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2019

'ABC test' is now the law, but it's not a free ticket for independent contractors

Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, it will be more difficult for most employers in California to classify workers as independent contractors, rather than employees, and in some cases will make employees out of independent contractors. And although CDA secured an exemption for dentists, employee classification still isn’t clear-cut, and dentists will need to err on the side of caution when classifying their workers.

After wildfires, California dentists make progress, recall generosity

Five months after the catastrophic Camp and Woolsey wildfires tore through more than 250,000 acres in Northern and Southern California, life and work are far from routine for dentists who lost their practices or homes — or both — in the fires. But many are beginning to find some semblance of daily structure and make long-term plans with the help of their colleagues and the dental community.

Antibiotics not needed to manage most pulpal-related dental pain, ADA guideline advises

A new guideline from the American Dental Association advises against using antibiotics to manage pain and swelling for most pulpal and periapical conditions in immunocompetent adults. The guideline, published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, recommends only the use of dental treatment for pulpal and periapical conditions. The new guideline comes at a time when antibiotics are under scrutiny.

Auto-adjudication can expedite claims processing, but it can also confuse dentists

Today, many dental benefit plans use auto-adjudication to process a high number of their claims. While auto-adjudication can speed up claim processing, if an office is not aware that this type of technology is being used, the office can be confused and frustrated by processing errors as the result of manual claims submission. The following three examples illustrate how a plan might use auto-adjudication and how that process might affect dental reimbursement.

Avoid medication-related tragedies with comprehensive health History Forms

Take two of these and call me in the morning. That may have been sage advice a generation ago, but today, dispensing medication requires much more scrutiny. Americans are taking more prescription drugs than ever before, meaning health professionals, including dentists, must use extra precaution when dispensing and prescribing routine medications as part of an overall treatment plan.

Bank of America

Facilitate growth and improve your cash flow with financial services designed for dentists, including solutions for dental equipment and office start-up, debt consolidation and loans for real estate, practice acquisition and expansion. Bank of America offers CDA members reduced administration fees and flexible terms.

Becoming a California-licensed RDA

CDA Practice Support developed and published in April two new resources for practice owners who wish to help put their staff on the proper path to become a California-registered dental assistant. Both resources are in a one-page format that is easy to follow.

“Steps to Becoming a California-Registered Dental Assistant” outlines the required hours of work experience or formal training and dental board-approved courses that must be completed prior to taking the written RDA licensure examination. Final steps for completing and mailing the application are included.

Before recording, protect private patient information

Surveillance cameras in dental offices are becoming more and more common. The driving force behind them is typically security, as cameras can aid in loss control, deter theft and discourage other criminal activity. But cameras are not without their drawbacks. Prior to hitting the record button, practice owners should be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding their use. While laws vary from state to state, there are some basic guidelines.

CareCredit

Increase case acceptance with friendly patient financing options and connect to new patients who are looking to finance treatment. CareCredit offers CDA members a special rate to get started offering healthcare credit cards.

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.

CDA Foundation’s 2019 grant recipient aims to bridge gap in oral health care

From a young age, Matthew Mecheal, DDS, has been sure about two things: his passion for helping others and his love for dentistry. Through the years, he never lost sight of his goals or the values that were instilled in him many years ago. As an advocate for the underserved and this year’s recipient of the CDA Foundation’s Student Loan Repayment Grant, Dr. Mecheal plans to focus on his personal objective to improve the oral health of underserved communities and minimize barriers to care.

Compliance essentials: Hiring and paying temporary employees

Commonly, a dental practice will hire a temporary dental assistant, hygienist or front-office staff to fill in briefly for employee sick days, when the practice’s needs have increased or for an employee’s long-term leave of absence. CDA Practice Support finds that many employers are still puzzled about the requirements when hiring, classifying and properly paying these short-term employees.

Deadline to cash Delta Dental settlement checks approaching

Delta Premier Providers who are class members of the Delta Dental class action lawsuit have until June 14, 2019, to cash their settlement checks. The $65 million settlement is the result of legal action CDA filed against Delta on behalf of members. Most settlement checks sent to approximately 14,000 class members have been cashed, but the class action settlement administrator reports that more than 500 settlement checks have yet to be cashed.

Dental board's sunset review bill includes clarifications on licensure

The Dental Board of California is undergoing its sunset review in the state Legislature. In Assembly Bill 1519, authored by the Assembly Business and Professions Committee, the dental board provides a status update to the Legislature and identifies opportunities for improvement. CDA has particular interest in three areas of the dental board’s sunset review bill, including clarifying how an applicant can obtain a new license after their initial license has expired.

Dental practice pays $10K to settle disclosures of patients' PHI on social media

A private dental practice in Dallas, Texas, has agreed to pay $10,000 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights to settle potential violations of the HIPAA privacy rule. The HHS reported that the OCR completed its investigation of a complaint by a patient who alleged that the practice disclosed on social media the patient’s last name and the details of the patient’s health condition.

Dentists encouraged to respond to Delta Dental recoupment demand

CDA has learned that due to a Delta Dental of California system error, crown procedure claims were erroneously processed and paid for, affecting approximately 350 self-funded employer groups between Oct. 13, 2018 and Jan. 10, 2019. Statements were sent to approximately 1,000 California dentists beginning the week of Oct. 21 seeking recoupment for procedure codes D2750-D2752 and D279-D2792.

Dentists must screen patients for measles, other ATDs, prior to providing treatment

As the number of measles cases in California and at least 25 other states continues to rise, becoming the highest number of reported cases in the U.S. since 1994, dental practices should ensure that they are screening patients for the highly contagious virus and other aerosol transmissible diseases prior to providing treatment.

Dentists required by new law to use updated informed consent form

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation that revises language in the written informed consent form that dentists must provide to patients prior to administering general anesthesia and deep or moderate sedation. Although the new law does not impact the practice of dentistry, dentists should ensure that beginning Jan. 1, 2020, they are using a consent form that is compliant with the new law.

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