New opioid laws will affect dentistry in 2019 and beyond
Many bills were introduced over the past year to combat the opioid epidemic in California, as CDA previously reported. Here is an overview of CDA-supported legislation in the areas of e-prescribing, informed consent, interstate data sharing and prescription-pad requirements, that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in September and how these bills will affect the practice of dentistry.
Savings keep stacking up for shoppers
Through The Dentists Supply Company, a CDA subsidiary, shoppers continue to see an average savings of more than 20 percent compared to manufacturers’ suggested retail prices. While that level of supply savings has attracted many CDA members to, it’s how the difference is stacking up over time that’s really impressive. Members have already saved more than $2 million dollars on dental supplies through the site, and they’re on track to save a half million more by the end of the year.
The Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign encourages teeth brushing for two minutes, twice a day, for better oral health. So what better day to encourage good brushing habits than on National Brush Day, Nov. 1, when sugary Halloween candy may be lingering in mouths. Before Halloween and on National Brush Day, dentists and their staff can share with parents and caregivers simple steps to help prevent oral disease and reinforce the importance of good teeth-brushing habits.
No changes to Covered California dental plan offerings for 2019
Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace for the federal Affordable Care Act, has released the participating dental plans for the 2019 benefit year, maintaining the same dental plans offered for 2018. Open enrollment for 2019 coverage begins Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31, 2019. Adults and children may enroll in Covered California’s individual and family plans as an optional benefit.
Walk-in volunteers welcome at CDA Cares Modesto Oct. 26-27
The CDA Foundation’s volunteer-run dental clinic, CDA Cares, will take place Oct. 26-27 at the Modesto Centre Plaza. Dentists (restorative, pediatric and oral surgeons) and dental and medical professionals, including dental assistants, doctors and nurses, as well as community volunteers who can guide patients and assist with language translation, should first read the volunteer FAQ for general information and requirements.
End first exposure: Dentistry's biggest opportunity in the opioid crisis
Sometimes you read a research article and it hits you between the eyes like a sledgehammer. So it was when I read “Prescription Opioids in Adolescence and Future Opioid Misuse” published in the journal Pediatrics in 2015. It made me really reconsider the impact dentists can have on ameliorating the opioid crisis.
Volunteer opportunities rewarding for CDA members
Why are so many dentists passionate about giving back to their communities? Dentistry is a profession that brings together people who are as compassionate as they are committed to improving lives though oral health care. Membership in organized dentistry can help channel that compassion and commitment into programs that are making a difference.
Are your patients who they say they are? Preventing medical identity theft
A dental professional can treat dozens of patients each day. Patients present, provide their information, get checked in and proceed with treatment. Do you ever stop to wonder whether your patients are who they say they are? In a case reported to The Dentist Insurance Company’s Risk Management Advice Line, a patient presented for a root canal treatment.
Major sponsors show generous support of CDA Cares
Thanks to several major sponsors who have made significant donations of equipment and resources, around 2,000 patients will receive cleanings, fillings, extractions and a limited number of full and partial dentures at CDA Cares, the CDA Foundation’s volunteer-run dental clinic coming to Modesto Oct. 26-27. Those sponsors include Henry Schein, GES, Planmeca USA and Western Dental.
Higher reimbursement rates in effect for Medi-Cal dental program
New state revenue from the taxation of tobacco products, along with support from legislators and Gov. Jerry Brown, is putting over half a billion dollars toward increased Medi-Cal dental provider reimbursements for 2018-19. The higher reimbursement follows years of activity to improve the Medi-Cal dental program and increase access to oral health care for California’s 13.5 million Medi-Cal members.
Open enrollment: TDIC Insurance Solutions offers health options
CDA members may know about the dentist-focused coverage offered for their practices by The Dentists Insurance Company, but they may not be aware that TDIC Insurance Solutions offers individual and family plans, small-group plans and Medicare options from trusted carriers to provide affordable coverage. Open enrollment for each of these health plans is either already open or quickly approaching.
Transitioning to a paperless office – how to get started
Whether you recently purchased a practice with paper charts or have been maintaining your own paper chart system, you have probably considered going paperless. The average front-office team using paper charts spends nearly 25 percent of its time locating, filing and reviewing charts. By contrast, a paperless system increases office efficiency and provides cost savings. If you think you’re ready to go paperless, here’s how to get started.
Dental hygiene regulatory entity becomes board in 2018 sunset review
This year, the Dental Hygiene Committee of California underwent its second sunset review, which was signed into law Sept. 17 by Gov. Jerry Brown, extending the committee’s regulatory authority until Jan. 1, 2023. The DHCC underwent two major changes during the sunset review. In addition to a formal name change to the Dental Hygiene Board of California, the DHCC will no longer be officially under the jurisdiction of the dental board.
Dental professionals impacted by wildfires can apply for disaster relief grant
To help dental professionals in need, the CDA Foundation in early August established a Disaster Relief Grant for individuals — a one-time, single-installment grant that provides financial assistance of up to $5,000 for immediate and emergency needs (food, shelter, clothing, etc.) as a direct result of the 2018 California wildfires. Grant funds are still available.
Where does MSRP factor in your supply costs?
When considering a purchase, dentists rated “quality” as the most important attribute of dental suppliers. In fact, this attribute was rated the leading factor by 64 percent of dentists in 2017. By 2018, quality was still at 53 percent, but price had grown from 19 percent to 22 percent. The good news is that practices don’t have to sacrifice the supplies they love or the brands they trust to control costs.
New initiative aims to stop scams targeting small businesses
The Federal Trade Commission recently unveiled Operation Main Street: Stopping Small Business Scams, a “coordinated law enforcement and education effort” involving state and federal partners as well as the Better Business Bureau. As part of this effort, the FTC, jointly with state attorneys general and U.S. attorneys’ offices, announced 24 actions involving “defendants who allegedly perpetrated scams against small businesses” over the past year.
Legislative victory: Dental Plan Transparency Act passes

CDA’s sponsored legislation calling for more value and transparency from dental plans passed the California Legislature with bipartisan support and was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 29. CDA and the author of SB 1008, Sen. Nancy Skinner, worked closely with stakeholders to ensure the best outcome for CDA members and consumers in California — increased transparency, accountability and value from dental benefit plans.

Opioids in California: What is CDA doing?
CDA began addressing opioids more than three years ago, but the data and countless personal stories tell us that now is a good time to pull together all our resources and efforts and provide our membership with a 360-degree look at the issue in California and CDA’s leadership on it.
Court says California employees must be paid for off-the-clock work
Employees who routinely work off the clock generally must be paid for their off-the-clock work, the California Supreme Court recently ruled. In dental practices, this situation might occur when an employee arrives ahead of scheduled work hours or when they stay past scheduled work hours to complete tasks.
Whodunit? Subrogation Determines Responsibility in Property Claims
From electrical fires to leaky roofs to failed equipment — suffering property damage can be an unfortunate part of dental practice ownership. As any dentist who has experienced a loss can attest, the goal is to minimize downtime and get back to work as soon as possible. After all, patients depend on dentists to keep their oral health in good order and a disruption in practice operations can prevent them from receiving the care they need.
Periodontics spotlighted in CDA Journal
The October Journal of the California Dental Association features periodontics with articles that discuss risk factors for gingival recession, the use of autogenous soft tissue grafting for root coverage, acellular dermal matrix allografts and how certain biotechnologies associated with tissue engineering may be incorporated into mucogingival surgery.
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