Drug monitoring programs help patients and dentists
In 2013, more than 137 million prescriptions of hydrocodone were dispensed in the U.S. Unfortunately, these drugs are also the most addictive and potentially deadly of prescription drugs. In the midst of intensified focus on opioid analgesics and rising abuse rates, public health agencies and government regulators are responding, and thoughtful, evidence-based prescribing is a necessity. With such an important and prominent issue, The Dentists Insurance Company (TDIC) offers advice to dentists.
Questions to ask during an associate interview
From the perspective of a practice owner, choosing a professional associate may be one of the most important decisions that dentist will ever make. This choice will affect the staff, the well being of the practice, and the welfare of the patients. Many practice owners decide to take on an associate with the goal to offer extended hours, gain clinical support and companionship, provide mentorship and allow for the sharing of ideas on complicated cases, work toward retirement and relieve the owner of some of the patient load and help grow the practice. But before any of that begins, an interview must take place.
Dentists should choose their Medicare status now
Medicare has given dentists and other health care providers until June 1, 2016, to declare whether they will opt in or opt out of the program. However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is encouraging providers to get their forms into the state Medicare administrator by the first of the year to assure that a provider’s status is recorded by the June 1 date, as it will take the administrators four to six months to process forms.
Your holiday shopping can help the CDA Foundation
Those who enjoy shopping online and donating to charitable organizations can now do both at the same time. The CDA Foundation has partnered with AmazonSmile, a website operated by Amazon that has the same products and prices as Amazon.com, but donates 0.5 percent of the price of eligible purchases to charitable organizations selected by the customer.
Online dues renewal now open
Online dues renewal for CDA members is now open. Members can renew their dues in full or enroll in the electronic dues payment program (EDP) and pay in equal monthly installments automatically deducted from a designated checking account.
Four tips on holiday pay in the dental practice
With the holidays upon us, some dentists and their staff may begin to think about time off. With this in mind, understanding employment laws related to holiday pay is important. CDA Practice Support has compiled four tips dentists should consider in terms of holiday pay.
Field Poll shows support for taxing e-cigarettes
Recent Field Poll results released in November showed strong support for taxing and regulating electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), a key component of the 2016 ballot measure submitted by the Save Lives California coalition, of which CDA is a member, that will prevent smoking. Almost three in four California voters (74 percent) favor taxing e-cigarettes and vaping products. A sizeable majority of Californians correctly views e-cigarettes as a danger to public health and 71 percent believe that e-cigarettes contribute to teens becoming addicted to tobacco.
CDA-secured rate cut reversal takes effect
In a significant victory for CDA advocacy, the California Department of Health Care Services has announced that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved the 10 percent rate cut reversal for dental services that was included in the 2015-16 California budget. CDA strongly advocated for the rate cut reversal, which applies to Denti-Cal and not broadly to all Medi-Cal providers.
Learn how to handle 'dental fear' in patients
Beyond the Science: Patient Emotions in Dentistry is now open at tdicinsurance.com/seminars. 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.
$750 million investment coming for Denti-Cal
California and the federal government have reached a significant agreement that will ensure an additional $750 million investment in California’s Denti-Cal program over a five-year time frame.  The majority of the funding focuses on the medical portion of the state’s Medicaid program, including investments in the state’s public hospital system and a county-based pilot project to provide more integrated care for high-risk, vulnerable populations. The goal is to reform the delivery system and develop outcome improvements with the long-term goal of reducing costs to the state and federal government.
Adult dental now available through Covered California
Covered California, California’s health insurance marketplace for the federal Affordable Care Act, is now offering family dental plans to purchase for the 2016 benefit year. The standalone family dental plans are available in addition to the children’s dental coverage included as an essential health benefit for consumers younger than 19 years old.
CDA Cares volunteer reflects on past, passion to help
Santos Cortez, DDS, was born in Tulare, Calif., a Central Valley town where his parents were farmworkers who came to the U.S. on a government program. Cortez and his parents lived on the farm where they picked fruit and vegetables. Cortez, who is now a pediatric dentist in Long Beach, recently returned to the Central Valley as a volunteer for CDA Cares Fresno. He couldn’t help but wonder whether he would have sat in the dental chair if CDA Cares had been available when he was a child.
Shift in credit card fraud liability has occurred
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. Acceptance of EMV will not technically be mandated for practices that accept credit or debit cards, but a shift in fraud liability began in October.
Hearing set for CDA v. Delta
CDA is scheduled to present further evidence in its legal case against Delta Dental at a hearing scheduled Nov. 16 in San Francisco Superior Court. This is a further hearing on CDA’s “standing” as an association to represent its members in challenging Delta’s actions relating to reduced fee reimbursements to Premier dentists under the Delta Participating Dentist Agreement (“PDA”). While arguments on CDA’s legal standing to represent members in the case were presented earlier this year, the judge had remaining questions and allowed both parties to gather evidence to present at the upcoming hearing.
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