Student delegates representing the six dental schools across California participated in the 2014 House of Delegates last month in San Diego. When the topic of Proposition 46 was brought up at the meeting, many of the student delegates in attendance took pride in the fact that they played a part in the No on Prop. 46 campaign.
The end of the year is a good time for dental practices to evaluate how they did over the last year and prepare for next year. As part of CDA's Practice Advising, which is an in-office consulting service designed to provide dentists guidance on reaching their individual business goals, a dentist can receive an in-office visit from an advisor. The advisor will help the practice get an idea of its production in the past and how it may need to adjust things moving forward.
The December 2014 issue of the CDA Update includes information on how CDA members helped defeat Proposition 46. Also included is guidance on preparing for dental code changes in 2015; data breach law amendments that are coming in January; and how to e-prescribe newly reclassified hydrocodone drugs.
The California Dental Association Foundation’s two-day dental clinic, CDA Cares, provided $1.66 million in charitable dental services to 1,861 people during the Nov. 21-22 event in Pomona. During the two-day charity event, dentists and dental professionals provided fillings, extractions, cleanings and oral health education. Additionally, volunteer technicians in the dental lab area worked to provide 345 full and partial dentures and repairs.
Be part of the action at the CDA Cares dental event in Pomona by viewing on-site photos from the Pomona Fairplex at the revamped "Social Hub." (cdafoundation.org/socialhub) The CDA Cares social hub is a landing page where attendees can view everything being said about the clinic on social media. The Social Hub will now pull activity on various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+ into one central location. All attendees will have to do to participate is use the #cdacares hashtag when sharing their photos, posts and tweets.
Online dues renewal for CDA members is now open. Members can renew their dues in full at cda.org/renew or enroll in the electronic dues payment program (EDP) and pay in equal monthly installments automatically deducted from a designated checking account. With membership in organized dentistry, dentists are ensuring that their voices and the needs of the profession are represented on every level. CDA provides education, practice support, protection and a stronger voice in government.
Dentists need to ensure that their practices are prepared for dental procedure code changes that go into effect Jan. 1. There are 73 code changes, including 16 new procedure codes. The ADA released the latest version of the Current Dental Terminology (CDT) Codes earlier this year.
There are many advertising options for dental practices to use as a way to keep current patients and bring new patients in. One way dentists can do this is through a patient loyalty program where patients earn “points” in exchange for gift cards or other rewards for keeping appointments, brushing and flossing regularly, etc. Dentists participating in such a program must make sure they are staying within the guidelines of the law and CDA ethical standards, however. The CDA Judicial Council reminds dentists that problems arise in a patient loyalty program when points are earned and prizes are given for patient referrals.
Walter G. Weber, DDS, was installed as the new CDA president last week at the House of Delegates meeting in San Diego. During his speech to delegates, Weber emphasized the importance of CDA continually looking for ways to best serve its members in the profession's changing landscape. Current trends in dentistry, including shrinking dental insurance benefits, pressures to reduce costs, and increasing costs of dental education, make it important for CDA to understand members' needs and develop strategies to help them succeed and best serve patients, he said.
California's data breach notification law will undergo amendments effective Jan. 1, 2015. Some reports have indicated that AB 1710 will require companies to provide credit monitoring in the event of a data breach, which is not true. It does state, however, that when companies experience a data breach and decide to offer credit monitoring to affected individuals, they must offer the services at their own expense and for no less than one year. The breach notification must also contain all material information individuals need to take advantage of the offer.
CDA continues to keep members informed on the latest information available on the Ebola virus. Most recently, the American Dental Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention, released a webinar titled "Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and Its Implications for the Oral Healthcare Community." The educational webinar, which consists of four chapters, is meant to ensure the dental community is informed on this emerging disease, and prepared to appropriately address it.
With a mission to improve the oral health of all Californians by supporting the dental profession in its efforts to meet community needs, the CDA Foundation offers its Student Loan Repayment Grant to allow dentists to work in public health. This year, Aisha Amin, DMD, has been selected as the Foundation's 15th Student Loan Repayment Grant recipient. A 2013 graduate of A.T. Still University, School of Health Management, Amin said she can relate to those in an underserved community and makes it her personal objective to help improve their well-being.
New data suggests a downward trend in early childhood caries in the United States and indicates progress in ensuring that children are receiving the necessary dental treatment. The preliminary data, which was presented at the "Innovations in the Prevention and Treatment of Early Childhood Caries" conference on Oct. 23 shows there has been a decade-long trend of increased treatment of caries in preschool children.
The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives, a coalition of 36 dental organizations, including CDA, and the Ad Council have launched a new phase of the Kids' Healthy Mouths campaign urging children to brush for two minutes, twice a day. The second phase features new multi-media public service announcements created to build on the tremendous success of the campaign, launched in August 2012.
Jim Wood, DDS, a general dentist from Healdsburg and CDA member since 1983, was elected to the California State Assembly in a landslide victory on Nov. 4. Wood, a Democrat, earned 63.8 percent of the vote in the 2nd Assembly District, compared to 36.2 percent for Republican opponent Matthew Heath.
California voters overwhelmingly defeated Proposition 46 in the November 4th general election, a ballot measure that would have dramatically increased health care costs and reduced patients' access to care by raising the payouts in lawsuits against dentists and other health care providers.
Now that hydrocodone combination products, such as Vicodin and Norco, have been reclassified as Schedule II drugs, CDA Practice Support has been receiving inquiries about how to prescribe these drugs electronically. Dentists can no longer call or fax prescriptions for these drugs to pharmacies because Schedule II drugs have more restrictions.
EMV (Europay / MasterCard / Visa) will eventually replace the magnetic stripe on credit cards that has been the standard in the United States since 1960, and dental practices should be ready for this transition. Credit card issuers began issuing cards with EMV chips in 2013. Processors were next, requiring them to have the technology in place to accept merchants who were utilizing EMV transactions by April 2013. Acceptance of EMV will not technically be mandated for practices that accept credit or debit cards, but a shift in fraud liability begins October 2015.
Technology in dentistry, like in many other professions, continues to evolve. From new CAD/CAM systems, to intraoral imaging, to iPad integration — the world of dentistry constantly adds new options for practices. One key aspect of this technology shift is the prevalence of new dental software, and a recent study delved into the purchasing habits of dentists in that realm.
The Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives are implementing a national oral health campaign on Nov. 1, the day after Halloween, to remind parents and kids about the importance of regular oral hygiene and brushing for two minutes, twice a day. National Brush Day promotes improving the nation’s children’s oral health by supplying parents with simple information on when to start various levels of oral hygiene with their kids.
Creating a healthy workplace is an important aspect of any highly functioning dental practice. That is why CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim is going to feature several courses on how dentists and their teams can be more efficient in the way they handle business and how they manage their personal health.
While working interviews may seem ideal, and many employers offer potential candidates the opportunity to work in their office and “show their stuff,” the process is more complex. Each candidate must be added to your payroll. You can provide them a check at the end of the workday, but in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor, they are each full-fledged employees and you must ensure that you are following appropriate employer obligations.
Screening for sleep disordered breathing (SDB) in the dental office can have a big impact on the lives of patients — adding as much as eight to 10 years — according to Steve Carstensen, DDS, who presented a lecture at CDA Presents in San Francisco on the role dentists have in identifying symptoms and helping patients obtain a diagnosis and treatment for the condition.
The statewide election is Tuesday, Nov. 4, and CDA needs your help in our final push to defeat Proposition 46. The ballot measure will make malpractice lawsuits against dentists and other health care providers more lucrative, significantly increasing liability insurance costs and threatening patients’ access to care. We have just one more week to go. Please turn in your vote-by-mail ballot or go to the polls next Tuesday and continue to help us inform voters about the dangers of Proposition 46.
The California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development is now accepting applications for its CalREACH program. CalREACH, which includes the California State Loan Repayment Program and the Health Professions Loan Repayment Program, offers scholarships and loan repayment opportunities to dentists and dental hygienists.
The November 2014 issue of the CDA Update includes information on CDA's sponsored bill AB 1962 being signed by the governor. Also included is the latest Ebola and infection control resources for dentists and information on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new proposed standards to cut discharges of dental amalgam to the environment under the Clean Water Act.
The CDA Foundation's Dental Materials and Supplies Grant supports nonprofit organizations with the supplies necessary for dental operations and oral health services. This unique program that works in partnership with Henry Schein Cares, epitomizing the combined commitment to give back to the industry and communities in which we serve. Selected organizations receive between $5,000 and $25,000 of in-kind goods per year for two years.
The November issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association is now available. By the end of 2014, through expanded entitlement under the Affordable Care Act, the number of children eligible for Denti-Cal benefits will exceed 5 million. The November issue of the Journal issue focuses on the workforce and training needed to care for these children.
Dentists interested in guidance on how to manage their online reputation can take advantage of CDA Endorsed Program Intuit Demandforce’s upcoming webinar on the topic. Demandforce, a marketing and communications system company that specializes in strengthening online reputations, is hosting “Own Your Online Reputation” on Nov. 6 at 4 p.m. The free webinar will teach attendees how to manage their online presence and leverage patient reviews to grow their practices.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has formally announced its search for a state dental director, posting the job description on its website. The recruitment for a state dental director comes more than 15 years after the post went unfilled due to a lack of funding and focus, and is a major achievement for the state’s oral health program and access to care planning goals.
As California approaches the second full year of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), California’s Health Benefit Exchange Board, responsible for Covered California, the state’s online insurance marketplace and for the overall implementation of the ACA in California, has announced some changes to how dental benefits will be offered in 2015.
CDA has learned that Anthem Blue Cross has sent notices to more than 7,000 California dentists in various geographical areas announcing a “fee adjustment” in a number of regions. This “adjustment” appears to be scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2015. Anthem is making other amendments to the Anthem Participating Dentist agreements as well, which apparently will be summarized on a CD to be enclosed with the notice.
The many dentists and dental professionals volunteering at CDA Cares Pomona will provide cleanings, fillings, extractions and a limited number of full and partial dentures to around 2,000 patients on Nov. 21-22 at the Pomona Fairplex. And it couldn’t happen without the support of the many sponsors. Five major sponsors, Carestream Dental, Western Dental, Henry Schein Dental, Benco Dental and TDIC will largely support the CDA Foundation’s Pomona clinic.
Registration for CDA’s 2015 Dental Benefits Workshops is now open. The Dental Benefits Workshop provides dentists the opportunity to earn C.E. credits during a two-day, in-person seminar where they will learn how to analyze and evaluate existing dental plan contract performance in their practices. The seminars will be held at CDA headquarters in Sacramento and in Irvine in 2015. Registration is now open at cda.org/dbw
CDA Endorsed Program Intuit Demandforce paid for the annual CDA memberships for two dentists at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco. Demandforce, which is a marketing and communications system company that specializes in strengthening online reputations, gave away the memberships via a randomized scratch-to-win promotion at their booths on the exhibit hall floor of the Moscone Center during the Sept. 4-6 convention. Rommel Bal, DDS, and Paul Griffith, DDS, are the dentists who were selected. Each of their full tripartite dues was paid for.
Carol Summerhays, DDS, a general dentist who practices in San Diego, has been elected president-elect of the ADA. Summerhays has held numerous ADA leadership positions and has served on various committees, including strategic planning, compensation, governance, government affairs and new dentist. She also served as CDA president in 2009, and held many positions on CDA committees and councils.
Subleasing space in a dental practice has become a popular trend for young dentists looking to test out success rates in specific geographical areas and cut down on their expenses until they get to a point in their careers when they can build out a dental office or purchase their own practice. "Shared space" agreements can get quite complex, and in these agreements, it is important for the dentist on the lease (sublessor) and the dentist who wants to use the space for a limited period of time (sublessee) to make sure the proper written agreements and consents are in place.
The ADA is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide resources, including an upcoming webinar, for dentists regarding infection control and the Ebola virus. The ADA, along with the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP), is developing a webinar focusing on infection control procedures in the dental office. The ADA and CDA will provide members with information on the webinar as soon as it is posted.
Dentists are reminded that starting Oct. 6, hydrocodone combination products such as Vicodin and Norco are classified as Schedule II drugs and require Schedule II authority to prescribe. CDA reminds dentists to visit the DEA’s website
to ensure their registration is up-to-date. Pharmacists will be checking the website for proper authority before filling Schedule II prescriptions. Dentists whose registration status is not updated should anticipate receiving pharmacists’ phone calls prior to filling prescriptions for Vicodin, Norco or similar products.
CDA President James Stephens, DDS, urges members to vote no on Proposition 46 in the November 4 general election. The primary goal of Proposition 46, sponsored by trial lawyers, is to make malpractice lawsuits against dentists and other health care providers more lucrative, which will significantly increase liability insurance costs, the volume of litigation and patients' health care costs.
The ADA will soon send out an important survey invitation to California dentists. CDA is working with ADA’s Health Policy Institute on an analysis of the capacity of the California dental care system. As part of this study, we will conduct an online survey among dentists regarding Denti-Cal participation.
CDA's advocacy efforts have resulted in Gov. Jerry Brown signing CDA's sponsored bill, AB 1962, which establishes standardized requirements for dental plans to disclose how they spend patient premium dollars, along with three other CDA-supported bills. Read a breakdown of these legislative actions.
Envisioning and goal-setting are related activities, but serve different purposes. Both are important for professional success. A practice vision is a big picture of the future of the business. Goals are guideposts to reach for that keep a dentist tracking toward his/her vision. Michael Perry, DDS, CDA director of practice management, lays out the questions dentists should ask themselves and the goals a solo general practitioner should have.
There are two important reasons why dentists need to pay attention to upcoming changes and understand the potential impact to dental patients and one's dental practice. First, with 35,000 licensed dentists in California and more than 5 million Californians enrolled in Medicare, simple arithmetic shows that there are 143 Medicare patients per dentist in the state. Secondly, CMS issued a recent rule requiring all physicians and eligible professionals — including dentists — who prescribe Part D-covered drugs to be enrolled in Medicare or opt out for those prescriptions to be covered under Part D by June 1, 2015.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released new proposed standards to cut discharges of dental amalgam to the environment under the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule would require all affected dentists to control mercury discharges to Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs). Specifically, it would require them to cut their dental amalgam discharges to a level using amalgam separators and the use of other "Best Management Practices," according to an EPA statement.
A CDA Cares volunteer dental program is scheduled for Nov. 21-22 at the Pomona Fairplex in Pomona. To help provide oral health care services to the large number of expected patients, the CDA Foundation needs various volunteer types to sign up. With the help of community volunteers, dentists and dental professionals, the program will provide at no charge cleanings, fillings, extractions, oral health education and resources for finding a dentist for follow-up care.
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed CDA-sponsored legislation into law that will bring increased accountability and transparency to dental insurance plans in California. Assembly Bill 1962, authored by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), establishes standardized requirements for dental plans to disclose how they spend patient premium dollars and puts the state on a path to establish a minimum percentage of premium dollars that must be spent on patient care.
The October 2014 issue of the CDA Update includes information on the reclassification of hydrocodone drugs. Beginning Oct. 6, hydrocodone combination products such as Vicodin and Norco will be rescheduled as Schedule II drugs instead of Schedule III. Also included in this issue are details on why dentists should vote no on Proposition 46.
The October Journal of the California Dental Association is the third and final issue focusing on interprofessional education (IPE) and practice. The goal of this series has been to identify key drivers and challenges, examine opportunities for greater interprofessional collaboration and practice, and create a vision for the dentist of the future. The issue includes a summary of the major forces driving movement toward greater integration of medicine and dentistry.
Beginning Oct. 6, hydrocodone combination products such as Vicodin and Norco will be rescheduled as Schedule II drugs instead of Schedule III. Dentists with a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration that does not include Schedule II authority will have to change it to continue prescribing/refilling certain pain-relieving medications for their patients.
Dentists have often disagreed with the business model of Yelp, but a new court ruling further protects the online rating website in how it handles its marketing tactics. Specifically, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled that it is legal for Yelp to manipulate its rating system to sell advertising, even though the company claims it does not currently do so.
A new law that takes effect in July 2015 requires nearly every employer in California to allow all of its employees at least three paid sick days each year. The new law provides that employees receive an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Caring for themselves or family members can be the reasons for taking the sick leave. Dentists should review their current sick leave policies and make sure they meet the minimum requirements of this new law.
In an effort to keep members informed about the legal action against Delta Dental, CDA is providing an update on the next steps. Hearings have been scheduled in the coming months related to the case pending before arbitrators and a separate action filed in Superior Court. In the arbitration, a hearing has been scheduled for next June, after an arbitration panel denied a motion by Delta to dismiss the case. A panel of three arbitrators found that there is sufficient evidence to allow the individual dentists to proceed with claims that Delta’s attempt to change key provisions of its participating dentist agreements violated the legal doctrine of “good faith and fair dealing.”
Based on the number of calls coming in to CDA’s Practice Support, there seems to be confusion among dentists about how to pay hygienists and associates who are classified as independent contractors. The main thing for dentists to understand is the definition of an independent contractor. A true independent contractor is a provider who works independently of the owner, has a contract with the practice to perform special services and makes their own schedule.
Parag R. Kachalia, DDS, an associate professor and the vice chair of Simulation, Technology and Research at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, held a lecture titled “An Overview of New Technology and Materials Changing Dentistry” on Sept. 5 during CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco. Kachalia sat down with CDA staff at Dugoni School of Dentistry’s new campus in San Francisco to discuss how technology is changing dentistry and how dentists can make the transition to the digital age.
There are four more opportunities in California this year to attend TDIC’s Risk Management seminar Beyond the Science: Patient emotions in dentistry. Fear, as well as anxiety and worry, may not be easily identified by the dental practitioner, which can cause big legal issues down the road. This seminar will teach attendees how to correctly handle patients who exhibit these emotions so they can keep their practice and their patients safe.
Newton Fahl, DDS, MS, who is a member of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry, director of the Fahl Center and maintains a private practice in Curitiba, Brazil, lectured on anterior composite restorations at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry on Sept. 4. In this video, he offers some basic tips on what dentists need to do to carry out "superb" composite work.
As the school year begins, with it comes popular fall sports and other outdoor activities. The California Dental Association is urging parents to protect their children’s teeth from sports-related dental injuries with the use of properly fitted mouthguards. Mouthguards are designed to help cushion the mouth, teeth and jaw, preventing significant damage where sports injuries are most prevalent. Different sports involve different levels of risk and potential injury, and while mouthguards are not required equipment in some sports, wearing one is an important precaution for athletes of any age and ability.
The California Legislature has approved a CDA-sponsored bill establishing standardized requirements for dental plans to report the amount of patient premium dollars spent directly on dental care. AB 1962, authored by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), will bring dental plan reporting to the same level as currently exists for medical plans and puts the state on a path to establish a minimum percentage of premium dollars that must be spent on patient care.
Edward Zuckerberg, DDS, knows a thing or two about social media and technology trends. If not for his time spent at the NYU College of Dentistry in the 70s and during his practicing years researching new technology and purchasing one of the first Atari and IBM computers, but also his family ties – he is the father of Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg. In fact, Mark created his first social network at age 12 in his dad’s dental office, long before Facebook. His dad, Edward, recently lectured on social media strategy for dentists at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco.
The morning meeting for a dentist and their team helps outline the patient care for the day, but it also can serve as a good time to remind staff about the importance of protecting patient information. A CDA Presents lecturer, and information security expert, lays out a list of topics dentists can discuss with their staff to make sure the practice remains HIPAA compliant.
Proposition 46 and the threat it poses to health care providers and the patients they serve was the topic of a timely lecture at CDA Presents in San Francisco. With the Nov. 4 election drawing closer, “MICRA: What Dentists Need to Know About the Threat to Malpractice Protection” outlined how Proposition 46 would raise the cap on noneconomic damages that would result in large payouts to trial lawyers, who are behind the ballot measure that also calls for physician drug testing and a statewide prescription database that jeopardizes patient privacy.
CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry took place at San Francisco’s Moscone Center last week. The event featured approximately 150 lectures and workshops and an exhibit hall packed with more than 375 companies spotlighting the latest dental products.
Now is an ideal time for dentists to re-evaluate insurance coverage, which can have huge implications on the lives of their families and their ability to retire. Life Happens, a nonprofit organization formed in 1994, has dubbed September Life Insurance Awareness Month. The associated awareness campaign is intended to help consumers understand life, disability, long-term care and health insurance.
CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry will take place Sept. 4-6 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. 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.
The CDA Foundation again provided the Bettie Underwood Dental Assisting Scholarship, selecting Stefanie Dellatori of San Diego Mesa College, to receive the financial award offered to dental assisting students in pursuit of their educational goals. Dellatori showed financial need, academic achievement and a strong desire for a career in the dental field, stating that her long-term goal is to “help patients improve their health through quality care.”
The DEA reschedule becomes effective Oct. 6, 2014. This change will impact how hydrocodone products are prescribed and dispensed in California because the requirements for prescribing and refilling C-II drugs are more restrictive than for C-III medications.
The CDA Foundation will have several activities at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco on Sept. 4-6. The popular “Wine Wall” is back as well as the Friends of the Foundation reception. Through events like these, attendees will have a number of opportunities to interact with the CDA Foundation and learn the many ways it is changing lives across the state through the generosity of dentists.
The September issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association is now available. This is the second of three Journal issues dedicated to interprofessional education (IPE) and practice. This time, pediatric colleagues in medicine and dentistry collaborate to bring together a group of authors who are national thought leaders on the subject and who are actively involved with promoting the approach in their working environments.
The campaign working to defeat Proposition 46 in November has ramped up its voter education activities by launching statewide television and radio ads to defeat the ballot initiative backed by trial lawyers. The No on 46 campaign is airing the ads in English and Spanish, highlighting the high cost of Proposition 46 — both in dollars and patient access to care — which would raise the cap on the state’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA).
The September 2014 issue of the CDA Update includes new information on the expanding "No on 46" campaign, a campaign CDA is a part of that aims to defeat Proposition 46, which would quadruple the cap on non-economic damages under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). Also included are details about the upcoming CDA Cares Solano clinic in November.
“Do you accept my insurance?” this is a question that thousands of dental offices receive from prospective patients multiple times per day throughout the country. How your dental team responds to that question can set the tone in terms of patient expectations and determine the future of the doctor- patient relationship. In recent months, the question of how dental practices should be answering that question has become a discussion point for CDA members.
Despite concerns expressed by the ADA and other stakeholders, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has finalized a rule to classify hydrocodone combination products such as Vicodin and Norco as Schedule II drugs instead of Schedule III. The reclassification, effective Oct. 6, will impact dentists with a Schedule III DEA registration because they will have to reregister with the DEA for Schedule II authority to continue prescribing/refilling certain pain-relieving medications for their patients.
The subject of medical waste disposal has been one of the more frequent questions from members coming into CDA’s Practice Support lately. The state Department of Public Health (DPH) has posted a new chart on dental medical waste disposal. While the law hasn't changed, the new chart can help dentists who are curious about the storage time for different types of medical waste.
The exhibit hall floor at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco will feature more than 375 companies, allowing dentists the ability to stay current on the latest technology trends in the industry. Located in the Moscone Center, the exhibit hall floor is 80,000 square feet and will house a plethora of dental innovation.
The CDA Foundation has announced Allen Wong, DDS, EdD, as this year’s recipient of its Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni Faculty Award. The award acknowledges and supports eligible faculty affiliated with the state’s six dental schools for their exceptional leadership, innovation, collaboration, compassion, philanthropic spirit and integrity in dental education. It was developed to support individuals who contribute to the scholarly and creative activities of California dental students.
In a new report from the ADA’s Health Policy Institute researchers found that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) expanded dependent coverage provision increased dental insurance coverage for young adults. The report, published in Medical Care, set out to "assess the effect of the Affordable Care Act’s dependent coverage policy on private dental benefits coverage, utilization and financial barriers to dental care."
As of today, users of the CDA app
have access to event information for CDA Presents The Art and Science Dentistry
in San Francisco, which is scheduled to take place Sept. 4-6 at the Moscone Center. The app offers attendees of the convention easy access to schedules and speaker information, exhibitor and product listings, real-time alerts such as course availability, event photos and information on local hotels, restaurants and attractions. The easy-to-use app is compatible with any smartphone operating on the iPhone or Android platform.
It was a week before Christmas last year when the practice of Robert Meaglia, DDS, in Rocklin was broken into through the back door. The burglars took everything they could get their hands on, from toothbrushes to a Gameboy. But the most important thing they stole was the main unencrypted computer that had all of Meaglia’s patients’ information on it.
CDA and the CDA Foundation are gearing up for the second CDA Cares clinic to be held in Southern California. CDA Cares Pomona will take place Nov. 21-22 at the Pomona Fairplex, and volunteers are urged to get involved. In addition to providing care at no charge to approximately 2,000 patients at each clinic, CDA Cares aims to educate the public, media and policymakers about the importance of good oral health and the need to find long-term solutions, such as an adequately funded dental safety net.
CDA Endorsed Program Intuit Demandforce will be paying for the annual CDA memberships for three dentists at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco. Demandforce, which is a marketing and communications system company that specializes in patient recall, will be giving away the memberships at their booths (#913 and #2138) on the exhibit hall floor of the Moscone Center during the Sept. 4-6 convention. All dentists need to do is stop by their booths, scan their CDA Presents badge and get a scratcher that will determine if they win instantly.
Running a dental practice takes a lot of knowledge that goes beyond the clinical aspects of dentistry. There are several books related to leadership that offer advice for business owners, but there are five specific publications that CDA Director of Practice Management Michael Perry, DDS, has identified that will help dentists succeed in their practices. Check out the list and start your reading today.
CDA Practice Support has received an increase in calls regarding the so-called “paperless mandate.” The calls are coming from dentists who were told by other dentists that the deadline to switch to dental electronic health records (EHR) is coming in 2015. CDA reminds dentists that there is no requirement for dental practices to go paperless. There is an incentive program for Medicaid/Medicare providers to convert to electronic health records, however. Dentists who bill Medicare and who do not convert to EHRs will eventually see reduced payments for services.
CAMBRA, which stands for Caries Management by Risk Assessment, is a research-based, systematic approach to integrate caries risk assessment as a centerpiece of the dental practice. CAMBRA aims to diagnose and prevent caries through the process of assessing a patient’s risk for caries by examining various health and lifestyle factors as part of their regular dental checkup. When Jean Creasey, DDS, introduced the principles of CAMBRA into her Nevada City practice 13 years ago, she never envisioned the benefits reaped for her patients and the practice she shares with her husband, Craig Creasey, DDS.
CDA is aware of a letter that has been posted on Facebook and circulated among members suggesting that a recent Dental Board of California disciplinary action, initiated against a dentist who does not hold the required permit for the cosmetic use of Botox and derma fillers, is actually a broad prohibition on cosmetic dental procedures. This is not true and the alarm it is generating is unwarranted.
To help member dentists on a more individual, personalized basis, CDA has launched CDA Practice Advising, an in-depth consulting service designed to help dentists practice smarter and increase their profitability. The member-only Practice Advising will help dentists develop a vision statement and a customized action plan for their business and also give them an opportunity to enhance their skills through quarterly workshops on everything from leadership and treatment planning to financial policy and case presentation. Dentists can begin now by taking an online self-assessment about their practice.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently released new safety information about multiple-use dental dispensers. The new information, released in July, includes a definition of multiple-use dental dispensers, information on the importance of infection control and a series of do’s and don’ts.
The August issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association is now available. In this issue, four authors state their differing temporomandibular disorder (TMD) philosophies. Each then reviews the other three authors’ statements of philosophy, so the reader can understand each one’s opinion, as a TMD expert, on what they feel are the differences among them. Following those reviews, the authors respond to the critiques of their individual philosophies.
Attendees of CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco will have an opportunity to take advantage of several TDIC offerings. There will be four opportunities to attend TDIC’s new Risk Management seminar, Beyond the Science: Patient emotions in dentistry. Beyond the Science: Patient emotions in dentistry will present 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; and create office protocols to instill confidence in the dentist and staff.
A legal action was filed in August 2013 by CDA and several individual dentists challenging, in part, Delta’s attempt to change Premier provider agreements. Prior to the filing, CDA learned informally of a planned rate reduction of 8 to 12 percent. A recent decision by arbitrators will allow the arbitration to proceed despite a motion by Delta to dismiss it.
CDA has heard from several members about a scam involving calls from fraudsters claiming to be IRS agents or other law enforcement authorities. The scammers threaten victims with arrest, deportation, license revocation or business closure unless the individual pays the taxes they claim are owed. The callers demand payment by way of a prepaid debit card, credit card or wire transfer. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued an alert advising those targeted by the scam on how to report it.
While the Exchange has not yet released the number of pediatric dental benefit policies sold in its first open enrollment period, the agency continues to move forward with its plans for 2015. Medical plans as well as dental plans have submitted bids to the Exchange to participate and sell policies in 2015. Those bids are sealed, so we have little detailed information on them – including any dental plans that have asked to join the Exchange – but we know that the Exchange staff is actively negotiating with plans on the premium rates being offered by those hoping to sell products in the Exchange.
With more than 700 dentists graduating from California dental schools recently, there is a wave of newly licensed professionals surfing the web and hitting the streets in search of job opportunities as associates in dental practices around the state. Simultaneously, more experienced CDA members may be expanding their practices by bringing in associate dentists as part of their long-term strategic plan. The issues surrounding dental benefit plan billing can become more confusing for the dentist(s) and office teams due to the new addition of a dentist to a practice.
There are many ways to make a difference in the lives of others and the CDA Foundation’s Legacy Giving Program is one. Through the Legacy Giving Program, dentists can incorporate a charitable donation to the Foundation in their will through estate planning. Dentists who agree to be a part of the CDA Foundation’s Legacy Giving Program are recognized by the organization. A donation of $100,000 or more in a dentist’s will is considered a “legacy gift.”
The August 2014 issue of the CDA Update includes details on the "No on 46" campaign, a campaign CDA is a part of that aims to defeat Proposition 46, which would quadruple the cap on non-economic damages under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). Also included is the latest on the legal action against Delta Dental.
Attendees of CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco can save money by registering early and booking their hotels early. Nonmember dentists, dentists from out of state and others also can save by registering for CDA Presents by Aug. 6. Below is a pricing structure for those who register for the convention by Aug. 6 and those who register between Aug. 7 and Sept. 6.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The July 2014 issue of the CDA Update includes details on the establishment of a state dental director position, a significant win for oral health. The issue also includes information on the ballot measure designed to raise the cap on MICRA and the coalition, which includes CDA, that is fighting to prevent it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The establishment of a state dental director position — a goal CDA has actively pursued for years — is slated to become a reality after the state Legislature approved the 2014-15 state budget on June 15.
Interest remains high in the provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) health reform law, as indicated by the attendance at a CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry lecture in Anaheim on the ACA. CDA Legislative Affairs Manager Nicette Short presented “National Health Care Reform: How Will It Affect Your Practice?” — a course designed to provide information about the Affordable Care Act, its scope of coverage to individuals and small businesses and its potential impact on dentists, the oral health care delivery system and the dental benefits market.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that it would be conducting a second phase of HIPAA audits. The audit program is intended to be primarily for information gathering, but the HHS Office for Civil Rights will assess whether to open a separate compliance review in cases where an audit indicates serious compliance issues. Therefore, it is important that dental practices have a current HIPAA risk analysis in place; that their Notice of Privacy Practices is current and acknowledgement of receipt forms are maintained.
To make the transition from dental school to the workforce easier, TDIC is offering newly licensed dentists their first year of Professional Liability insurance for just $50. In addition, new dentists receive a 45 percent discount in their second year of practice and a 25 percent discount in their third. Founded more than 30 years ago by CDA dentists, TDIC now protects more than 18,000 dentists nationwide.
CDA Presents continues to expand its educational opportunities for members, and the San Francisco convention on Sept. 4-6 will be yet another example of that. Attendees can expect comprehensive presentations and the newest dental equipment that is out there because CDA is one of the premier venues for displaying new products on the expansive exhibit hall floor. CDA Presents also offer dentists and staff the ability to talk amongst their peers.
Jim Wood, DDS, a general dentist from Healdsburg and CDA member since 1983, earned a convincing first place finish in the June 3 primary election in his bid for State Assembly. Wood, a Democrat, is seeking to represent the 2nd Assembly District, which covers all or part of Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity and Sonoma counties.
Dentists are faced with many career paths, especially in the first 10 years of practice. Because of this, today’s new dentists need to have the necessary business knowledge that will help set their career on the right path. To help with this, CDA is hosting a New Dentist Career Launch from July 9-11 at the CDA headquarters (1201 K Street, Sacramento). The three-day program will provide extensive and intense training intended to increase a dentist’s understanding of the nuances of a career in dentistry and guide them toward achieving professional success.
Online registration is now open for CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco, which will be held Thursday, Sept. 4, to Saturday Sept. 6, at the Moscone Center. CDA Presents offers comprehensive presentations from some of the most well known speakers in dentistry and all the latest dental technology on the market on the expansive exhibit hall floor. Those who register by Aug. 6 will receive discounted pricing.
California’s attorney general recently issued guidance on amendments to the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) that may have an impact on dental practices. CalOPPA now requires any operator of a commercial website or mobile application that collects the personally identifiable information (PII) of California residents to disclose how the website responds to “do not track” (DNT) browser signals.
CDA-sponsored legislation that would require dental plans be more transparent about how patient premium dollars are spent passed on the Assembly floor May 28 by a 76-0 vote. AB 1962 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) would require dental plans to disclose information necessary to evaluate a dental plan’s costs of administering dental care coverage in comparison to amounts paid for patient care. The bill also sets up a process for establishing a medical loss ratio (MLR) for dental plans by 2018, which would require a certain percentage of patient premium revenue to go directly toward patient care.
CDA Cares was recently selected as a Daily Point of Light Award honoree for the work the CDA Foundation has done through the volunteer dental program. The Daily Point of Light Award was established by President George H.W. Bush to recognize the power of individuals and groups to spark change and improve the world. In a letter sent to the CDA Foundation from the Points of Light program, the efforts of CDA Cares were said to “honor the legacy of this award, demonstrating the power of service to create tangible change … Your efforts are a remarkable example of the generosity and compassion that make our communities stronger and better.”
There will be a plethora of learning opportunities and new technology on display at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry on Sept. 4-6 in San Francisco at the Moscone Center, but attendees can also take advantage of the various activities the city has to offer in the evenings. CDA Presents attendees who are coming from far away or even locally can plan their trip ahead of time in order to take in the lectures, workshops and exhibit hall floor during the day and then experience the sights and sounds of San Francisco nightlife afterward. Registration is now open.
Social media is no longer considered a fad, and the numbers back it up – 63 percent of online adults use Facebook every day and 71 percent of all online adults use Facebook. On top of this, more than 27 million pieces of content are produced daily online. For dentists who are looking to get their practice started on social media, this can be a lot to take in. But one CDA Presents lecturer says there is an easy way for dentists to start: post about their passion.
The Dentists Insurance Company reports an increase in claims related to oral cancer and advises dentists to conduct regular oral cancer screenings on all patients. In addition to consistent documentation of screenings, follow-up and referral of any suspicious lesion or area is strongly recommended. An attorney who has specialized in defending dentists for more than 40 years weighs in precautions dentists should take if they find a lesion or spot that looks unusual.
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.
While visiting their church for food the morning of April 26, Vallejo cousins, Maurice and Ivy, heard about CDA Cares at the Solano County Fairgrounds, where dentists and dental professionals were providing dental care at no charge through the CDA Foundation. Despite the seven mile distance between their church and the fairgrounds, the men decided to embark on a long walk to see if they could get help for Ivy, who was in pain and desperate need of dental care. It took a couple of hours to reach the fairgrounds, and seeing the long line of patients, the cousins decided to pass the time by creating a rap tune -- something they had been doing together for 30 years as "TOS" (True Old School).
The June 2014 issue of the CDA Update includes highlights from two of CDA's main programs: CDA Cares and CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry. Specifically, the issue has a two-page photo spread from the CDA Cares Solano dental clinic and a recap of all of the events at CDA Presents in Anaheim.
The June Journal of the California Dental Association is now available. This issue is not about disasters in the dental office but disasters and the dental office. The authors cover forensic dentists and mass fatalities, volunteer opportunities for dental health care professionals, property emergencies and prevention strategies, business continuation planning and new advancements in forensic dental identification.
Interoffice dating can be tricky. Potential landmines include sexual harassment claims, allegations of favoritism, low morale, breakup drama and decreased productivity that can affect the entire dental office, especially if a workplace relationship goes bad. The Dentists Insurance Company recommends a policy defining the consequences of interoffice dating among employees. The policy should include expectations that an office relationship is separate from the work environment and should outline appropriate behavior, such as banning public displays of affection and retaliation if the relationship ends.
Dental patients can be nervous when they enter a practice. In fact, it is estimated that 75 percent of U.S. adults experience some degree of dental fear. But fear, as well as anxiety and worry, may not be easily identified by the dental practitioner, which can cause big legal issues down the road. That is why TDIC is launching a new Risk Management seminar to teach dentists how to correctly handle patients who exhibit these emotions so they can keep their practice, and their patients, safe.
CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry gave attendees a chance to hear and see all of the latest trends and technology in the profession. Attendees left the May 15-17 feeling energized about dentistry and about going back to their practices, said CDA Presents Board of Managers Chair Del Brunner, DDS. Courses ranged in topics from leveraging social media in the dental office, implementing CAMBRA and how to be in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Since the beginning of the year, CDA has been contacted by several members questioning the validity of such programs after being contacted by someone representing "Meet the 2014 Top Rated Doctors and Dentists" and "Top Doc." Similar marketing programs geared for dentists and physicians have operated in California and nationwide over the past several years. CDA urges members to seek legal advice and carefully review any contracts before signing up for any marketing arrangement with any company. In particular, as with any business arrangement, members should be aware of the term of the contract and whether they may terminate the contract early in the event the services fail to meet their expectations.
CDA and a coalition of health care organizations are gearing up to defeat a November ballot initiative that would raise a malpractice cap on non-economic damages, resulting in devastating effects on California’s health care system.
Secure electronic transmission of protected health information is one of the many requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule. Dental practices should review the rule requirements to ensure compliance. More and more resources are becoming available for dentists to use to stay compliant. The ADA has launched a new kit, for example, that helps dental practices comply with HIPAA. CDA's HIPAA Security Rule: A Summary resource can be found on cda.org/Privacy-HIPAA. Also, the Department of Health and Human Services has a Guidance on Risk Analysis resource on its website hhs.gov.
Once a dentist is ready to embark on the journey of practice ownership, there are a lot of next steps. One of those steps is knowing the right way to go about making an offer on an existing practice, should that be the route the dentist takes. A new chapter in CDA's Guide for the New Dentist titled "Practice Start-up and Purchase Process" covers the topic, as well as other critical information on the many facets of dental practice start-ups, acquisitions, and considerations that apply to both.
Those who don't want to miss out on any of the action during CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim can visit the Social Hub for all of the latest photos and more. CDA staff is posting attendee photos from the Anaheim Convention Center as they are collected at the May 15-17 meeting and posting them on the Social Hub at cdapresents.com/socialhub. It is anticipated that more than 20,000 people will attend the meeting that will feature more than 100 C.E. lectures and workshops and an exhibit hall floor packed with 575 companies spotlighting the latest dental technology.
The ability to understand and recognize different personalities in the practice can be something that helps with patient treatment acceptance and relationship issues with co-workers. The main personality types in the dental practice are: the Driver, Intuitive, the Stabilizer and the Calculator. Michael Perry, DDS, CDA director of practice management breaks down each.
Dental students and recent graduates interested in providing care in a community clinic have the opportunity to do the work they love and get help with their student debt at the same time, thanks to the CDA Foundation's Student Loan Repayment Grant. The grant awards selected recent dental school/specialty graduates funding to help repay their educational loans 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.
CDA receives calls regularly from dentists about claims payments as it relates to dental benefit plans. CDA dental benefits analyst Ann Milar discusses some of the issues in this area that dentists run into and what dental plans can do. Specifically, Milar suggests if a dentist is a contracted, participating provider for a dental plan, they should have a provider handbook or manual that outlines the plan’s payment and processing guidelines. Most dental plan provider contracts require that the provider understand these guidelines.
CDA is aware of a tax return identity theft scheme that is targeting dentists and physicians. Initially, the fraud was reported by practitioners in other states, but it now seems that the scheme has made its way to California.
Those who are unable to attend CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim this month will still have the opportunity to participate in some of the most popular lectures at the meeting through CDA’s live streaming option. CDA will be live broadcasting four of the sessions that will take place at the meeting set for May 15-17 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Dentists will earn C.E. and even be able to participate in the Q&A.
Legislation that could have significantly limited the use of cone-beam radiographic equipment in dental offices failed to advance on April 28 at a hearing of the Senate Business and Professions Committee. Current state law prohibits health care providers from “self-referring” patients to themselves for diagnostic procedures such as laboratory tests and radiographs, but specifically exempts procedures ordered and performed in a provider’s own office. SB 1215, authored by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), would have eliminated this in-office exemption for “advanced imaging.”
A dentist’s business plan is a critical tool for starting a practice. It provides the blueprint for how the dentist will establish a successful practice and it demonstrates to a lender how well they have researched and thought out the necessary elements of a practice. The real value of creating a business plan for a dentist, however, lies in the simple process of researching and thinking about their business in a systematic way. CDA Practice Support has a business plan template available to member dentists at cda.org/practicesupport
that is modifiable to fit their particular circumstance.
Many patients at the CDA Foundation’s CDA Cares programs are struggling to find employment because of the state of their oral health and the impact it has on their appearance. CDA Cares aims to provide dental care and oral health education at no charge to Californians who experience barriers to care, and provide them with a pathway to employment.
The exhibit hall floor at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry will boast nearly 100 new dental product launches, allowing dentists the ability to stay current on the latest trends in the industry. Located in the Anaheim Convention Center, the exhibit hall floor is 135,000 square feet and will feature 575 exhibiting companies. In total there will be 97 new product launches happening at CDA Presents.
May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, which makes it a good time for dentists to make sure that their futures are protected. Dentists who do not have disability insurance and/or business overhead expense insurance, are one accident away from having to deal with insurmountable office overhead expenses and the possibility of being forced into closing their practice. TDIC is encouraging dental professionals to consider the important role disability insurance plays in an individual’s financial security.
In the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of health care professionals reporting allergic reactions to latex. Because frequent exposure to latex products can lead to increased sensitivity, health care professionals are at a higher risk of developing an allergy to latex proteins. CDA Endorsed Program PureLife weighs in on the problems, reactions and precautions associated with latex gloves.
The California Dental Association Foundation’s two-day dental clinic, CDA Cares, provided nearly $1.5 million in charitable dental services to 1,959 people during the April 25-26 event in Solano County. The fifth event since 2012, the CDA Foundation and CDA host CDA Cares to provide dental services and oral health education at no charge to Californians who experience barriers to care.
The Dentists Insurance Company reports repeated calls to its Advice Line about harassment of dental staff by patients or vendors. Federal and state laws forbid harassment of employees, and dentists have an obligation as employers to maintain a safe workplace. Further, dentists can be held liable if a harassment situation is not addressed, according to an attorney specializing in labor and employment law.
Be part of the action at the CDA Cares dental event in Solano County by viewing on-site photos from the Solano County Fairgrounds at the “Social Hub
.” CDA staff will post photos and videos from the clinic being held April 25-26 as they are collected onto the Social Hub. The site also features CDA’s live Twitter feed. To follow all social activity on Twitter and Instagram at CDA Cares use the hashtag #cdacares.
The May 2014 issue of the CDA Update includes the latest news on CDA's sponsored bill that targets low-value dental plans. The issue also has information on a state dental director being included in the governor's budget update. Also highlighted are the new product launches taking place at CDA Presents.
The May issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association is now available. It covers a variety of topics including nutrition and periodontal disease, dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, factors affecting dentists’ incomes and more. One specific clinical case report describes the steps involved in treatment planning, treatment, laboratory communication and materials for the replication of natural polychromicity to restore and match incisors to the rest of the natural teeth.
CDA received a ruling on April 10 from the arbitrators hearing the case against Delta Dental, who decided that CDA cannot participate as a claimant in the arbitration because CDA itself is not a party to the Premier provider agreement that contains the arbitration clause. However, CDA can still offer legal representation to all dentists who are parties to the binding arbitration and will continue to work with and support them throughout the proceedings.
CDA-sponsored legislation to require dental plans to adhere to the same administrative cost limitations as medical plans took a major step forward April 8. AB 1962 passed the Assembly Health Committee on a 15-3 vote over strong opposition from the dental plan industry. AB 1962 would remove the dental plan exemption from state law that requires health plans to allocate a minimum of 80 percent of their premium revenue to actual patient care.
May 1 marks the date of formal restoration of adult benefits in the Denti-Cal program. CDA offers a few suggestions to help dentists make sure they are prepared for the program to return: familiarize yourself with the benefits available to adults; confirm that you are an enrolled provider in the Denti-Cal program; and attend the lecture that will cover the renewed program at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in Anaheim.
Available for download now from the iTunes App Store and the Google Play store, the new CDA app features sections for CDA Presents, the latest dentistry and member news, practice support information and member surveys. The app has a comprehensive and intuitive home screen that makes navigation seamless.
CDA has recently learned that the Dental Board of California has begun taking disciplinary action against dentists who are providing Botox/Dysport or derma filler treatments to patients for cosmetic purposes or teaching courses to dentists to do so.
As of March 31, the first open enrollment period in health care reform implementation through the California Health Benefit Exchange’s individual market (Covered California) is in the books. So, it is now time to start thinking about what happens next for the people who have new dental policies and what treating these patient will mean for dentists. If and when a patient comes into your office with Covered California dental coverage, it is important to remember that what they really have is private dental insurance.
CDA is now recruiting for volunteer leadership positions beginning service in November 2014. The online application process takes about 20 minutes to complete, and applicants can apply for positions on CDA councils, committees and boards as well as for shorter-term positions on task forces and workgroups or serving as a CDA Presents host or assistant.
If you forgot to register online for CDA Cares Solano, April 25-26, you can still volunteer. Dentists and dental professionals are needed for Friday, April 25 at the Solano County Fairgrounds, 900 Fairgrounds Drive, Vallejo. Go to volunteer registration at McCormack Hall. The goal of CDA Cares is to relieve pain and infection and educate the public and policymakers about the importance of good oral health and the need for an adequately funded dental safety net. Since 2012, the CDA Cares volunteer dental program has provided $6 million in care to more than 8,000 patients.
The Scholastic education component of the Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign led by the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives and the Ad Council has created a big impact in classrooms across America. Since launching last October, Scholastic’s “Two Minutes, Twice a Day” in-school program materials were delivered to 125,000 teachers nationwide via print and have reached more than 3,750,000 children and their families.
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to raise public awareness of the disease. According to National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates, there were more than 40,000 cases of oral and pharynx (throat) cancer in 2013 and nearly 7,900 deaths. NCI estimates that 1.4 percent of all cancer deaths are from oral cancers. There are many educational materials available that dentists can print and share with their patients.
The CDA Foundation has numerous grants and scholarships available throughout the year with various deadlines and submission periods. Currently, the CDA Foundation is accepting applications for the Student Loan Repayment Grant, Humanitarian Award and the Latinos for Dental Careers Scholarship.
CDA and a coalition of health care organizations are ready to fight a ballot measure over California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), which now appears inevitable after trial lawyers submitted more than 800,000 signatures to qualify their anti-MICRA initiative for the November ballot.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a new security risk assessment tool that helps dentists and other health care professionals be in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It is important for dentists to conduct a security risk assessment as required by HIPAA to protect their patients' information and minimize liability risk. A recent review of HIPAA enforcement actions reveals that entities were penalized for not having a documented risk analysis or for having an incomplete analysis.
Inquiries have increased to CDA Practice Support recently on the subject of movie licensing. Dental practices are being contacted by mail or in person by individuals seeking to collect licensing fees. Many dentists assume it is OK to play movies