CDA Journal focuses on women in dentistry
The January Journal of the California Dental Association focuses on women in dentistry. Specifically, articles include a look at a diverse selection of women dentists from California with different professional career paths; a discussion of women leaders and how they're essential to organized dentistry; a profile of women in dental education; and more.
'Are you in compliance' with 2016 laws and regulations?
From displaying California's Whistleblower Protection notice to registering with CURES 2.0, dental practices were to comply with 12 laws and regulations that took effect in 2016. Presented here are summaries of these new laws and regulations along with explanations of what dentists must do to comply with them.
Dental benefits 101: Proper billing, waiving co-payments
Beginning in the New Year, and with the forthcoming issue of the CDA Update, the dental benefits column will host a semiregular series discussing basic dental benefit issues. The topics covered address questions that CDA Practice Support receives from dental offices and from local dental components. This first installment addresses proper billing for treatment provided by an associate and waiving of co-payments.
E-cigarette use is harmful, says surgeon general
For the first time, a surgeon general's report focuses on e-cigarette use and concludes, "The use of products containing nicotine in any form among youth, including in e-cigarettes, is unsafe." U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, MD, on Dec. 8 published a report containing a comprehensive review of e-cigarettes as a public health issue. Studies highlighted in the report specifically address the impact of e-cigarettes on American youth and young adults.
Opportunities for dentists serving low-income children
Dentists in California now have an opportunity to participate in the Dental Transformation Initiative to help improve dental health for low-income children enrolled in the Denti-Cal program, while receiving enhanced reimbursement by meeting specific incentive metrics. As part of California's 1115 waiver, known as Medi-Cal 2020, the DTI focuses on high-value care, improved access and utilization of performance measures to drive delivery system reform.
EPA issues final rule: Amalgam separators required

The administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency has signed off on a final rule under the Clean Water Act to control the discharge of mercury and other metals entering the waste stream from dental practices. The rule will regulate dental practices that place or remove amalgam. The effective date of the rule is 30 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register.

New CDA president to begin term
Clelan Ehrler, DDS, MS, is CDA’s new president for 2017. Ehrler, a retired orthodontist from the San Bernardino area, is a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. Ehrler, who also earned a master of science in orthodontics from Loma Linda, has held numerous CDA leadership positions and served on various committees, including peer review and CalDPAC.
Copies of Form W-2 must be filed by Jan. 31
The Internal Revenue Service moved the annual deadline for filing copies of employees’ Form W-2, W-3 and certain forms reporting nonemployee payments to independent contractors with the Social Security Administration. The new deadline of Jan. 31 was established to make it easier for the IRS to legitimize tax returns and spot errors in order to reduce fraud and improper payments.
Holiday closure for CDA and subsidiaries
CDA and its subsidiaries will close at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, and remain closed through Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. The offices will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 3. To offset this closure, the association and its companies were open for business on certain holidays earlier this year.
Accepting a dismissed patient back into the practice
Whether an old flame or a disloyal friend, choosing to accept someone back into one’s life can be a difficult decision. But what about accepting dismissed patients back into the practice? Do they deserve a second chance? The answer is: It depends. According to The Dentists Insurance Company, in some cases, such as noncompliance, accepting a dismissed patient back to the practice can lay the groundwork for a liability claim. But in other cases, the answer isn’t so clear.
Completed Assurance of Compliance form required
Dental practices that are required to comply with Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act must complete and submit to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the Assurance of Compliance form. HHS 690 can be downloaded, completed and mailed or completed and submitted online.
CDA Judicial Council awarded for ethics, professionalism
The Judicial Council of CDA has earned the Ethics and Professionalism Award from the American College of Dentists. The award recognizes exceptional contributions by individuals or organizations in the promotion of ethics or professionalism in dentistry. It is the highest honor given by the American College of Dentists in the area of ethics.
Dental champions wanted to support community health
The California Department of Public Health’s Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch is recruiting the next cohort of "champion providers" to help support local health departments’ efforts to improve the health of communities by advancing local policy, systems and environmental change strategies. The department contacted CDA to express the importance of engaging dentists in this endeavor.
CDA Journal discusses orofacial pain, osteoblastomas
The December Journal of the California Dental Association focuses on a variety of topics. It includes an overview of orofacial pain and possible causes, a case study on an osteoblastoma of the mandible and an article that introduces research on concurrent disorders with Helicobacter pylori infection.
Fraudulent OCR email targets HIPAA-covered entities
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Nov. 28 issued an alert regarding a phishing email that is currently circulating on mock HHS departmental letterhead with a signature from Office of Civil Rights Director Jocelyn Samuels. HHS notes that the email “appears to be an official governmental communication, and targets employees of HIPAA covered entities and their business associates.”
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