Health payers switch to new diagnostic codes this year
Increasingly, dental plans are deferring to medical benefit carriers on certain dental procedures that can be claimed as medical procedures with patients’ medical plans. More and more, these medical plans are paying for not only surgical dental procedures, but some preventive dental services as well. In submitting claims to medical plans, dentists need to be aware of and prepare for the adoption of new medical diagnostic codes that will be in use beginning Oct. 1.
Everything CDA Presents attendees need to know
CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry will take place April 30 to May 2 at the Anaheim Convention Center. We have compiled a list of key locations and times throughout the three-day convention that will help attendees plan their visit and make sure they get the most out of the experience.
Revised optimal fluoride level in drinking water released
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has determined 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water is the optimal fluoride level in drinking water to prevent tooth decay. This recommendation, released April 27, updates and replaces the previous recommended range (0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter) issued in 1962. CDA applauds this decision by HHS.
CDA Cares a temporary fix for broken Denti-Cal program
The length of the lines at each of the seven CDA Cares clinics held throughout the state since 2012 demonstrate how Denti-Cal fails to provide access to care. CDA Cares Sacramento was another prime example as many of the patients had no other choice to relieve the pain they were in other than lining up early in the morning at Cal Expo.
Top 5 trending CDA Practice Support resources
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.
CDA offers employment posters to members
CDA has mailed updated employment poster sets to local dental societies for distribution to members. Several state and federal agencies, including the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, California Employment Development Department and California Department of Industrial Relations, require employment posters to be conspicuously displayed in dental offices. To check on the mailing status of their complimentary employment poster set, dentists should contact their local dental societies.
CDA-supported anti-tobacco bills advance
Several CDA-supported bills that would help further the effort to fight tobacco use passed out of their first legislative committee hearings. All forms of tobacco contain high concentrations of cancer-causing agents, and these substances subject users to increased cancer risk not only of the oral cavity, but also the pharynx, larynx and esophagus.
Key provision of CDA-opposed scope bill rejected
Legislation sponsored by the California Dental Hygienists’ Association (CDHA) that would eliminate an important safeguard for patients served by registered dental hygienists in alternative practice (RDHAPs) was substantially amended by a legislative committee in April to address problematic provisions opposed by CDA.
CDA survey seeks member feedback
CDA is conducting a survey of member preferences regarding multiple services. In the coming weeks, members may randomly receive a survey asking for feedback on various CDA benefits and services. The survey, which is being conducted by Burke Inc. on CDA’s behalf, will provide an opportunity for members to offer feedback and candid opinions in order to help CDA continue to meet the needs of their practices and the profession.
CDA updates guide to Dental Practice Act
CDA provides a guide to its members that is intended for use by dentists and allied dental health professionals to assist them in complying with the California Dental Practice Act. Some of changes in the 2015 edition of Your Guide to California Dental Practice Act Compliance are listed in this story.
Ruling in Delta case favorable for CDA
The San Francisco Superior Court judge presiding over the CDA v. Delta Dental case issued her final ruling denying Delta Dental’s motions attempting to have the case dismissed. The final ruling confirmed a tentative ruling of the same nature just weeks prior.
Dentist and RDHAP team up to deliver care
With many adults challenged to access oral health services, some dentists and registered dental hygienists in alternative practice (RDHAPs) team up to try to fill the gap. Two such dental professionals have been working together in Humboldt County for nearly 20 years. Darla Dale, RDHAP, and Wilmer Hechanova, DDS, met in 1996 at a class on hospital-based dentistry.
CDA co-sponsored legislation passes Assembly committee
CDA co-sponsored legislation that would provide key funding for the virtual dental home (VDH) model of dental care passed unanimously in its first Assembly committee hearing. AB 648, authored by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-San Jose), would create a grant program under the direction of the state dental director to expand the VDH model into the state’s areas of greatest need. Public and private funds would be used for training, equipment, technical assistance and other support for VDH implementation.
Spread the word about Oral Cancer Awareness Month
CDA reminds dentists and the public that April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and encourages dental practices to spread the word about how to prevent oral cancer. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, each year in the United States, more than 21,000 men and 9,000 women are diagnosed with oral cancer. The two most common pathways by which people develop oral cancer are through tobacco and alcohol use and through exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV) — the same virus responsible for the majority of cervical cancers in women.
CDA Presents to offer live streaming C.E. courses
As one of the top dental conventions in the nation, CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry is a trusted source for continuing education, and that is why the way dentists can participate is being expanded. New to CDA Presents in Anaheim will be a set of C.E. courses that will be streamed live. The live-streaming programs feature world-renowned speakers presenting in the area of restorative dentistry.
CDA disappointed with Supreme Court Medicaid ruling
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that providers cannot sue states or state officials in an effort to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates. In a 5-to-4 decision, justices indicated that complaints about low reimbursement rates should instead be filed with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that oversees the Medicaid program.
Do collection agency efforts violate HIPAA - it depends
CDA Practice Support recently received a call from a dentist about a disgruntled patient who was accusing the dentist of violating the patient’s HIPAA privacy rights because of a past-due bill. Specifically, the patient claimed that they received a letter from a collection agency and the fact that the collection agency had their information was a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Video: Woman sees smile for first time in 20 years
Carolyn had been missing most of her teeth for more than 20 years. With no molars, eating was difficult and she had to rotate which side of her mouth she chewed food on based on pain level. Instead of depending on the state’s broken Denti-Cal system, Carolyn drove to CDA Cares in Sacramento after seeing the event on the news. It wasn’t long before she had a new set of dentures and restored self-esteem.
The Assembly and Senate Committees on Business and Professions recently held a “sunset review” hearing for a variety of professional licensing boards, including the Dental Board of California. At the hearing, CDA acknowledged the board’s recent fee audit and, given recent increases in licensure renewal fees, urged the board to establish a structurally sound budget and a clear and evidenced-based process for future licensure fee increases.
Include social media in practice employee manuals
CDA’s 2015 Sample Employee Manual provides a specific template that practices can incorporate into their own employee manuals. The “Social Networking” section of CDA’s Sample Employee Manual features language that dentists can add such as specifying that only authorized individuals are allowed to represent the practice on social media and when employees can use their own devices for personal social media purposes.
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