterson Dental, Henry Schein, Aribex, Farmers Insurance and more all provided significant support for the CDA Cares volunteer dental program on Dec. 7-8.
Denti-Cal providers received positive news regarding retroactive reimbursement cuts in Gov. Brown’s proposed 2014-15 budget released Jan. 9. The spending plan does not include a 10 percent “clawback” of payments made since June 2011 when the state authorized Medi-Cal reimbursement cuts as part of its budget.
CDA Presents continues to expand educational opportunities for its members, and the Anaheim and San Francisco conventions in 2014 will be prime examples. CDA Update staff spoke with Del Brunner, DDS, chair of the CDA Presents Board of Managers, about what attendees can expect at CDA Presents Anaheim, May 15-17 at the Anaheim Convention Center, and CDA Presents San Francisco, Sept. 4-6 at the Moscone South Convention Center.
From the latest on HIPAA compliance to how to optimize a Yelp profile, CDA has it all. As we enter 2014, let’s take a look back at the top 10 resources CDA’s Practice Support Center provided dentists in 2013.
Dental offices routinely send medical clearance forms to physicians before beginning treatment on medically compromised patients, and The Dentists Insurance Company receives a number of questions on its Advice Line about this practice. A San Francisco-area attorney working with TDIC who specializes in professional liability and business law, weighs in on how when it comes to medical clearance, the big issue is whether dental treatment could substantially affect a patient’s physical condition or the reverse, whether a physical condition could affect dental care.
The University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry will host a C.E. course on Caries Management By Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) beginning in March for dentists interested in implementing the strategies in their practice. Coursera: Caries Management by Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) will be led by John D.B. Featherstone, MSc, PhD, Professor and Dean, UCSF School of Dentistry, from March 31 to May 12 and will teach attendees to immediately apply “caries management by risk assessment” into their clinical setting or into their personal health care.
The January 2014 issue of the CDA Update includes information on what dentists need to know about the Affordable Care Act. Also in this issue are the patient numbers from CDA Cares San Diego and a complete photo spread from the program held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Dec. 7-8.
The January 2014 Journal of the California Dental Association is now available. This is the first of three Journal issues dedicated to interprofessional education (IPE) and practice. Health professional education has been traditionally delivered in isolated silos to the detriment of safety and quality care delivery. This month’s authors share their knowledge and experience of IPE and a multidisciplinary approach to health care practice.
The beginning of a new year is a good time to focus on getting patients back in the door through a patient recall effort. According to CDA Endorsed Program Intuit Demandforce, keeping existing patients coming back is almost 10 times less expensive than attracting new ones.
CDA’s legal action against Delta remains in the preliminary stages, with the parties awaiting appointment of an arbitrator. Delta has requested appointment of a three-arbitrator panel, which delayed the appointment process while the parties attempted to resolve the issue.
As of Jan. 1, 2014, many of the major reforms created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are in place. While the law is lengthy and has many complicated provisions, there are four basic concepts implemented by the law: providing private and public health insurance reforms and patient protections; allowing states to expand Medicaid coverage; requiring U.S. citizens to have health insurance coverage or pay a penalty; and creating marketplaces for health and pediatric dental insurance coverage.
During the two-day event, dentists and dental professionals provided more than 12,518 dental procedures, including cleanings, fillings, extractions and oral health education. Additionally, volunteer dental lab technicians worked to create 221 complete and partial dentures and repairs.
The Dental Board of California recently began a large-scale enforcement effort against the unlicensed practice of dentistry in Southern California. The Southern California Unlicensed Dentistry (SCUD) Task Force was established by the Dental Board's enforcement unit and has been investigating numerous reports of unlicensed dentistry being offered in a wide variety of settings.
In January, dentists receiving their biennial renewal statements from the Dental Board of California (DBC) will see an increase in the total fee from $365 to $377.
The Dental Hygiene Committee of California (DHCC), created via legislation enacted in 2008, will be undergoing its first legislative “sunset review” over the course of the next year. CDA has expressed early concerns about several changes to current law proposed by the committee.
To help members have an impact in their local communities and statewide, CDA has launched a revamped grassroots advocacy program. Under the program, CDA organizes “Advocacy Days” designed specifically for individual components. Groups of approximately five dentists are selected from a component to either come to Sacramento or to take part in a regional advocacy day and meet with legislators in their home districts.
Carol Summerhays, DDS, a general dentist with a San Diego private practice, has formally announced her candidacy for the office of ADA president-elect 2014 at the ADA House of Delegates in New Orleans. In addition to her role as the ADA Thirteenth District trustee, Summerhays has held numerous ADA leadership positions and has served on various committees, including strategic planning, compensation, governance, government affairs and new dentist. She also served as CDA president in 2009.
Over the two-day event, 2,203 patients received $1.62 million in care at CDA Cares San Diego on Dec. 7-8. More than 1,700 volunteers, including more than 900 dental professionals, provided 12,518 total procedures at no charge to patients who experience barriers to care.
Online dues renewal for CDA members is now open at cda.org/renew
. With membership in organized dentistry, dentists are ensuring that their voice and the needs of the profession are represented on every level. CDA provides education, practice support, protection and a stronger voice in government.
With a personal objective to provide quality dental service and education to the underserved, Stephanie Calvillo, DDS, was recently awarded the CDA Foundation’s 2013 Student Loan Repayment Grant. The grant provides up to $105,000 over three years toward repayment of student loans in exchange for a commitment to care for underserved individuals.
CDA and partners in the coalition, Californians Allied for Patient Protection (CAPP), are preparing for a year-long battle to defeat an effort by trial attorneys to change a provision of a law that protects dentists and other health care providers from frivolous lawsuits.
CDA continuously works on behalf of its members to make a difference for the profession and the patients they serve – 2013 has been no different. From helping more than 4,400 people receive dental care at no charge through the CDA Cares dental events, to urging the Legislature to restore adult Denti-Cal, to expanding resources available in the area of practice support, to adding new and exciting learning opportunities at CDA Presents, CDA strived to meet the many needs of its members.
Dental students from across the state had their voices heard at the CDA House of Delegates meeting in Sacramento. The student delegation at this year’s meeting on Nov. 15-17 included 32 dental students from the six dental schools in California. The voting delegation had a say in the issues discussed at the meeting and also used the event as an opportunity to network.
Thanks to the generosity of member dentists, nearly $100,000 was raised for the CDA Foundation and its programs at the CDA House of Delegates meeting. The money will go toward supporting future CDA Cares clinics and the Student Loan Repayment Grant program.
Some states may have more rigorous emergency kit requirements, and The Dentists Insurance Company advises dentists to check with their state dental board or dental association for specifics on what to include beyond ADA recommendations. TDIC advises all dentists to know when, how and in what dosages to administer drugs included in their emergency kits. Stocking emergency medications but lacking the training to administer them appropriately can be a liability.
The December 2013 issue of the CDA Update includes the latest information on CDA’s efforts to protect dentists from frivolous lawsuits by preventing a campaign by trial lawyers to change provisions of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). The December issue also recaps all of CDA’s efforts on behalf of members in 2013.
A lot has happened in the world of dental benefits this year. As the holidays approach and the year comes to a close, CDA Dental Benefits Analyst Ann Milar takes a look back at 2013 and what is ahead in 2014.
James Stephens, DDS, was installed as the new CDA president at the House of Delegates meeting in Sacramento. Stephens, a general dentist with a private practice in Palo Alto, is a graduate of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and Stanford University. He succeeds Immediate Past President Lindsey Robinson, DDS.
CDA is working with Covered California staff to identify additional training that needs to be provided to the enrollment specialists to help them better support families in accessing the dental benefits that are available to them. In addition, CDA is providing feedback to Covered California on the short-term, and perhaps longer-term, fixes that need to be made to the website to ensure that families who want to buy the dental coverage through the portal can do so efficiently.
As a result of a recent announcement from the Dental Hygiene Committee of California (DHCC), licensed dentists and registered dental hygienists are each now required to provide specified public notification that they are licensed and regulated by the Dental Board of California and the DHCC, respectively.
Registration for the spring 2014 lineup of TDIC’s Risk Management Seminar: The High Cost of Shortcuts is now open. TDIC is offering the seminar to help dentists avoid lawsuits related to incomplete documentation or failing to fully inform patients.
With the holiday season upon us, CDA knows that dentists are beginning to think about making contributions to their favorite charitable organizations. CDA hopes that dentists will think about the CDA Foundation and its two flagship programs — CDA Cares and the Student Loan Repayment Grant.
Whether a new dentist is an employee of a practice or starting their own, understanding how to create, manage and lead a dental team is crucial to success. New dentists must quickly learn how to, among other things, choose new hires and establish and support a productive team of energized, motivated employees. For some new dentists, conducting a job interview is uncharted and uncomfortable territory.
Recent Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) amendments to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) expanded patient rights with regard to their health information and added a breach notification rule for covered entities, such as dentists, to follow.
Two new laws regarding data breach notification and information privacy go into effect with the New Year. The first, SB 46, expands the definition of “personal information” that triggers a data breach notification. The other, AB 370, requires disclosure of how a commercial website responds to “do not track” browser signals.
CDA dentists and their staffs have a lot to look forward to at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry next year. CDA Presents in Anaheim is expected to be the most comprehensive show to date, and attendees will be able to take advantage of the C.E. opportunities, tradeshow floor, headlining speakers, location and the ability to engage and inspire staff.
The November issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association is now available and focuses on student dental research. Articles in the November issue include, among other things, a study utilizing cone beam computer tomography to generate three-dimensional reconstructions and volumetrically assess unilateral cleft-lip and cleft-palate defects and a study evaluating whether interleukin-17 and C-telopeptide correlate with bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) development.
One year ago this month, CDA launched the new cda.org to provide members with an enhanced experience, greatly improved technology and more timely information. Since last November, the new site has received more than 243,000 unique visits totaling nearly 1.3 million page views. Mobile usage continues to climb — 25 percent of all traffic to the now mobile-friendly cda.org over the last year has been from a mobile device.
There are varying interpretations related to C.E. cost, or any training for that matter. The Practice Support Center weighs in on how to handle paying a staff member for attending a required course.
After a rocky first few days following its long-anticipated Oct. 1 opening for enrollment, Covered California, the state health insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), has now reported some data on the number of consumers who have been able to access health insurance through the new marketplace. CDA remains actively engaged in all of the ACA’s implementation details and can be a resource to members interested in finding out more about the new law and how it may impact dentists and dentistry.
The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is implementing cuts for Denti-Cal providers that were originally authorized through the state budget process in 2011. Initially, it was thought that the 10 percent rate cut applied to all services provided on and after Sept. 5, 2013. However, recent clarification by the state explained that it is implementing the cuts on all payment checks cut on Sept. 5 and ongoing, even if the services were provided in previous months.
Jim Wood, DDS, a general dentist in Cloverdale since 1987 and the current vice mayor of his hometown of Healdsburg, has formally launched his campaign for a State Assembly seat in the 2014 election season. If elected, Wood would become the second dentist currently serving in the state Legislature, joining Sen. Bill Emmerson, DDS, of Redlands, whose tenure will be ending due to term limits in 2016.
Dentists just out of dental school spend much of their time marketing themselves to prospective employers. Things quickly change once they enter the workforce and they are responsible for both building and maintaining a reliable patient base. On top of providing patients with high-quality care and presenting a welcoming environment, dentists also can implement several marketing and advertising strategies that will help them hit the ground running on building up a patient base.
The November 2013 issue of the CDA Update includes information on the benefits of volunteering at the upcoming CDA Cares San Diego event, as well as details on the new partnership between the Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign and Scholastic. Also in the issue is an update on health care reform and answers to member questions related to HIPAA.
The Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives is implementing a national oral health campaign on Nov. 1 to remind parents and kids about the importance of regular oral hygiene and brushing for two minutes, twice a day. “National Brush Day” promotes improving the nation’s children’s oral health by supplying parents with simple information on when to start various levels of oral hygiene with their kids.
Since 2002, the CDA Foundation’s Student Loan Repayment Grant program has helped 13 dentists work in community clinics where they’ve seen more than 62,000 patients and provided nearly $16 million in care for individuals who would otherwise go without. Six of those 13 dentists visited the CDA headquarters recently to share their stories of working in community clinics.
CDA is conducting a survey of member preferences regarding services provided by the Practice Support Center. The survey, from HSM Group, will provide an opportunity to offer feedback about the types of services you want and need from the PSC.
Several major sponsors, through in-kind donations and resources, are helping the CDA Foundation’s efforts to put on a successful CDA Cares program in San Diego in December. On top of the high level of support from Presenting Sponsor Benco Dental Company, the county of San Diego, Carestream Dental, Henry Schein, Aribex and Farmers Insurance are all providing significant support for the CDA Cares volunteer dental program scheduled for Dec. 7-8 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 7 signed into law legislation sponsored by CDA that will equalize the state’s regulatory standards governing portable dental practices and mobile dental vans.
On Oct. 1, Delta Dental of California issued a formal Answer to the Demand for Arbitration. Delta asserts that it has the right to amend Participating Dentist Agreements based on language in the contracts and its notification to the Department of Managed Health Care indicating that it intends to revise the provider agreements.
While it is only October, now is the time to begin planning to make 2014 a productive and profitable year for your practice. Having proper instrumentation is critical to practicing dentistry and providing excellent care to your patients. It is equally important that your front office staff have the right resources and tools for ensuring quick and timely payment of claims. There are hundreds of practice support resources available cda.org/compass
There are many life-changing moments that happen at every CDA Cares program, and it wouldn’t be possible without the help of a multitude of volunteers. The CDA Foundation is seeking volunteer dentists, including oral surgeons, lab technicians, dental hygienists and assistants, and other team members to volunteer at CDA Cares San Diego at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Dec. 7-8.
The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives and the Ad Council have joined together with Scholastic to launch an educational component of the Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to educate parents and children about the importance of proper oral care, create and distribute educational oral health-themed materials, and direct educators, community leaders and parents to visit the campaign website, 2min2x.org.
The combination of a HIPAA deadline and vendor communications about the deadline recently sent many CDA members to the Internet and telephone to find out what assistance they could get from the Practice Support Center. Callers had specific questions on the requirement to securely transmit protected health information to other dental practices.
A few Northern California public health departments are ordering mandatory flu vaccine or mask-wearing for health care workers, including dentists. The order applies to dental practices in Santa Clara, Sacramento and Contra Costa Counties.
The Fifth Annual CDA “Ken Sanford Memorial Motorcycle Ride” in September raised a record amount for the CDA Foundation and its programs. The motorcycle ride, during which dentists rode for 300-400 miles from Windsor through the Northern California coast and wine country, raised $9,250, which is $3,350 more than last year’s ride.
The CDA Foundation and the UCSF School of Dentistry are attempting to alter the way dentists prevent caries through a practice-based clinical trial, and volunteers are needed. The Caries Management By Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) Practice-Based Research Network formalizes the process to assess a patient’s risk for caries by examining various health and lifestyle factors as part of their regular dental checkup. The Foundation and UCSF are looking to expand an already established research network, which focuses on the implementation of CAMBRA.
Dentists interested in transitioning from paper to electronic records will benefit from the “checklist” resources available on the CDA Compass. The Dental Software Evaluation and Selection Checklist, Dental Software Contracts Checklist and Dental Software Implementation and Training Checklist prompt dentists to consider how they may address issues that arise during the software implementation phase.
The registration deadline for CDA’s Dental Benefits Workshop has been extended to Nov. 15. The workshop is intended to help dentists who want to build their business skills and confidence, as well as improve practice profitability when dealing with dental plans.
The California Dental Association Foundation is pleased to announce a significant donation from new sponsor Farmers Insurance, which donated $15,000 to the Foundation in support of its CDA Cares volunteer dental program in San Diego scheduled Dec. 7-8. To date, with the help of 4,559 volunteers, CDA Cares has provided $4.4 million in care to 5,878 patients.
After months of intense preparation, Covered California, the health insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), began its open enrollment period on Oct. 1. Consumers can now begin the process of comparing and purchasing affordable medical and dental insurance coverage online, and Covered California is offering in-person and phone support for those who need it.
After nearly a year of consideration by two community advisory commissions, the Berkeley City Council voted 6-3 last week in favor of a resolution that encourages, but does not require, reduced use of dental amalgam and other potential sources of mercury exposure. The final resolution is consistent with CDA’s belief that the decision to use amalgam should remain an informed choice that is made by each individual patient in consultation with his or her dentist.
To help capture the passion its members have for organized dentistry, CDA has launched the #cdaproud social media contest. To participate in the contest, which begins Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 31, CDA's Facebook fans can take a photo of themselves posing with their CDA orange or any CDA clothing/materials (including but not limited to T-shirts, publications, merchandise from the online store, etc.) and tag their photo caption with #cdaproud.
CDA and a coalition of health care organizations aiming to stop Medi-Cal rate cuts implemented by the state filed a petition with the Supreme Court on Friday. The Petition for Writ of Certiorari asks the Court to reverse the decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the rate cuts.
The 2013 legislative session came to a close without the introduction of legislation backed by trial attorneys to raise the MICRA cap on non-economic damages. CDA and partners in the coalition, Californians Allied for Patient Protection (CAPP), actively worked to communicate to legislators the importance of maintaining current provisions of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, which ensures injured patients receive fair compensation, while stabilizing liability costs.
To further develop international relations and collaborative partnerships, CDA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a South Korean dental association in August at CDA Presents in San Francisco. The signing binds CDA with the Gyeonggi Dental Association to forge scientific cooperative relations conceding matters such as contributing to the development/advancement of dental medicine in their respective countries.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has announced that it is no longer moving forward with a legislative package to reform the Proposition 65 warning notice and litigation laws. CDA had been the only health care organization invited to participate in stakeholder discussions with the administration on this issue.
The October 2013 issue of the CDA Update includes new information about CDA's legal action against Delta Dental of California. CDA filed a demand for binding arbitration in response to Delta’s notice dated Aug. 1, informing providers of changes to key provisions in their agreements. The issue also features important new information about the Affordable Care Act.
Many CDA members are calling the CDA Practice Support Center and asking what they need to include in their medical emergency kit. Most dental offices have one emergency kit to be used for both employees and patients. For employees, Cal/OSHA does not specify what should be in a medical emergency kit, just that the employer have documentation that a physician approved the kit.
In an age of active lifestyles, including sporting activities at both the youth and adult level, it is no surprise that athletic injuries to the orofacial region and the dentition are on the rise. Douglas L. Lambert, DDS, FACD, FASDA, FASD, ADAB, led a course at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco Aug. 17 that focused on the subject of sports-related injuries, classifications, contemporary management and prevention.
The ADA has announced the release of the first set of dental performance measures under the Dental Quality Alliance (DQA). The DQA, comprised of multiple stakeholders from across the oral health community, was created to establish a series of oral health care performance measures.
The lengthy arbitration process between CDA and Delta Dental has commenced, with the parties entering into discussions about the selection of an arbitrator. Delta is expected to file a formal response to the demand for arbitration on or before Oct. 1.
CDA’s legal action challenges both Delta’s right to make certain amendments to dentists’ individual contracts and reduce Premier fees unilaterally. CDA will request that the arbitrator, once appointed, maintain the status quo until a final ruling is made in the binding arbitration.
As a new crop of licensed dentists take the next steps in their dental careers this fall, there will be a host of new experiences ahead, including dealing firsthand with dental benefit plans. In order to gain a better understanding of what new dentists need to know about dental benefit plan issues, CDA reached out to three dentists who have less than five years of experience.
As the 2013 legislative session drew to a close, CDA’s three sponsored bills were in different stages of completion. One has already been signed by the governor, a second is awaiting his signature and a third is expected to be moved in 2014.
The annual session of the 2013 CDA House of Delegates will be held Nov. 15-17 at the Sacramento Hyatt Regency. The event will be attended by more than 200 delegates, representing 32 local dental societies, who will decide on issues of importance to CDA’s membership. Among the duties of the delegates will be to elect officers of the association.
California dentists provide a tremendous amount of pro bono work to those who experience barriers to care. In fact, dentists across the state provide oral health care services worth an estimated $388 million each year ($15,668 per dentist). This profile features two individuals, Russ Webb, DDS, and Kathi Webb, who have both been on a path of compassion through volunteerism as far back as their college days. They exemplify the giving nature of dentists.
California is reaching the final phases of its transition of the Healthy Families Program (HFP) to the Medi-Cal program. Since Jan. 1, 2013, the children getting health and dental coverage through the HFP have been moving to receive their care through the Medi-Cal program. Approximately 850,000 of the 880,000 children have been transitioned to date. Sept. 1 marked the transition of approximately 8,000 children who live in mostly rural California counties.
There is still time to register for the remaining seminars in TDIC’s fall lineup of The High Cost of Shortcuts. TDIC is offering the Risk Management seminar to help dentists avoid lawsuits related to incomplete documentation or failing to fully inform patients. The High Cost of Shortcuts presents real case studies to dentists and staff members to help them understand best practices on creating a proactive approach when multiple dentists treat one patient, establishing office procedures when patients complain of pain and more.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) amended the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, creating a requirement that employers provide a notice to all employees of the existence of the newly formed insurance marketplace available to them along with information on how to contact the insurance marketplace to request assistance in purchasing coverage if the employee chooses to do so.
The federal OSHA's deadline for dentists to train employees on the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s adopted revisions to the Hazard Communication Standard is Dec. 1. Compliance with other elements of the rule must be met by June 1, 2016.
The September issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association focuses on the dentist’s role and obligations in caring for people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (AwDA) and the Fair Employment and Housing Act in California. Articles include a review of the basics of the AwDA, a discussion of CDA resources to help members understand the applicability and scope of the AwDA laws, and a brief history of state legislation, including legislation in 2008 regarding certified access specialists and voluntary facility inspections to reduce accessibility claims.
ProSites Inc., a CDA Endorsed Program, has been named on Inc. Magazine’s 2013 list of the top 5,000 fastest-growing companies. ProSites combines website design with search engine marketing techniques to help doctors maximize their online visibility and drive practice growth.
CDA’s legal action against Delta Dental of California, filed on Aug. 14, has prompted member questions about the next steps in the process. In order to help members understand the legal action, CDA has prepared a FAQ document. CDA will continue to provide regular updates on developments in the case.
CDA and partners in the coalition, Californians Allied for Patient Protection, are launching statewide efforts to fight an attempt by trial lawyers to make changes to the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), which ensures injured patients receive fair compensation, while stabilizing liability costs. Trial lawyers have filed a ballot measure with the State Attorney General — the first step in a long and expensive process to qualify a measure for the ballot — which would change provisions of MICRA that protect dentists.
For those dentists who want to build their business skills and confidence, as well as improve practice profitability when dealing with dental plans, there is still time to register for CDA’s Dental Benefits Workshop.
More parents report regularly monitoring and maintaining their child's oral health, therefore more children are regularly brushing, according to a survey administered by the Ad Council one year after the Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign began.
Dental plans send mail to providers for many reasons and it is important to have an office protocol for reviewing this correspondence to protect you from changes that you may later find affect your practice. This article provides one example of a dentist not being aware of an opt-out notice.
California dentists provide a tremendous amount of pro bono work to those who experience barriers to care. In fact, dentists across the state provide oral health care services worth an estimated $388 million each year ($15,668 per dentist). One such example occurred recently at the CDA Cares San Jose program when a dentist volunteer changed the life of a young girl and her family.
CDA Presents San Francisco attendees got a full dose of dental technology at the Moscone Center, and it wasn’t only on the trade show floor, where more than 375 exhibitors spotlighted the latest in dental products. It also was in the classroom where attendees took advantage of a three-day series of lectures and workshops on technology in dentistry.
The September 2013 issue of the CDA Update includes information about how and why CDA has taken legal action against Delta Dental of California. CDA filed a demand for binding arbitration in response to Delta’s notice dated Aug. 1, informing providers of changes to key provisions in their agreements. The issue also includes a photo spread from CDA Presents in San Francisco.
The Dental Board of California has released for public comment its proposed regulations that would raise the initial licensure and biennial renewal fees for dentists from $365 to $450, the maximum currently allowable by state law. The public has until Sept. 23 to provide written comment (or in-person comment at a public testimony-only hearing to be held on that date in Sacramento).
CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry put the profession on full display within the walls of San Francisco’s Moscone Center. More than 15,000 people attended the Aug.15-17 event that featured more than 100 lectures and workshops and an Exhibit Hall packed with more than 375 companies spotlighting the latest dental products.
Many dental practices, because of their small size, may not be required to provide FMLA benefits to employees. However, risk management analysts at The Dentists Insurance Company advise dentists to address any request for a leave of absence with caution. There may be other laws that do apply to employee leave, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act or workers’ compensation.
With the legislature entering the final month of its 2013 session, CDA was an active participant in negotiations with the governor’s office, the legislature, and a variety of business, legal and consumer stakeholders in an attempt to improve the state’s Proposition 65 warning notice and litigation laws. Prop. 65 requires businesses with 10 or more employees to provide “clear and reasonable warning” if the product or business location may expose employees or consumers to a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.
After a series of court decisions upholding the legality of the state’s 10 percent reduction to Medi-Cal provider reimbursement rates, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has announced that it will begin implementing the cuts for Denti-Cal providers on Sept. 5. The Department’s announcement states that the prospective rate reduction will be phased in by provider type, beginning with dental and medical transportation and ending with pharmacies, physicians and distinct-part nursing facilities on Jan. 9, 2014.
In early September, CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry licensed attendees will receive an email containing a link to their online C.E. certificate, which can then be printed. Attendees also can save $100 on course audio recordings.
Dentists who are looking for the latest technology, products and services in dentistry, will find it on the tradeshow floor at CDA Presents in San Francisco. The San Francisco tradeshow features several new products. More than 375 exhibitors will be spotlighting the latest in dental technology at the Moscone Center on Aug. 15-17.
On behalf of its members, the California Dental Association — along with several individual dentist providers — has taken legal action against Delta Dental of California by filing a demand for binding arbitration in response to Delta’s notice dated Aug. 1, informing providers of changes to key provisions in their agreements.
Follow all the action at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco this week on the Social Hub. The Hub will display live tweets, photos and videos from the Moscone Center throughout the Aug. 15-17 event. To follow social media activity on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at CDA Presents use the hashtag #cdaSF.
To help improve members’ understanding of the shifting landscape of the dental benefits marketplace, CDA will host a Dental Benefits Workshop in 2014, one of several Smart Dentist Trainings offered through the CDA Practice Support Center. The extensive program will provide participants the opportunity to earn C.E. credits through a “Dental Benefits 101 Webinar” as well as a two-day, in-person seminar held at the CDA headquarters in Sacramento on March 20-21, 2014.
California’s Health Benefit Exchange Board, which is tasked with implementing the federal Affordable Care Act in California, held a special meeting on Aug. 8 to focus primarily on issues surrounding the implementation of the pediatric dental Essential Health Benefit. The board upheld its decision to allow only stand-alone dental plans and ruled that it was too close to the date of open enrollment (Oct. 1, 2013) to allow traditional health plans to submit new bids including the pediatric dental benefit at this time. CDA strongly supported the Exchange’s decision to allow stand-alone dental plans.
New dentists and dental students should begin networking early and often in their careers to help them not only land a job, but also to build lasting relationships with colleagues who can provide advice throughout their time as dentists. CDA offers several networking opportunities for new dentists, such as the upcoming New Dentist Networking Event on Aug. 17 at CDA Presents San Francisco on Aug. 17. The event will feature several roundtable discussions such as creating a personal brand, gaining networking techniques and marketing yourself as a new associate.
The ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry is now accepting applications for its intensive course titled “Advanced EBD Workshop: Assessing the Quality of Evidence.” The deadline to apply is set for Sept. 15 and the course will run Oct. 21-25 at ADA headquarters in Chicago.
CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry, the bi-annual convention of CDA, is expecting to draw more than 14,000 dentists, dental professionals and students from across the U.S. The three-day convention next week will feature educational courses and 375 exhibitors demonstrating new techniques and innovative products and services for dentists.
From lectures on learning how to preserve optimal instrument design while sharpening to communication techniques to create better patient case acceptance — there are a number of learning opportunities for dental staff at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco. Dental staff who attend the show on Aug. 15-17 at the Moscone Center will glean some key takeaways.
For the third time, Benco Dental Company has stepped up to be a Presenting Sponsor for CDA Cares. The CDA Cares program allows volunteer dentists, with the assistance of other dental professionals, to provide dental services at no charge to patients who experience barriers to care, and none of which would be possible without the support of companies like Benco.
The CDA Foundation will have several activities at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco on Aug. 15-17. From the Friends of the Foundation Reception to the “Wine Wall,” attendees will have many ways to interact with the Foundation.
The 2013 class of Western University of Health Sciences – College of Dental Medicine graduated on May 15. The commencement ceremony of the inaugural class was a big deal for the newest of six dental schools in California. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into getting the school off the ground; beginning in a temporary facility, having to develop a brand new curriculum and constantly seeking student and faculty input to help enhance the educational experience.
The CDA Practice Support Center will incorporate the Compass website into cda.org this month to better communicate its business services and resources to members. The new Compass site, which can be found at cda.org/compass starting on August 15, includes, among other things, an improved navigation system that allows users to find what they are looking for with ease.
In an ongoing series, CDA is profiling members who have taken different approaches to how they practice in order to counter changes in the profession such as an overall drop in adults seeking dental care, the decline in the economy and real estate market, increased regulatory compliance, reduced reimbursement rates and more. The fourth article in the series features a dentist who is analyzing how to meet the patient demand of a high-volume PPO practice.
Being at the peak of the summer weather, parents and children often take advantage of the warm season by enjoying more recreational sports and outdoor activities, which can increase injury potential for the teeth and mouth. For safe oral health all year long and especially during this season, CDA is offering helpful tips to avoid oral injuries and dental emergencies.
The Sept. 23 compliance deadline for the omnibus rule/HITECH amendments to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is just around the corner. There are a couple educational options for dentists related to this subject.
The California Medi-Cal Dental Program (Denti-Cal) is informing dentists across the state that it is OK to provide dental services to children on Medi-Cal, including foster children, if they come to their office without a BIC (Medi-Cal) card. In a notice recently sent out in the Denti-Cal Bulletin newsletter, the state's Department of Health Care Services clarifies that in accordance with the California Medi-Cal Dental Program Provider Handbook, no identification verification is required in certain circumstances.
The August 2013 issue of the CDA Update includes information about the latest efforts by CDA to protect MICRA, the law protecting dentists, physicians and other health care providers from frivolous lawsuits. It also features the attendee information for CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry held in August at the Moscone Center. The next CDA Cares dental clinic is in San Diego this December, and this issue provides details on the event and how to get involved.
The law protecting dentists, physicians and other health care providers from frivolous lawsuits is under attack again, and this time trial lawyers threaten to take the issue to voters next year if the Legislature does not make changes to the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) before the end of the summer legislative session. Legislation has not surfaced yet, but CDA and other partners in the coalition, Californians Allied for Patient Protection, are gearing up to fight efforts to change the law that ensures injured patients receive fair compensation, while stabilizing liability costs.
The Dental Benefits Research Task Force recently heard the results of a CDA survey that delved into the patterns of dental consumers. The survey, conducted in May, gathered feedback from California adults. The Task Force, which is identifying strategies and recommendations to enhance the position of providers and patients in the dental benefits marketplace at the request of the 2011 House of Delegates, analyzed several key findings from the survey.
Covered California, the health and dental insurance online marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), has announced the dental plans that will be available for purchase through the Exchange. Six plans were chosen: Anthem Dental; Blue Shield of California; Delta Dental of California; Health Net Dental; LIBERTY Dental Plan; and Premier Access Dental.
Three bills sponsored by CDA are moving through the Legislature. The bills focus on requiring dental plans operating in the California Health Benefit Exchange to abide, for the first time, by several consumer-focused provisions, supporting volunteer care by retired dentists, and increasing state oversight of mobile and portable dental practices.
Attendees of next month’s CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco will have an opportunity to take advantage of several TDIC offerings. There will be four chances to attend TDIC’s Risk Management seminar, The High Cost of Shortcuts, as well as two lectures (C.E. non-eligible) at The Spot to help dentists protect their practices and their careers.
The loss of adult Denti-Cal, an overall drop in adults seeking dental care, the decline in the economy and real estate market, increased regulatory compliance, reduced reimbursement rates...these are just some of the challenges dentists face in their dental practices. At what point do members consider changes in how they practice or ask for help to make changes in their practices?
The mobile app for CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco is now available for download from the App Store for iPhones or the Google Play Store for Android users. The app offers attendees easy access to show schedules and speaker information, exhibitor and product listings, real-time alerts such as course availability, event photos and information on local hotels. New to the San Francisco app this year is a version that is designed specifically for the iPad.
New dentists have a lot to juggle and think about after graduating from dental school – one of the things that shouldn’t fall through the cracks is making sure they have the proper permits to dispense controlled substances and administer conscious sedation. When dentists become licensed, they automatically have the ability to write prescriptions for antibiotics, fluoride and other non-controlled substances such as Ibuprofen. When it comes to prescribing, dispensing and administering controlled substances, however, they must first register with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
With 102 million monthly visitors and more than 39 million reviews, Yelp is one of the leading sources of new patient referrals for dentists. And, each referral Yelp generates adds significant revenue to a practice over the course of a year. Because claiming and optimizing a free Yelp profile has proven, positive impacts, CDA Endorsed Program ProSites recommends dentists get started.
The CDA Foundation raised nearly $17,000 in June at its Targeting Smiles Sporting Clays Tournament. The tournament raised money for the CDA Foundation and its programs through generous donations and a raffle and silent auction. Event sponsors included John Pisacane, DMD, Henry Schein, Associated Pension Consultants, Comstock Mortgage, Patterson Dental Company and Don Rollofson, DMD.
Dental technology, like the rest of the tech industry, continues to evolve at a fast pace. To help dentists get a grasp of what the latest technology in the profession is and how to utilize it, CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco will host a three-day technology series of lectures and workshops. The series, titled The Greatest Dental Technology Show, will explore digital disease detection, digital impressions, CAD/CAM, new cone beam 3-D imaging and more.
In a four-part series, CDA is profiling members who have taken different approaches to how they practice in order to counter changes in the profession such as an overall drop in adults seeking dental care, the decline in the economy and real estate market, increased regulatory compliance, reduced reimbursement rates and more. The second article in the series features two dentists who practice in San Francisco. In 2008, both dentists decided to end their participation as a contracted provider with dental plans. Five years have passed and both continue to operate on one fee schedule.
The CDA Foundation is set to host its fourth CDA Cares free dental clinic in San Diego in December, and the need couldn’t be greater. The San Diego clinic is the first CDA Cares clinic to be held in Southern California — the first three were in Modesto, Sacramento and San Jose. The three clinics combined have provided $4.4 million in care to 5,878 patients.
Dentists have abundant options when choosing a hotel for their stay during CDA Presents the Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco on Aug. 15-17. There are multiple hotels within easy distance of the Moscone South Convention Center. If hotels are booked through the CDA Housing Bureau by July 18 dentists will lock in low rates.
Employment Practices Liability insurance, often referred to as EPL, provides protection for dental practice owners against specific claims made by employees, former employees or prospective employees. EPL covers employment-related claims such as discrimination because of age, sex, race or disability, wrongful termination and sexual harassment, and pays for defense costs, settlements and civil damages in the event of such allegations. Risk Management analysts at The Dentists Insurance Company say it is common for policyholders to mistakenly think their Professional and Business Liability insurance covers employment-related lawsuits.
While California providers are still waiting to hear from Delta Dental of California about expected fee reductions for its Premier Plan, Missouri dentists received a letter recently from Delta Dental of Missouri that outlined plans in that state to reduce reimbursements to providers who participate in Delta’s Premier and PPO networks. The fee reduction, which went into effect July 1, averages 7 percent. Delta Dental of California has not been forthcoming with its reasons for cutting reimbursement rates, nor has it officially informed California providers about its intentions; however, the reductions are expected to be an average of 8 to 12 percent implemented later this year.
The California Dental Association applauds the governor’s signature of a new state budget plan that includes the restoration of Adult Denti-Cal services.
The deadline to apply for the CDA Foundation’s 2013 Student Loan Repayment Grant is July 31. The Student Loan Repayment Grant helps students repay their educational loan of up to $35,000 per year for a maximum of $105,000 over three years in exchange for a commitment by recipients to care for the underserved.
CDA Endorsed Program ProSites Inc., has released a series of guides to help dentists navigate the multiple social media platforms that are currently available. Broken down into five categories (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+), the Ultimate Social Media Guide Series offers tips on how to use the various platforms and ideas for what to post. The guides are intended to help a practice boost its brand and have a conversation with its current and prospective patients.
Volunteer registration is now open for the CDA Cares San Diego free dental clinic set to be held on Dec. 7-8 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The clinic will help provide oral health care services to the large number of expected patients. Dentists and dental professionals are needed in areas throughout the clinic, including restorative, numbing, pediatric, triage and routing. Dental team members are encouraged to volunteer as well. Community volunteers are needed to assist with registration, clinic setup, data entry, escorting patients, translating and much more.
The July 2013 issue of the CDA Update includes the latest news on the effort to restore Adult Denti-Cal. Lawmakers have cited the CDA Foundation’s CDA Cares free dental clinics as a stark example of the need to bring funding back. The July issue also features the second part of the two-part series on how dentists are changing the way they practice as the world of dentistry shifts around them. Those attending CDA Presents will want to check out the list of headlining speakers.
Legislation aimed at making sure dental plans put more of their revenues into actual care for patients passed its first legislative hurdle. AB 18 (Pan), championed by CDA, successfully moved through the Assembly Health Committee, overcoming strong objections from dental plans and health plans.
In a four-part series, CDA is profiling members who have taken different approaches to how they practice in order to counter changes in the profession such as an overall drop in adults seeking dental care, the decline in the economy and real estate market, increased regulatory compliance, reduced reimbursement rates and more. The first article in the series features a dentist who practices in Stockton with a diverse population, including low-income patients. During the last five to 10 years, she has made several changes in her practice to become more efficient.
Each level of the tripartite structure of organized dentistry offers valuable benefits and resources to dentists across California, including education, protection, support and advocacy. None of it would be possible without the foresight of thousands of dentists, and that leadership begins in the state’s dental schools. Soon-to-be dentists across the state are active at their respective schools. They do it because they understand that their careers depend on dentists making the decisions that will both preserve and maintain the profession, as well as serve patients.
The ADA recently launched a nationwide campaign to combat what it calls “a disturbing dental divide in America.” The Action for Dental Health: Dentists Making a Difference is designed to counter staggering statistics such as these: 181 million Americans didn't visit a dentist in 2010, nearly half of the population over the age of 30 is suffering from some form of gum disease and nearly one in four children under the age of 5 already has cavities.
CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco is quickly approaching and there is limited space available for lectures, but those who have yet to register still have time. CDA Presents encompasses dynamic speakers, an extensive tradeshow, numerous CE credit opportunities and social events. The Aug. 15-17 event will feature more than 110 lectures and workshops and an exhibit hall packed with 350 companies that spotlight several innovative products at the Moscone South Convention Center.
The effort to restore Adult Denti-Cal benefits is one step closer to reality after the Legislature voted on a new state budget plan. The funding, which is a result of the leadership exhibited by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), still needs the governor’s signature. Steinberg made the restoration of Adult Denti-Cal a top priority after his visit last August to CDA Cares in Sacramento.
Six leading dental professionals from the Kenya Dental Association recently visited Northern California, including CDA headquarters, as part of a 10-day training program to help develop and promote oral health education activities for a program called Kenya Smiles, aiming to improve the oral health of children in the African country, particularly remote areas. Besides spending time at CDA, the delegation, which included Kenya’s chief dentist and dental school professors, the delegation visited dental schools as well as the State Capitol to be recognized for their work and learn more about advocacy efforts on behalf of children’s oral health.
CDA members are now receiving an electronic newsletter once every two weeks that allows them to select which topics they wish to receive news articles and updates about. In total, there are 12 topics members will be able to choose from including CDA Cares, CDA Presents, Education, Legislation, Practice Support and TDIC Risk Management. The electronic newsletter comes in a mobile-friendly design and is visually appealing on smartphones and tablets.
Dentists who recently graduated from dental school and are wondering why the phone isn’t ringing as much as they thought it would from potential employers may need to review their history of social media activity. In recent years, employers in all professions have begun using social media as a tool to research job candidates, not just when it comes to hiring, but also when deciding on whom to grant interviews to.
Legislation aimed at making sure dental plans put more of their revenues into actual care for patients passed its first legislative hurdle. AB 18, authored by Assemblyman Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and sponsored by CDA, overcame strong objections from dental plans and health plans.
The move to restore adult Denti-Cal benefits is one step closer to reality after the governor and state lawmakers agreed to include funding in a preliminary budget deal. The restoration of benefits, which still needs final budget approval, would begin in May 2014, with a proposed annual cost of $77 million.
Registration for the fall 2013 lineup of TDIC’s risk management seminar, The High Cost of Shortcuts, is now open. TDIC is offering the seminar to help dentists avoid lawsuits related to incomplete documentation or failing to fully inform patients. The High Cost of Shortcuts presents real case studies to dentists and staff members to help them understand best practices on creating a proactive approach when multiple dentists treat one patient; establishing office procedures when patients complain of pain; implementing office protocol when dealing with patient emergencies; and recommending treatment plans.
Dentists who recruit a new member to CDA now can receive a $100 check from CDA and a $100 American Express gift card from the ADA. The $200 total reward is part of the Member Get a Member campaign, which provides incentives for every CDA dentist who recruits a new member to the tripartite membership (for a total of $1,000 maximum per referring member).
In the changing landscape of the dental profession, there are many ways dental practices can implement cost-saving mechanisms in the way they do business. CDA Endorsed Program, DentalXChange, weighs in on one of those mechanisms: making the switch to Electronic Data Interchange to submit claims.
The Legal Division of the California State Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has released a legal opinion concluding that a contractual arrangement between a health care professional and an Internet marketing service (Groupon, Living Social, etc.) offering online discounts for medical services violates state law.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the long-awaited final omnibus rule under HIPAA (Omnibus Rule) on Jan. 25, 2013. The rule implements the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and requires that health care providers amend their Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) and Business Associate Agreements to include new elements. The compliance date for the final rule is Sept. 23, 2013.
Some of dentistry’s most captivating speakers will be headlining CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco, Aug. 15 to 17, with innovative lectures and educational workshops. Both dentists and their staffs have an opportunity to learn new things about the profession at CDA Presents.
California employers have until Dec. 1, 2013, to train employees on the new hazard label elements and safety data sheet format required by the Cal/OSHA Hazard Communication Regulation. Cal/OSHA recently amended the state regulation to conform to federal regulation and the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Employers also need to update their hazard communication plans.
Two significant but conflicting developments in the longstanding effort to rebuild the oral health care safety net in California have occurred. In a disappointing move, on the same day that the state Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee endorsed restoring Medi-Cal adult dental benefits, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on May 24 denied a petition filed by CDA and a coalition of health care organizations aiming to stop the state from implementing a 10 percent reduction in Medi-Cal provider reimbursement rates.
CDA is sponsoring legislation to apply key patient protections and market reforms, including a minimum loss ratio on patient premiums, to dental plans participating in California’s new health plan marketplace, the Covered California health benefit exchange. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes many consumer-focused provisions that have already gone into effect, but that only apply to medical plans. Assemblymember Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who chairs the Assembly Health Committee, has introduced AB 18, sponsored by CDA, that if passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor, would represent the first time these federal patient protections would be applied to dental plans participating in the small group market inside and outside the new health benefit exchange created by ACA.
Due to an increased number of questions from members through the CDA Practice Support Center, CDA is launching a lunchtime “Feed Your Mind” employment webinar series this summer. CDA is offering its members an opportunity to learn more about the different leaves and gain an understanding of how to manage those leaves within the legal arena.
As the CDA Foundation plans for the CDA Cares free dental clinic in San Diego in December, many members are doing everything they can to help make sure the clinics are a success, even if they can’t physically be there to volunteer. Through the Foundation’s “sponsor a dental chair” program, dentists can donate $500 toward providing patients a place to receive essential care at the clinics. Each donation goes a long way in helping change lives.
Two bills sponsored by CDA this year, one dealing with incentives for retired dentists to provide free care and the other regulation of portable and mobile dental operations, passed the halfway mark in the legislative process last month by receiving unanimous votes in their first houses. After being approved by the appropriate policy and fiscal committees, AB 836 was passed by the full Assembly on April 25 by a 76-0 vote, while the Senate passed SB 562 on May 6 by a 32-0 vote.
The June 2013 issue of the CDA Update features preliminary numbers of patients served and the amount of care provided at the CDA Cares San Jose free dental clinic. Also in this issue is an article that provides tips to new dentists on how they can prepare for a working interview. As the world of dentistry changes, some dentists are making changes in how they practice. The June issue delves into what some of these changes are in the first part of a two-part Member Profile series.
If attendance is any indication at a CDA Presents lecture on national health care reform, dentists are eager to learn more about the issue and its impact on their practices as well as employee and personal health coverage. CDA Legislative Affairs Manager Nicette Short presented “National Health Care Reform: How Will It Affect Your Practice?” — a course designed to provide information about the Affordable Care Act and its potential impact on dentists, the oral health care delivery system and the dental benefits market — last month at CDA Presents in Anaheim.
Preliminary numbers indicate 2,202 patients received free oral health care at the CDA Cares San Jose dental clinic over the weekend. Hosted by the CDA Foundation and CDA, the May 18-19 dental clinic provided more than $1.6 million in oral health care services to the underserved. The San Jose clinic, which was held at the San Jose Convention Center, was the third CDA Cares event. The three clinics combined have now provided $4.4 million in care to 5,878 patients.
CDA has launched digital versions of Update and the Journal as a way to communicate industry and member news across more platforms. The “ePubs,” which are available for download on the iTunes Store, Google Play and Amazon App Store, will be accessible every month as a supplement to the print versions of both publications.
A CDA Cares free dental clinic is scheduled for Dec. 7-8 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego County. To help provide oral health care services to the large number of expected patients, the CDA Foundation needs volunteer dentists, dental and health professionals, lab technicians, nurses and pharmacists.
CDA staff will post photos and videos from the clinic being held at the San Jose Convention Center this weekend as they are collected onto the Social Hub. The site also features CDA’s live Twitter feed. To follow all social activity on Twitter and Instagram at CDA Cares use the hashtag #cdacares.
Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra (D-Los Angeles) announced in late April that his legislation intended to permanently place into law various aspects of the state-sponsored Virtual Dental Home (VDH) pilot project will be held until next year to allow time for further clarification of its details.
In a positive sign for the millions of Californians in need of access to care, the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services on May 2 discussed the issue of restoring Medi-Cal adult dental benefits. Although no final recommendation was made by the subcommittee, the hearing raised the profile of this issue that has been led by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), who has been a vocal champion for bringing back adult dental services since his visit to the CDA Cares free dental clinic held in Sacramento last year.
New dentists who have sent out their resumes and cover letters to practices in search of employment should be prepared for the possibility of a working interview. Working interviews in dentistry are common because they allow candidates to practice in the clinical setting and provide the opportunity to observe how the practice owner conducts the office. It’s also the best way for practice owners to observe new dentists’ techniques and see how they interact with patients and staff.
As part of an effort to simplify providers’ participation in the state’s Medi-Cal Dental Benefits Program (Denti-Cal), CDA, with the cooperation of the State Department of Health Care Services’ Dental Services Department, has developed a guide to working within the program. The guide, entitled “Denti-Cal Provider Guide,” is divided into two main sections: Processing a Denti-Cal Patient Through the Dental Practice; and the Denti-Cal Billing Process.
It is becoming increasingly more important for dentists to keep track of dental insurance. Michael Perry, DDS, founder and president of Momentum Dental Business Consulting, led a course at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim last month that gave dentists an idea of how they can choose the appropriate insurance model for their dental practice rather than “letting the model choose them.”
In the online world, a website establishes and represents your practice. Just like your brick-and-mortar office, a website needs to be efficient, clean and current. In attracting new patients to your practice via your website, you may want to include testimonials and photos of your patients, and The Dentists Insurance Company reminds dentists to secure patient permission in writing first. TDIC’s website at thedentists.com
offers image consent forms.
CDA Presents the Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim attracted more than 28,000 attendees in April and CDA is gearing up for the next show in San Francisco later this year. CDA Update staff spoke with Del Brunner, DDS, chair of the CDA Presents Board of Managers about the highlights of the Anaheim show and what attendees can expect at CDA Presents San Francisco, which will be held Aug. 15-17 at the Moscone Center.
In exchange for a commitment by recipients to care for the underserved, the CDA Foundation awards selected recent dental school/specialty graduates with the Student Loan Repayment Grant to help repay their educational loan of up to $35,000 per year for a maximum of $105,000 over three years. The deadline for 2013 CDA Foundation Student Loan Repayment Grant applications is July 31.
Ann Milar, CDA dental benefits analyst, weighs in on why all dental offices must make sure they have the correct address on file with their contracted plans. This will ensure that the offices receive necessary credentialing paperwork, tax documents and other written communication from plans in a timely manner and avoid the potential of being unknowingly terminated as a participating provider.
We are entering May, which is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, and a good time for dentists to make sure that their futures are protected. Disability Insurance Awareness Month was named by the LIFE Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers make smart insurance decisions to safeguard their families’ financial futures.
U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, has officially endorsed community water fluoridation as "one of the most effective choices communities can make to prevent health problems while actually improving the oral health of their citizens."
CDA members should be aware that local sanitation agencies are sending surveys to dental practices asking about amalgam waste management practices. It is recommended that members review their protocols. The Practice Support Center’s website, cda.org/compass, has several resources available on amalgam waste.
CDA is recruiting for 98 volunteer leadership positions beginning service in November, 25 of which incumbents are not eligible for re-election. Leadership applications and descriptions of available positions are online at cda.org/volunteer
. Applications for positions available in 2014 must be submitted no later than May 31.
The May 2013 issue of the CDA Update features new information on CDA’s efforts to obtain details from Delta Dental about its intention to cut Premier Plan provider reimbursements rates. One specific article discusses a meeting CDA held with the California Department of Managed Health Care about Delta Dental’s impending rate reductions. The May issue also features highlights of CDA Presents in Anaheim and looks ahead to the San Francisco show in August.
Attendees of CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim were given the opportunity to learn about restorative dentistry techniques in Japan. The International Symposia, held April 11-13 at the Anaheim Convention Center, featured lectures from Takashi Watanabe, DDS, and Kiyokazu Minami, DDS.
All TDIC Insurance Solutions plans, including Anthem, Kaiser and others, will be impacted by the Affordable Care Act at levels that are yet to be determined. As we move into 2014, plans continue to cite ongoing increases in the cost of providing health care as reasons for recent actions to raise premiums – even before full implementation of ACA. Because of this, TDIC Insurance Solutions is diligently working with experts in the industry to both determine the possible effects and explore alternatives for its health care policyholders.
Many new dentists enjoy participating in CDA Cares dental clinics because they are eager to volunteer the skills they garnered during dental school. Last year, the CDA Foundation and CDA hosted two CDA Cares clinics that provided $2.8 million in dental care that helped relieve pain and infection for 3,676 patients.
In the wake of an adverse court ruling last fall, CDA and other stakeholders are pursuing legal and legislative avenues to prevent implementation of a 10 percent reduction in Medi-Cal fee-for-service reimbursement rates, a reduction which if fully implemented would be retroactive to June 2011. The fee reduction was part of a larger state budget deficit reduction agreement, and affected nearly all Medi-Cal providers.
CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry provided attendees with valuable information, entertainment and exciting new products last week in Anaheim. More than 28,000 people attended the April 11-13 event at the Anaheim Convention Center. The show featured more than 175 lectures and workshops and an exhibit hall packed with more than 570 companies that spotlighted several innovative products.
It has been three years since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and full implementation of the federal health care reform law is now less than eight months away. From nearly the moment of its passage at the federal level, California has been leading other states in working toward its Jan. 1, 2014, implementation, despite the fact that federal regulations providing guidance to states on key implementation details have not all been finalized.
In mid May, CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry licensed attendees will receive an email containing a link to their online C.E. certificate, which can then be printed. Attendees also can still save $100 on course audio recordings.
Attendees of CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim are now able to see on-site photos and videos from the show at the newly launched “Social Hub.” The Social Hub features the live Twitter feed and attendee/exhibitor videos and photos. The official CDA Presents app also is available for download on the Social Hub.
Since its inception more than a decade ago, the CDA Foundation has awarded scholarships to nearly 200 dental students and more than 500 allied personnel. And this is just one of the CDA Foundation’s accomplishments. As the charitable arm of CDA, the CDA Foundation’s mission is to improve the oral health of all Californians by supporting the dental profession in its efforts to meet community needs.
CDA continues to advocate on behalf of its’ members concerning Delta Dental’s intention to cut Premier Plan provider reimbursement rates an expected average of 8 to 12 percent later this year. The following letter from CDA President Lindsey Robinson, DDS, explains to members that Delta has a responsibility and an obligation to communicate with its providers when inquiries are made, not limited to the legally required 45-day contract policy notice period, and failure to do so can result in providers filing complaints. The letter is as follows:
With the word “mobile” flying around the web design world, it is easy to get confused about what is and what isn’t a true mobile website. As mobile website usage continues to increase exponentially, it’s important to respond to these consumer trends to effectively reach your on-the-go audience.
Kaiser Permanente has donated $10,000 toward next month's CDA Cares San Jose dental clinic. Kaiser officials said one of the main reasons the donation to the May 18-19 clinic at the San Jose Convention Center was made is because the state’s cuts to Denti-Cal have had a ripple effect.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency that enforces HIPAA, has clarified that unencrypted emails may be sent to patients who have been advised of risks and have consented to receive unencrypted emails. CDA offers a few suggestions to obtain patient consent to communicate via unencrypted email. Be sure to retain documentation with the patient record.
CDA will mail updated employment poster sets to local dental societies for distribution to members this month. Several state and federal agencies require employment posters to be conspicuously displayed at dental offices. Stay up to date with CDA’s set.
Attendees of CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim can now print digital course handouts online. Most course handouts for the April 11-13 show are available in an online CDA Presents library. Attendees are welcome to print the handouts and bring the materials with them to the event.
Jim Wood, DDS, has announced plans to run for State Assembly District 2 in 2014. Wood has been a strong voice in CDA for more than 15 years, using the legislative process to promote issues and bills important to dentistry. He has served on the CDA Government Affairs Council and Board of Trustees. He served as chair of CalDPAC from 2005-06 and 2008-12, ensuring that CDA could forge strong relationships with key members of the Legislature.
The April 2013 issue of the CDA Update covers a variety of topics on the impending Delta Dental Premier plan rate reduction, including a fact sheet about what CDA knows, the letter sent to Delta Dental from CDA President Lindsey Robinson, DDS, tips on choosing a dental practice model and more. The issue also features updates on CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim and looks ahead to the next show in San Francisco.
Mobile phone use during work hours can give patients the impression their dental care is not a priority, and phone use creates distractions that can increase liability. Inaccurate documentation and lack of attention to detail can occur when concentration is divided between work and mobile devices. The Dentists Insurance Company recommends banning cellphone and smartphone use while on duty, including sending or receiving personal calls, emails and text messages or using smartphone applications.
The CDA Practice Support Center is helping smart dentists get smarter with these free classes at CDA Presents. Dentists can gain C.E. on a range of valuable topics below that include everything from best practices in patient records to how to minimize the risks of social media.
The next wave of the Healthy Families Program transition to the Medi-Cal program is set to occur on April 1. It is important to note that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is requiring the state to again seek approval before they initiate this next phase (Phase 1c). There will be seven counties involved in the transition.
Since learning of Delta Dental’s decision to cut fees an expected average of 8 to 12 percent for its Premier product, CDA has pressed Delta for more specific details about the impending fee reduction. We have compiled a list to inform members about what we currently know. CDA will continue to provide information as soon as possible to keep members informed.
CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim on April 11-13 will feature an International Symposium for Dental Learning. Takashi Watanabe, DDS, a clinical professor and assistant director of continuing dental education at Meikai University School of Dentistry and president of the Japan Academy of Clinical Dentistry, will be lecturing on the restorative dentistry techniques in Japan.
A recent decision by the Olivehurst Public Utility District to discontinue fluoridation of its community water supply is a reminder that debates concerning fluoride, as well as amalgam, continue to surface in California, and that dentists need to be aware of any activity in their communities. Local dental societies and their members can make an impact with something as simple as offering opinions or suggesting their local elected officials get more information on the subject from the dental society or CDA.
The CDA Dental Benefits Research Task Force has moved into the analysis and problem-solving phase of its efforts to identify strategies to enhance the position of providers and patients in the dental benefits marketplace. Walt Weber, DDS, chair of the task force, said there are a variety of things they are looking at and made it clear the group is ratcheting up its discussions.
El Camino Hospital and Santa Clara County have donated a combined $45,000 toward the CDA Cares San Jose dental clinic. El Camino Hospital, which donated $20,000, is a nonprofit organization with hospital campuses in Mountain View and Los Gatos. The Santa Clara Board of Supervisors approved a $25,000 donation earlier this month.
CDA is conducting a member survey to gain a better understanding of the expectations and needs of CDA Presents attendees.
New dentists looking to enter the workforce have a lot to think about. One of the first things to deal with is the job hunt, specifically the interview process. Natasha Lee, DDS, course director, practice management and jurisprudence, at the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, and Nicholas Marongiu, DDS, chair of the New Dentist Committee, weigh in.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued final rules regarding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that included much needed clarification on federal policy related to access to dental care inside and outside of the Health Benefit Exchanges — the health and dental insurance marketplaces created by the ACA.
Attendees of CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim will get an inside look at dentistry on April 11-13.
TDIC Professional Liability policyholders whose Risk Management premium discount expires soon should register for their last chance to complete TDIC’s Risk Management seminar, The High Cost of Shortcuts.
The mobile app for CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim is now available. The app offers attendees easy access to show schedules and speaker information, exhibitor and product listings, real-time alerts, event photos, and local area information.
The CDA Foundation offers financial support for oral health programs and dental education statewide and the deadline for several grants and scholarships is approaching.
In an attempt to better understand dental professionals' beliefs and attitudes regarding the adoption of Electronic Dental Records, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro are asking dentists to participate in an online survey.
In a letter from CDA President Lindsey Robinson, DDS, the association is urging Delta Dental to communicate answers to providers about its impending rate reduction. Dr. Robinson’s message to members and the letter to Delta are posted here.
The Dentists Insurance Company reports an increase in web-related copyright infringement claims with 16 cases in 2012, up from two claims in 2009. TDIC analysts say dentists, or the individuals who set up dental practice websites, may not be aware of the legal requirement to secure a license for photos and other materials used online.
In response to the tremendous damage Hurricane Sandy inflicted on the East Coast, the California Dental Association donated $30,000 each to the New Jersey Dental Association and New York State Dental Association.
The March 2013 issue of the CDA Update features ways CDA Presents is valuable for new dentists. Specifically, six courses that new dentists will benefit from are highlighted. Spotlighting the key role that sterilization volunteers play at CDA Cares clinics, Diane E. Morgan-Arns, who served as the lead for sterilization at the CDA Cares Modesto and Sacramento clinics, and Eve Cuny, director of Environmental Health and Safety at the UOP, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry are interviewed.
Attendees at CDA Presents in Anaheim will have the opportunity to view table clinics presented by dental assisting students, military dentists and dental students.
The Dentists Insurance Company has announced its 19th consecutive year earning the A.M. Best Company’s “A” rating.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the long-awaited final omnibus rule under HIPAA (Omnibus Rule) on Jan. 25. The rule implements the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and amends provisions related to privacy, security, breach notification and enforcement in important ways.
CDA prides itself on listening to member feedback to guide decision-making. With member engagement in mind, the organization has various online channels in which to connect.
Gov. Jerry Brown this month appointed two new members to the Dental Board of California.
CDA is providing members with the latest information and resources after learning that Delta Dental intends to reduce provider reimbursement rates in its Premier Plan later this year.
If the state gets the approval, Phase 1b of the Healthy Families Program transition will begin on March 1.
CDA is pushing for patients to have a flexible range of coverage options and the ability to choose their dentist, a model that reflects the way dental care historically has been provided.
CDA’s member concierge program began a year ago and is now garnering attention nationally from other organizations recognizing the importance of member service and exploring ways to achieve it.
Lance McCollough, founder and CEO of CDA Endorsed Program ProSites, weighs in on how dentists can avert an online “reputation crisis.”
Kids’ Healthy Mouths, the oral health literacy campaign sponsored by the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives, continues to have an impact nationwide. Since launching in August 2012, the campaign has received significant attention in the national media.
New dentists who want to start their careers off right can take advantage of the many resources available at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim.
CDA offers resources and answers to member questions in a letter from CDA President Lindsey Robinson, DDS.
A spam e-mail with a virus built into it is being distributed by a fake ADA account, and CDA is warning its members not to open it. The e-mail, sent by “email@example.com,” features a subject line that reads “Easy Practice Management.”
To make the transition from dental school to the workforce easier, TDIC is offering newly licensed dentists their first year of Professional Liability insurance for just $50.
Volunteer dentists, dental professionals and patients can rest assured that the sterilization team will be up for the challenge of meeting the workflow demands at the CDA Cares San Jose clinic this May.
There are abundant options when choosing a hotel for your stay during CDA Presents in Anaheim. CDA uses the Housing Bureau to secure the best hotel rates for attendees and increases the chances of CDA being able to gain additional meeting space at the Convention Center. Attendees can lock in low rates until March 15.
There are many things new dentists must do as they venture out onto their own and begin their careers – one of the first steps in that process is putting together a valuable cover letter. A cover letter is the entry point into any potential employment and personalizing yourself in the first few sentences of the letter is vital for a dental practice setting.
An annual health care spending report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services suggests the dental economy is growing; however, the amount spent by consumers remains flat, according to an ADA analysis.
The state of California is currently in the process of transitioning the first phase of children enrolled in the Healthy Families Program (HFP) to the Medi-Cal program. The state was required to get approval from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which they received on Dec. 31, 2012, in order to transition the children before Jan. 1.
CDA has learned that Delta Dental is planning to reduce reimbursement to its Premier Providers. We are now in contact with Delta to obtain details and clarification about this decision. It is likely these reductions will average 8 to 12 percent and may vary by region and provider. The reason for the reductions is not yet clear, but it is likely to be market pressures and a resultant effort to reduce the cost of the Premier plan for employers in order to keep it viable. The reductions will not go into effect immediately, but are intended to be implemented later this year.
The most effective way to prevent and react to negative online reviews is to have positive communication with patients. This was the theme of the CDA-hosted webinar last week titled Bad Review? … What to Do! The one-hour, free webinar was led by TDIC Service Manager Carla Christensen. Christensen gave case examples and communication tools to handle negative online reviews.
The February 2013 issue of the CDA Update features a detailed account of what dentists can do to protect their online reputations. The article includes interviews from Patrick Barry, CEO of CDA Endorsed Program Demandforce and Sherry Mostofi of Mostofi Law Group. The issue also includes an update on the state of California’s transition of the first phase of children enrolled in the Healthy Families Program to the Medi-Cal program.
The CDA Dental Benefits Research Task Force heard from a dental economics expert with the ADA and learned about Oregon’s Coordinated Care Organizations at its January meeting.