There are varying interpretations related to C.E. cost, or any training for that matter. The Practice Support Center weighs in on how to handle paying a staff member for attending a required course.
After a rocky first few days following its long-anticipated Oct. 1 opening for enrollment, Covered California, the state health insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), has now reported some data on the number of consumers who have been able to access health insurance through the new marketplace. CDA remains actively engaged in all of the ACA’s implementation details and can be a resource to members interested in finding out more about the new law and how it may impact dentists and dentistry.
The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is implementing cuts for Denti-Cal providers that were originally authorized through the state budget process in 2011. Initially, it was thought that the 10 percent rate cut applied to all services provided on and after Sept. 5, 2013. However, recent clarification by the state explained that it is implementing the cuts on all payment checks cut on Sept. 5 and ongoing, even if the services were provided in previous months.
Jim Wood, DDS, a general dentist in Cloverdale since 1987 and the current vice mayor of his hometown of Healdsburg, has formally launched his campaign for a State Assembly seat in the 2014 election season. If elected, Wood would become the second dentist currently serving in the state Legislature, joining Sen. Bill Emmerson, DDS, of Redlands, whose tenure will be ending due to term limits in 2016.
Dentists just out of dental school spend much of their time marketing themselves to prospective employers. Things quickly change once they enter the workforce and they are responsible for both building and maintaining a reliable patient base. On top of providing patients with high-quality care and presenting a welcoming environment, dentists also can implement several marketing and advertising strategies that will help them hit the ground running on building up a patient base.
The Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives is implementing a national oral health campaign on Nov. 1 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.
Since 2002, the CDA Foundation’s Student Loan Repayment Grant program has helped 13 dentists work in community clinics where they’ve seen more than 62,000 patients and provided nearly $16 million in care for individuals who would otherwise go without. Six of those 13 dentists visited the CDA headquarters recently to share their stories of working in community clinics.
CDA is conducting a survey of member preferences regarding services provided by the Practice Support Center. The survey, from HSM Group, will provide an opportunity to offer feedback about the types of services you want and need from the PSC.
Several major sponsors, through in-kind donations and resources, are helping the CDA Foundation’s efforts to put on a successful CDA Cares program in San Diego in December. On top of the high level of support from Presenting Sponsor Benco Dental Company, the county of San Diego, Carestream Dental, Henry Schein, Aribex and Farmers Insurance are all providing significant support for the CDA Cares volunteer dental program scheduled for Dec. 7-8 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 7 signed into law legislation sponsored by CDA that will equalize the state’s regulatory standards governing portable dental practices and mobile dental vans.
On Oct. 1, Delta Dental of California issued a formal Answer to the Demand for Arbitration. Delta asserts that it has the right to amend Participating Dentist Agreements based on language in the contracts and its notification to the Department of Managed Health Care indicating that it intends to revise the provider agreements.
While it is only October, now is the time to begin planning to make 2014 a productive and profitable year for your practice. Having proper instrumentation is critical to practicing dentistry and providing excellent care to your patients. It is equally important that your front office staff have the right resources and tools for ensuring quick and timely payment of claims. There are hundreds of practice support resources available cda.org/compass
There are many life-changing moments that happen at every CDA Cares program, and it wouldn’t be possible without the help of a multitude of volunteers. The CDA Foundation is seeking volunteer dentists, including oral surgeons, lab technicians, dental hygienists and assistants, and other team members to volunteer at CDA Cares San Diego at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Dec. 7-8.
The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives and the Ad Council have joined together with Scholastic to launch an educational component of the Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to educate parents and children about the importance of proper oral care, create and distribute educational oral health-themed materials, and direct educators, community leaders and parents to visit the campaign website, 2min2x.org.
The combination of a HIPAA deadline and vendor communications about the deadline recently sent many CDA members to the Internet and telephone to find out what assistance they could get from the Practice Support Center. Callers had specific questions on the requirement to securely transmit protected health information to other dental practices.
A few Northern California public health departments are ordering mandatory flu vaccine or mask-wearing for health care workers, including dentists. The order applies to dental practices in Santa Clara, Sacramento and Contra Costa Counties.
The Fifth Annual CDA “Ken Sanford Memorial Motorcycle Ride” in September raised a record amount for the CDA Foundation and its programs. The motorcycle ride, during which dentists rode for 300-400 miles from Windsor through the Northern California coast and wine country, raised $9,250, which is $3,350 more than last year’s ride.
The CDA Foundation and the UCSF School of Dentistry are attempting to alter the way dentists prevent caries through a practice-based clinical trial, and volunteers are needed. The Caries Management By Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) Practice-Based Research Network formalizes the process to assess a patient’s risk for caries by examining various health and lifestyle factors as part of their regular dental checkup. The Foundation and UCSF are looking to expand an already established research network, which focuses on the implementation of CAMBRA.
Dentists interested in transitioning from paper to electronic records will benefit from the “checklist” resources available on the CDA Compass. The Dental Software Evaluation and Selection Checklist, Dental Software Contracts Checklist and Dental Software Implementation and Training Checklist prompt dentists to consider how they may address issues that arise during the software implementation phase.
The registration deadline for CDA’s Dental Benefits Workshop has been extended to Nov. 15. The workshop is intended to help dentists who want to build their business skills and confidence, as well as improve practice profitability when dealing with dental plans.
The California Dental Association Foundation is pleased to announce a significant donation from new sponsor Farmers Insurance, which donated $15,000 to the Foundation in support of its CDA Cares volunteer dental program in San Diego scheduled Dec. 7-8. To date, with the help of 4,559 volunteers, CDA Cares has provided $4.4 million in care to 5,878 patients.
After months of intense preparation, Covered California, the health insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), began its open enrollment period on Oct. 1. Consumers can now begin the process of comparing and purchasing affordable medical and dental insurance coverage online, and Covered California is offering in-person and phone support for those who need it.
After nearly a year of consideration by two community advisory commissions, the Berkeley City Council voted 6-3 last week in favor of a resolution that encourages, but does not require, reduced use of dental amalgam and other potential sources of mercury exposure. The final resolution is consistent with CDA’s belief that the decision to use amalgam should remain an informed choice that is made by each individual patient in consultation with his or her dentist.
To help capture the passion its members have for organized dentistry, CDA has launched the #cdaproud social media contest. To participate in the contest, which begins Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 31, CDA's Facebook fans can take a photo of themselves posing with their CDA orange or any CDA clothing/materials (including but not limited to T-shirts, publications, merchandise from the online store, etc.) and tag their photo caption with #cdaproud.