Social media is no longer considered a fad, and the numbers back it up – 63 percent of online adults use Facebook every day and 71 percent of all online adults use Facebook. On top of this, more than 27 million pieces of content are produced daily online. For dentists who are looking to get their practice started on social media, this can be a lot to take in. But one CDA Presents lecturer says there is an easy way for dentists to start: post about their passion.
The Dentists Insurance Company reports an increase in claims related to oral cancer and advises dentists to conduct regular oral cancer screenings on all patients. In addition to consistent documentation of screenings, follow-up and referral of any suspicious lesion or area is strongly recommended. An attorney who has specialized in defending dentists for more than 40 years weighs in precautions dentists should take if they find a lesion or spot that looks unusual.
Dentists will sometimes contact a temp agency to hire a dental assistant, hygienist or front office staff. But dentists aren’t aware that, in some cases, the practice itself, not the temp agency, takes on the risk for that employee. CDA Practice Support has received numerous calls in recent months regarding a new type of temp agency that sends an employee to a dental practice who becomes a short-term employee of the practice. This model makes the dentist, not the agency, responsible for that employee’s payroll, tax deductions, possible unemployment as well as workers’ compensation.
Interoffice dating can be tricky. Potential landmines include sexual harassment claims, allegations of favoritism, low morale, breakup drama and decreased productivity that can affect the entire dental office, especially if a workplace relationship goes bad. The Dentists Insurance Company recommends a policy defining the consequences of interoffice dating among employees. The policy should include expectations that an office relationship is separate from the work environment and should outline appropriate behavior, such as banning public displays of affection and retaliation if the relationship ends.
Dental patients can be nervous when they enter a practice. In fact, it is estimated that 75 percent of U.S. adults experience some degree of dental fear. But fear, as well as anxiety and worry, may not be easily identified by the dental practitioner, which can cause big legal issues down the road. That is why TDIC is launching a new Risk Management seminar to teach dentists how to correctly handle patients who exhibit these emotions so they can keep their practice, and their patients, safe.
CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry gave attendees a chance to hear and see all of the latest trends and technology in the profession. Attendees left the May 15-17 feeling energized about dentistry and about going back to their practices, said CDA Presents Board of Managers Chair Del Brunner, DDS. Courses ranged in topics from leveraging social media in the dental office, implementing CAMBRA and how to be in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Since the beginning of the year, CDA has been contacted by several members questioning the validity of such programs after being contacted by someone representing "Meet the 2014 Top Rated Doctors and Dentists" and "Top Doc." Similar marketing programs geared for dentists and physicians have operated in California and nationwide over the past several years. CDA urges members to seek legal advice and carefully review any contracts before signing up for any marketing arrangement with any company. In particular, as with any business arrangement, members should be aware of the term of the contract and whether they may terminate the contract early in the event the services fail to meet their expectations.
CDA and a coalition of health care organizations are gearing up to defeat a November ballot initiative that would raise a malpractice cap on non-economic damages, resulting in devastating effects on California’s health care system.
Secure electronic transmission of protected health information is one of the many requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule. Dental practices should review the rule requirements to ensure compliance. More and more resources are becoming available for dentists to use to stay compliant. The ADA has launched a new kit, for example, that helps dental practices comply with HIPAA. CDA's HIPAA Security Rule: A Summary resource can be found on cda.org/Privacy-HIPAA. Also, the Department of Health and Human Services has a Guidance on Risk Analysis resource on its website hhs.gov.
Once a dentist is ready to embark on the journey of practice ownership, there are a lot of next steps. One of those steps is knowing the right way to go about making an offer on an existing practice, should that be the route the dentist takes. A new chapter in CDA's Guide for the New Dentist titled "Practice Start-up and Purchase Process" covers the topic, as well as other critical information on the many facets of dental practice start-ups, acquisitions, and considerations that apply to both.
Those who don't want to miss out on any of the action during CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim can visit the Social Hub for all of the latest photos and more. CDA staff is posting attendee photos from the Anaheim Convention Center as they are collected at the May 15-17 meeting and posting them on the Social Hub at cdapresents.com/socialhub. It is anticipated that more than 20,000 people will attend the meeting that will feature more than 100 C.E. lectures and workshops and an exhibit hall floor packed with 575 companies spotlighting the latest dental technology.
The ability to understand and recognize different personalities in the practice can be something that helps with patient treatment acceptance and relationship issues with co-workers. The main personality types in the dental practice are: the Driver, Intuitive, the Stabilizer and the Calculator. Michael Perry, DDS, CDA director of practice management breaks down each.
Dental students and recent graduates interested in providing care in a community clinic have the opportunity to do the work they love and get help with their student debt at the same time, thanks to the CDA Foundation's Student Loan Repayment Grant. The grant awards selected recent dental school/specialty graduates funding to help repay their educational loans 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 receives calls regularly from dentists about claims payments as it relates to dental benefit plans. CDA dental benefits analyst Ann Milar discusses some of the issues in this area that dentists run into and what dental plans can do. Specifically, Milar suggests if a dentist is a contracted, participating provider for a dental plan, they should have a provider handbook or manual that outlines the plan’s payment and processing guidelines. Most dental plan provider contracts require that the provider understand these guidelines.
CDA is aware of a tax return identity theft scheme that is targeting dentists and physicians. Initially, the fraud was reported by practitioners in other states, but it now seems that the scheme has made its way to California.
Those who are unable to attend CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim this month will still have the opportunity to participate in some of the most popular lectures at the meeting through CDA’s live streaming option. CDA will be live broadcasting four of the sessions that will take place at the meeting set for May 15-17 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Dentists will earn C.E. and even be able to participate in the Q&A.
Legislation that could have significantly limited the use of cone-beam radiographic equipment in dental offices failed to advance on April 28 at a hearing of the Senate Business and Professions Committee. Current state law prohibits health care providers from “self-referring” patients to themselves for diagnostic procedures such as laboratory tests and radiographs, but specifically exempts procedures ordered and performed in a provider’s own office. SB 1215, authored by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), would have eliminated this in-office exemption for “advanced imaging.”
A dentist’s business plan is a critical tool for starting a practice. It provides the blueprint for how the dentist will establish a successful practice and it demonstrates to a lender how well they have researched and thought out the necessary elements of a practice. The real value of creating a business plan for a dentist, however, lies in the simple process of researching and thinking about their business in a systematic way. CDA Practice Support has a business plan template available to member dentists at cda.org/practicesupport
that is modifiable to fit their particular circumstance.
Many patients at the CDA Foundation’s CDA Cares programs are struggling to find employment because of the state of their oral health and the impact it has on their appearance. CDA Cares aims to provide dental care and oral health education at no charge to Californians who experience barriers to care, and provide them with a pathway to employment.
The exhibit hall floor at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry will boast nearly 100 new dental product launches, allowing dentists the ability to stay current on the latest trends in the industry. Located in the Anaheim Convention Center, the exhibit hall floor is 135,000 square feet and will feature 575 exhibiting companies. In total there will be 97 new product launches happening at CDA Presents.
May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, which makes it a good time for dentists to make sure that their futures are protected. Dentists who do not have disability insurance and/or business overhead expense insurance, are one accident away from having to deal with insurmountable office overhead expenses and the possibility of being forced into closing their practice. TDIC is encouraging dental professionals to consider the important role disability insurance plays in an individual’s financial security.