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2019

CDA Cares San Bernardino provides nearly $1.5 million in care

Thousands of patients and volunteers flocked to the National Orange Show Events Center at the CDA Foundation’s 16th CDA Cares volunteer dental clinic to receive and provide dental care at no cost. Dentists and dental professionals performed 10,412 procedures, including fillings, extractions and cleanings, providing $1.46 million in care to 1,626 people. The event took place Sept. 27-28 in San Bernardino for the first time.

Health entity fined for failure to provide timely patient records

A medical center in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the first to face enforcement action by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for failing to promptly provide a patient with medical records. The HHS Office for Civil Rights announced early this year that it would vigorously enforce its Right of Access Initiative that allows patients to receive copies of their medical records promptly and without being overcharged.

Do you know where your data is?

Ransomware attacks on health care facilities are increasing, as are the financial losses incurred by them. In one case reported to TDIC, a dentist had to replace software in the practice due to the extensive damage caused by a virus that gained access through an email attachment. The expenses totaled $49,000 to restore the data, decrypt the data and pay the ransom.

Prepare for CDT 2020 dental code changes

CDA encourages dentists to prepare for CDT 2020 dental code additions, revisions and deletions that go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. The new year will bring 37 new and five revised codes, plus six deleted codes. While dental plans are required to recognize current CDT codes, it is important to keep in mind that they are not required to pay for or provide benefits for the new or revised codes. Dentists should review each dental plan’s payment and processing guidelines to determine whether benefits will be payable.

Prescribers can check CURES for misuse of prescription pads

A dentist who writes controlled substance prescriptions can now review CURES (Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System) for patients for whom the dentist is listed as a prescriber. This ability to review the list is useful when a dentist has misplaced a prescription pad or has had a prescription pad stolen or when a dentist suspects someone is misusing their DEA number.

Oh baby, baby! A practical guide to managing pregnant employees in your practice

Every employer at a dental practice will likely manage a pregnant employee at least once in their career, and most employers will have at least one question about pregnancy leave and the law. CDA Practice Support has received calls from puzzled members inquiring about the obligations associated with managing employees’ accommodations, benefits, leave and return rights and pay obligations.

No 'one size fits all' when it comes to dental benefit contracting

Adding or dropping a contract with a dental benefit plan is a personal business decision. There is no “one size fits all” in these types of business decisions, as what might work for one dentist might not work for another. You may be asking yourself how a dentist can make a good decision about adding or dropping a dental plan/network participation, but there is one key element in each success story.

When smartphones, side gigs and odors disrupt the office

With so much emphasis on the need for employers to establish written policies mandated by federal, state and local laws, it’s easy to overlook the important day-to-day employee management policies on everything from hygiene and smoking to use of personal electronic devices. Discussed below are four areas of employee conduct and attire expectations that you might consider addressing through a workplace policy, if you don’t already have one in place.

Treatment templates: Convenient or careless?

The day-to-day running of a practice can be hectic at times, so many dental professionals use set systems and procedures to streamline their work. After all, less time on the backend means more time on patient care. But occasionally, cutting corners can lead to unwanted risk. This is especially true when it comes to patient records. Taking shortcuts on charting, such as using preestablished templates, can cause more headaches down the road.

Final EPA rule prohibits 'sewering' of pharmaceutical hazardous waste

Health care facilities that produce pharmaceutical hazardous waste are required to properly manage the disposal of that waste according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Among other provisions, the EPA’s finalized rule issued in July prohibits facilities from pouring pharmaceutical hazardous waste down sink drains or toilets, a practice known as “sewering.”

What’s covered and who pays what: It’s all in the EOB

Congratulations — the dental plan paid the claim! Or did they? Confirmation that your claim has been processed comes in two forms: payment and/or an explanation of benefits. An EOB is sent to the patient and/or dental office as a receipt of services provided. Unfortunately, dental plans do not have standardized formats for these documents, which is why it’s necessary for an office to read the EOB completely.

'Life-changing' grants awarded to 38 dentists committed to Medi-Cal

Marc Bernardo, DMD, MPH, and Michelle Galeon, DMD, are among the first recipients of a new grant funded by Proposition 56, a voter-approved tobacco tax that CDA and other health care organizations sponsored in 2016. The grant program awarded $10 million in debt relief to 38 dentists (up to $300,000 each) in exchange for the dentists maintaining a 30% or more Medi-Cal patient caseload for five years.

New state law prohibits discrimination based on natural hairstyle

A new state law prohibits discrimination on the basis of hair textures or protective hairstyles that are historically associated with race. Senate Bill 188, also known as the CROWN Act, was signed in July by Gov. Gavin Newsom and will take effect Jan. 1, 2020. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act was amended by the law to include in the definition of race “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.”

New safety sharps product available to dentists

A new safety sharps product, the Verena Solutions SimpleCAP, is available to dentists and can be purchased from most major suppliers. Dental practices are required by the Cal/OSHA bloodborne pathogens regulation to regularly evaluate the appropriateness of using safety sharps with the goal of reducing needlesticks and other “sharps” injuries that can cause exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

WEO Media

Manage your practice’s reputation and grow and maintain your patient base with expert consulting and a broad range of marketing services. WEO Media offers CDA members free assessments and discounted start-up costs.

Staples

Save on office supplies and streamline shopping. Through Staples Business Advantage program, CDA members get special pricing on janitorial and breakroom supplies, technology, furniture, custom printing, promotional products, and more. Plus, one-day delivery is free on most online orders.

Staples

HR for Health

Minimize your human resources risks and increase employee performance. Automate workflows for required employment documentation, customize your employee handbook, use metric-based performance management tools and track time and attendance. Plus, access healthcare-focused human resources specialists and attorneys. HR for Health offers CDA members free risk assessments and discounted start-up costs.

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