Ride to benefit CDA Foundation
The 7th annual Ken Sanford Memorial Motorcycle & Bicycle Ride to benefit the CDA Foundation is scheduled Sept. 3-6 in the eastern Sierra Nevada. Participants can ride through beautiful mountain passes — Sonora, Ebbetts Pass, Monitor Pass and Carson — while raising money for the Foundation and its two flagship programs, CDA Cares and the Student Loan Repayment Grant.
State dental director to tackle oral health challenges
Jayanth V. Kumar, DDS, MPH, will begin serving as California's new state dental director on Aug. 1. Kumar will direct and manage the oral health program in the California Department of Public Health. He recently took time to speak to CDA Update staff about his new role and some of his objectives.
Prescription drug database changes looming
All dentists who are authorized to prescribe, order, administer, furnish or dispense controlled substances must register for the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) by Jan. 1, 2016. In addition, the Department of Justice and the Department of Consumer Affairs recently announced that a new CURES 2.0 went live on July 1. This upgraded prescription drug monitoring program features a variety of performance improvements and added functionality.
First UCSF student completes licensure by portfolio
The first student to complete the licensure by portfolio process at the UCSF School of Dentistry has graduated. Jose Molina, DDS, who is now practicing as an associate dentist in Fresno, chose to obtain his licensure through this process because he felt it was a more “complete assessment” of his competency as a dentist. He also appreciated the fact that he was able to work on his own patients, providing follow-up care as needed.
Dentists should report employee injuries immediately
Workers’ compensation covers a broad and multifaceted legal spectrum, but a few essential practices can help dentists manage an employee injury at work. Key considerations include reporting the injury right away, authorizing medical care, avoiding judgment about the injury, maintaining open communication with the injured employee and treating the injured employee fairly.
New changes to sick leave law approved
A new bill has been signed by Gov. Jerry Brown to clarify and simplify requirements under the new sick leave law in California, which went into effect July 1 and requires employers to provide three paid sick days each year to their employees. AB 304, which became effective July 13, does not change the three-day sick leave law, but is intended to alleviate some of the difficulties in implementing its requirements.
Examining oral cancer detection technologies
There are a variety of ways dentists can enhance an oral cancer screening examination in terms of adding available technology to enhance the oral cancer screening. Attendees of CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco will get a firsthand look at how technologies in this area have changed over the last several years and how new technologies can be included in their practices.
Use caution when referring patients to side businesses
CDA has been made aware that an imaging company in Southern California is emailing dentists to offer a “bundle deal” on CT scans for patients. Purchasing such a package may be a violation of the Dental Practice Act because it would allow a profit on a referral. Dentists who own a side business, such as an imaging company, also need to be cautious and make sure they stay in compliance with the Dental Practice Act.
Top 5 CDA Practice Support Resources in July
CDA Practice Support is designed to help dentists navigate the business side of dentistry with ease, as it is chock-full of valuable resources to help them run their practices. Here are the top five trending CDA Practice Support resources this month in the categories of practice management, employment practices, dental benefit plans and regulatory compliance.
Good staff communication with new patients is vital
When new patients call a practice, it is typically with the hope of identifying their new dentist. They want someone who is confident and competent guiding them through their first appointment, explaining benefits and framing their next appointment effectively. Most likely, they are still looking for a dentist because they have not found an office that has been able to accomplish this. When it comes to communication, dentists and their staff need to be ready to confidently anticipate and manage the patient’s expectations.
CDA provides clarity on sick leave law misconceptions
The new sick leave law requires nearly every employer in California to allow all of its employees at least three paid sick days each year. The law provides that employees receive no less than an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. One of the misconceptions among dentists is that they must pay for the time up front, if the time is provided as a lump sum (three days, front-loaded).
Dentists with licenses/permits that expire in August need to check their mail for renewal notices mistakenly sent in envelopes with a return address for the “Bureau of Automotive Repair.” The Dental Board of California confirmed that a vendor inadvertently mailed August renewals in the wrong envelopes, which could lead dentists to mistakenly discard their renewal notices.
Student Loan Grant application deadline near
The deadline for the CDA Foundation’s Student Loan Repayment Grant is July 31. 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 in exchange for a commitment by recipients to care for the underserved.
The top reasons for claim denials
Medical/dental necessity will always be the rationale for most dental care, but medical/dental necessity may not be the basis of how plans pay. Dentists often wonder what the top reasons are for claims being denied. Here are some simple reasons why.
MICRA provision upheld by courts
A recent court ruling has upheld a provision of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) that protects dentists and other health care providers from frivolous lawsuits. The decision is consistent with other court rulings that have struck down challenges to MICRA, which ensures injured patients receive fair compensation and stabilizes liability costs.
Get tips on cyber security for your practice
Providing the best care possible to patients is what is top of mind for dentists, but as patient records transition into the digital age they also have to think about protecting patient data. From crypto-ransomware, which attempts to extort money from dentists in exchange for their hacked patient records, to theft of computers and flash drives, dentists must take the proper steps to make sure they aren’t putting their patients and their practices at risk.
Report shows Denti-Cal reimbursement rates lagging
A new review of the state’s Denti-Cal program provides further evidence that current rates are insufficient and that there has been a significant decline in participating providers since 2008. Just released by the state Department of Health Care Services, the report shows that while there has been a nearly 40 percent increase in enrolled children and 77 percent increase in enrolled adults, there has been a double-digit decrease in providers in that same timeframe.
CDA is making dentists aware of an issue that is occurring with license renewal notices being sent in the mail. A member recently notified CDA that she received her renewal notice in an envelope that had a return address for the “Bureau of Automotive Repair,” and nearly disposed of the unopened envelope. Subsequently, CDA confirmed that some notices might have been sent out by accident with the wrong return address.
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