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Dugoni School of Dentistry opens new campus for classes
07/23/2014
The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry’s new 395,000-square-foot building in San Francisco held its first classes on July 14. The seven-story building (155 Fifth Street) underwent two years of renovation to be turned into the campus that now houses all academic programs and dental clinics. Read more >>
CDA helps new dentists launch their careers
07/21/2014
To help new dentists start their careers off on the right path, CDA hosted a New Dentist Career Launch at its headquarters. The three-day program held from July 9-11 provided new dentists extensive and intense training intended to increase their understanding of the nuances of a career in dentistry and guide them toward achieving professional success. The 50 new dentists in attendance learned about topics such as reducing student loan debt, contract and lease negotiation strategies for practice start-up or acquisition and understanding their credit and personal financial resume. Read more >>
Arbitrators rule against Delta Dental's most recent motion
07/17/2014
In August 2013, CDA and several individual dentists filed a legal action against Delta Dental challenging, in part, its attempt to change Premier provider agreements. In response to this action, Delta filed a motion to dismiss the entire matter. After considering the motion, the arbitrators rejected Delta Dental's recent motion to dismiss the entire action, and found that there was sufficient evidence to allow the individual dentists to proceed on their claims that Delta's attempt to change key provisions of its participating dentist agreements violated the legal doctrine of "good faith and fair dealing." The decision will allow the arbitration to proceed. Read more >>
Staying in compliance with air tank compressors
07/17/2014
Dentists should make sure that their air tanks and compressors meet the requirements under state law. California requires a permit for any air tank that is 1.5 cubic feet in volume or larger, or when the safety valve is set greater than 150 psi. A permit is valid for five years. Dentists can have inspectors from the Cal/OSHA Pressure Vessel Unit conduct safety checks on tanks and compressors for the purpose of issuing and renewing permits. Read more >>
No on 46 campaign gains momentum, allies
07/15/2014
The ballot measure that would quadruple the cap on non-economic damages under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) has been assigned a number, Proposition 46, for the upcoming November election, while the campaign against it is gaining more powerful allies. CDA and an expanding coalition of health care organizations and others are working to defeat Prop. 46 because it would have devastating effects on California’s health care system, increasing costs by billions of dollars annually. Read more >>
CDA updates members on recent legislative issues
07/14/2014
CDA has been engaged on multiple legislative issues at the state Capitol in Sacramento. Here are a few of the recent issues CDA worked on before the Legislature adjourned for a one month recess. It will reconvene Aug. 4 for work on bills before final adjournment at the end of the month. Read more >>
Registration open for new TDIC seminar on patient emotions
07/11/2014
TDIC is offering the seminar to help dentists correctly identify and handle patients who exhibit dental fear. Beyond the Science: Patient Emotions in Dentistry presents real case studies to dentists and staff members to help them recognize when, and how to dismiss a patient without placing them at risk; establish trust in the doctor-patient relationship to encourage treatment compliance; create office protocols to instill confidence in the dentist and staff. Read more >>
Align your C.E. planning with your business plan
07/11/2014
Continuing education (C.E.) is an important aspect of being a dentist, and while it can take up time and resources to make sure the appropriate amount of C.E. units are taken, dentists should use it as an opportunity to improve their practice on the business side as well as the clinical side. Developing a business plan is a fundamental step dentists should take if they want to make their practices run more efficiently. Make sure you align your C.E. planning with your business plan. Read more >>
What you need to know when renovating a dental practice
07/10/2014
Whether a dentist is building a new practice or renovating his or her current office, there are specific laws that come in to play for office design. One of the most important things dentists should consider is the state and federal requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (AwDA). Outside of the AwDA, state codes affecting office design include electrical, fire, mechanical, building, plumbing, energy and historical building codes, according to CDA’s Legal Reference Guide. Read more >>
Toothsavers oral health app sees large download rate
07/09/2014
The download numbers for Toothsavers, the free mobile gaming app created by the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives, continue to grow.  Through May, the app, which teaches kids ages 3-6 about the importance of oral health, had been downloaded in iTunes a total of 95,545 times worldwide, with 53,482 of those downloads coming in the U.S. What’s more, 81 percent of the sessions on the app are return users and the average session duration was three minutes and 27 seconds. Read more >>
CDA provides guidance on navigating Adult Denti-Cal
07/07/2014
Although federally required adult dental services have been available to beneficiaries of Medi-Cal, adult optional Medi-Cal dental benefits were eliminated in July 2009, except for beneficiaries who are pregnant or residing in a skilled nursing facility or intermediate care facility. With many benefits for adults restored May 1, the recent CDA Presents lecture in Anaheim titled Adult Denti-Cal Services: Navigating the Renewal Program explained the treatment options and requirements of newly reestablished Denti-Cal benefits for adults. Presenters Tom Holloway, DDS, Nagaraja Murthy, DDS, and Nirmala Prabhu, DMD, offered valuable information concerning common denial codes in treatment authorization requests and claims, ways to reduce unnecessary denials and specific criteria for common restored procedures. Read more >>
With passing of Tony Gwynn, CDA shares oral cancer resources
07/03/2014
With the passing of Major League Baseball great Tony Gwynn from mouth cancer, CDA reminds dentists that there are many resources available to help their patients stop using tobacco and smokeless tobacco products. Though Gwynn's mouth cancer was never medically linked to the use of smokeless tobacco, he believed it was related to his cancer diagnosis. Experience shows that an oral cancer lesion, which often grows slowly and may be painless, can easily be overlooked by a patient who has "had this spot forever." Read more >>
CDA Cares volunteer registration now open
07/02/2014
Volunteer registration is now open for the CDA Cares Pomona and Sacramento dental clinics. CDA Cares Pomona will be held on Nov. 21-22 at the Pomona Fairplex in Pomona. CDA Cares Sacramento will be held on March 27-28, 2015, at Cal Expo. Dentists and dental professionals are needed in areas throughout the clinic. Read more >>
Dental licensure fees rising
07/01/2014
Dental licensure fees are on the rise as the Dental Board of California struggles with rising costs that have led to a significant budget deficit. An increase in initial licensure and biennial renewal fees from $365 to $450 took effect July 1, the current maximum allowed under law, which the Dental Board approved last fall. However, the board still projects a deficit even with the increase to $450. Consequently, the board sponsored SB 1416 (Block) this year, which was signed into law last month and raises the fee to $525 effective Jan. 1, 2015 - the amount the Department of Consumer Affairs has determined the board needs to remain financially solvent. Read more >>
Protecting your practice and future from unexpected, costly events
07/01/2014
If your practice had the unfortunate experience of dealing with a fire or water damage, would you be prepared? Commercial Property insurance is an important coverage to consider as a dental practice owner. This specific type of business insurance can help protect the property a dentist owns or leases, equipment, valuable papers loss of income and more. TDIC recently evaluated its Commercial Property insurance offering and recognized a need to provide policyholders with more options. Read more >>
07/01/2014
Cigna Dental recently notified contracted providers across the country about upcoming PPO network structure changes and directory enhancements. A May 22 correspondence outlines Cigna's intent to streamline the names of its networks by moving to two network names, rather than the four that currently exist. CDA has expressed concerns with the proposed cost effectiveness designation of dentists to Cigna and is currently working with the ADA and Cigna to learn more about the program and the plan's methodology. Read more >>
06/30/2014
CDA and local dental advocacy efforts in recent weeks have prompted action from the state, led by Sen. President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and the Department of Health Care Services, to ensure access to dental care performed under anesthesia when medically necessary. Inadequate Medi-Cal reimbursement rates for facility, anesthesia and dental services have forced many facilities statewide to either reduce or discontinue dental services for patients who need to be treated under general anesthesia. Read more >>
Report: HIPAA complaints on the rise
06/27/2014
The Department of Health and Human Services recently released its "Annual Report to Congress on HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rule Compliance." In the report, the HHS detailed the number of complaints received for the calendar years 2011-12, the number of complaints resolved, the number of subpoenas or inquiries issued and more. The HITECH Act requires HHS to conduct the report, which found that during 2011 and 2012, the U.S. Office for Civil Rights (OCR) received 19,476 complaints, which was a significant increase over each respective year prior. Read more >>
Understanding the rules around waivers to meal and rest breaks
06/26/2014
Do you know the rules as it relates to waivers for meal and rest breaks? Employers must provide nonexempt employees an opportunity to take a 10-minute paid rest break for every four hours worked. You cannot schedule an employee to work more than five hours per day without providing a 30-minute meal break, which is unpaid. A waiver can only be signed if the employee works no more than six hours. Read more tips here. Read more >>
06/24/2014
There is considerable information about the ethical implications and risks of dentists dating a patient of record, but the fact remains that dentists encounter a variety of people in daily practice and may find themselves attracted to a patient. Conversely, a dentist discovers a patient is attracted to him or her. If an attraction develops, consider ahead of time how this could become an awkward situation in the future. The Dentists Insurance Company strongly advises you not to act on that unless you first refer the patient to another dentist for dental care before beginning a personal relationship. Read more >>
State budget fails to address low Denti-Cal rates
06/23/2014
Despite the efforts of dozens of health care organizations including CDA, which have sought at a minimum a reversal of last year's 10 percent reimbursement rate cut for Medi-Cal/Denti-Cal providers, the 2014-15 state budget approved by the Legislature June 15 did not include any reimbursement rate increases. The governor's administration indicated that the increased costs of providing Medi-Cal/Denti-Cal coverage due to the state's expansion of eligibility and higher than expected enrollment have made it more difficult for the state to restore funding for reimbursement rates. Read more >>
Using data to guide the direction of a dental practice
06/19/2014
A computer software report can tell dentists what is happening in their practices pretty easily and can help them find missed opportunities. Dentists can check the pulse of their practices by running a monthly report of key performance indicators (KPIs) through their dental software program that will help them manage the performance of the practice and assist the team to make the necessary adjustments proactively to hit their annual goals. With these reports, the dentists and/or office manager can look for trends and plan accordingly. Read more >>
History repeats itself in MICRA malpractice fight
06/17/2014
As the November election approaches, CDA members will be hearing a lot more about a ballot measure designed to raise the cap on the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). CDA and a coalition of health care organizations are working to defeat the initiative that would have devastating effects on California’s health care system. The initiative, called “The Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act,” is backed by trial lawyers attempting to persuade voters to quadruple MICRA’s cap on noneconomic damages to $1.1 million. Read more >>
06/16/2014
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. Read more >>
06/16/2014
CDA learned in late May that Delta Dental of California began distributing a new Participating Provider Agreement (Commercial Fee-for-Service) to newly contracting California providers. For those newly contracting providers, this new agreement appears to be an all-inclusive provider agreement for both the Delta Dental Premier and PPO products. CDA understands that Delta Dental will no longer offer separate Premier and PPO provider agreements to newly contracting dentists. Along with the new Provider Agreement, newly contracting dentists will receive the Delta Dental Premier Addendum. Read more >>

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