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.
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.
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.
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.