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Delta Dental Of Colorado To Offer Self-Funded Dental Plans

The Denver Business Journal (7/8, Sealover, Subscription Publication) reports that Delta Dental of Colorado, the state’s largest dental benefits company, will offer self-funded dental plans, possibly as early as August 1. The company “will provide the dental network and take care of customer-service needs for employers who are willing to take on the financial risk of covering all their workers’ oral-health bills,” following requests from business people and insurance brokers for such an offering. According to the article, Delta Dental’s entry into self-funded dental benefits market “is expected to be a game-changer that could move a significant number of companies to the plans.”

 

At a time when more mid-sized businesses are leaving fully funded health insurance plans for the world of self-funding, the state’s largest dental insurer is betting those same companies will want to self-fund their employees’ teeth care as well.

 

Delta Dental of Colorado is now offering self-funded dental plans in which the multi-state insurer will provide the dental network and take care of customer-service needs for employers who are willing to take on the financial risk of covering all their workers’ oral-health bills. Company officials say the decision comes after they’ve gotten more and more requests for such an offering from both businesspeople and insurance brokers.

 

While a smattering of smaller dental insurers have offered similar self-funding plans, the entry of Delta Dental — which covers more than 1 million Colorado lives — into the market is expected to be a game-changer that could move a significant number of companies to the plans, posited Terry Reams, an executive vice president and employee-benefits market leader for HUB International, a national insurance brokerage with Denver offices.

 

“Self-funded dental is increasing in demand,” Reams said. “This is an opportunity for companies to save some money.”

 

Companies that self-fund will contract with insurers to administrate plans while taking full responsibility for paying workers’ medical bills. While used by a number of very large companies before the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, self-funded health insurance has become far more popular since then, as it allows employers to avoid some of the added Obamacare mandates that many believe have contributed to a general rise in insurance costs.

 

The biggest risk to companies self-funding their health plans is the chance that one or more employees will come down with a catastrophic illness or injury that will drive up medical bills, without having the backstop of an insurance company to pay those costs. However, the lack of such a potential financial burden in oral care — where the costliest procedures run thousands, rather than hundreds of thousands, of dollars — is what could make the idea of self-funded dental insurance even more appealing to businesses, Reams said.

 

News List Online (7/8) reports that Mark Thompson, director of sales and client services at Delta Dental of Colorado, said the company will market the plans to companies with 50 to 100 employees, who are seeking to reduce costs without eliminating dental benefits.

 

Delta Dental will market the brand new guidelines, that could work the moment August. 1, to companies of fifty to one hundred employees who’re searching to scale back on costs without reducing or getting rid of dental benefits that, because the second-most request benefit behind medical health insurance, are frequently seen in an effort to recruit gifted employees, stated Mark Thompson, director of sales and client services.

 

The greatest risk to companies self-funding their own health plans may be the chance that certain or even more employees can come lower having a catastrophic illness or injuries which will increase hospital bills, without getting the backstop of the insurance provider to pay for individuals costs. However, the possible lack of this type of potential financial burden in dental care — in which the most expensive methods run 1000’s, instead of 100s of 1000’s, of dollars — is exactly what might make the thought of self-funded insurance much more attractive to companies, Reams stated.

 

The advantages to Delta Dental — or holiday to a dental insurance companies that could provide a similar plan — involve taking the process of companies who otherwise might waiver on offering insurance or that may want to not-bundle the greater costly dental hygiene they are presented in their package from health insurance companies, Thompson stated.

 

However, using the improvement in risk among older and more youthful Coloradans being more gentle when it comes to dental needs, it’s unlikely that the proceed to self-funding of the insurance can create just as much protest.

 

With Delta Dental serving as another-party administrator from the insurance policy instead of fully ensuring its benefits, companies could be more flexible within their choices to employees, can purchase wellness programs that belongs to them design and may save the costs they would pay for an insurance provider to provide its plans, he stated.

 

“As costs still rise, companies are searching for methods to control costs,” he stated. “We’re reacting to demands from much more of our clients.”

 

Some health-care advocates have bemoaned the rise in more compact firms that are self-funding health plans, saying individuals companies normally have more youthful and more healthy employees which their exit in the general insurance risk pool drives up costs for everybody else by departing insurance companies with sicker, more costly clients.

 

Article Source : http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2015/07/08/self-funded-dental-insurance-delta-dental-leaping.html  Article Source : http://news.list-online.com/self-funded-dental-insurance-colorados-delta-dental-leaps-into-a-new-market-denver-business-journal/

 

 

 

 

 

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Humana Launches New Dental Plan Benefit Structure

Business Wire (7/8) carries a press release announcing that Humana is launching a new dental plan benefit structure to include “no-cost coverage for preventive care…coverage beyond the dental plan’s annual maximum…and rewards and incentives for members enrolled in the HumanaVitality® wellness program through their medical plan.” The changes apply to new employer-based Humana dental plans, effective August 1. Dean M. Fry, D.D.S., National Dental Director at Humana, said, “Now more than ever, it’s clear that dental care needs to be an integrated part of an employer’s larger wellness strategy for the health of its workforce.”

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–()–Often viewed as an afterthought to health care plans, dental plans have largely sat on the sidelines as medical plans have shifted their focus to long term health and wellness. Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) is changing that dynamic with sweeping changes to its dental plan benefit structure and integration with medical and wellness plans.

 

Effective August 1, new employer-based Humana dental plans will include no-cost coverage for preventive care including cleanings, exams, x-rays, space maintainers and oral cancer screenings; first-of-its-kind coverage beyond the dental plan’s annual maximum; sophisticated reporting for members and employers to help maximize plan benefits; and rewards and incentives for members enrolled in the HumanaVitality® wellness program through their medical plan.

 

“Dental health plays a key role in the health and well-being of both an individual and an employer’s workforce,” said Dean M. Fry, D.D.S., National Dental Director at Humana. “Now more than ever, it’s clear that dental care needs to be an integrated part of an employer’s larger wellness strategy for the health of its workforce.”

 

As evidence of employers’ need to embrace dental care as part of their overall wellness strategy, Dr. Fry points to a 10-year Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that revealed that oral health problems in the U.S. led to 164 million lost work hours and 12.7 million days of restricted activity each year.1

 

Humana is the first company to extend coverage beyond the dental plan’s annual maximum, giving members assurance that dental care need not be delayed even in the case of costly dental services. In the event a Humana dental member needs care that extends beyond the annual plan maximum set by their employer, he or she will benefit from both Humana’s negotiated discount with their dentist and 30 percent coverage of the overall cost. For many people, this amounts to as much as 60 percent savings.

 

The company is also harnessing dental claims data to better inform members, personal nurses, care coordinators and health coaches that work with members that have both Humana medical and dental plans. For example, a diabetic might be prompted by a care coordinator, armed with the date of the member’s last dental visit, that it’s time for an annual checkup because diabetics are more prone to gum disease.

 

To help people better understand their dental health and learn surprising health facts related to their personal oral health status, Humana developed a dental health assessment called My Dental IQ. The on-line self-assessment probes six areas of health and daily habits that impact dental well-being. Upon completing My Dental IQ, users receive a personalized assessment and list of recommendations, links to additional information, and a printable report to be shared with their dentist. My Dental IQ is available to members and non-members. Employer reporting is also available to show aggregate employee dental health issues to help structure and shape dental benefit plans to improve employee overall wellbeing.

 

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is a leading health and well-being company focused on making it easy for people to achieve their best health with clinical excellence through coordinated care. The company’s strategy integrates care delivery, the member experience, and clinical and consumer insights to encourage engagement, behavior change, proactive clinical outreach and wellness for the millions of people we serve across the country.

 

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:

 

  • Annual reports to stockholders;
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings;
  • Most recent investor conference presentations;
  • Quarterly earnings news releases;
  • Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls;
  • Calendar of events (including upcoming earnings conference call dates and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors); and
  • Corporate Governance information.

 

Article Source : http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150708005264/en/Humana-Closes-Gap-Dental-Insurance-Wellness#.Vd7TeSWqqko

 

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ADA Supports Task Force’s Recommendation For Water Fluoridation

In a news release, the ADA News (7/7) discussed the key findings from a Cochrane Collaboration review, which studied “the effects of water fluoridation on the prevention of tooth decay and dental fluorosis.” The release stated that the American Dental Association “strongly endorses” the US Community Services Task Force’s recommendation for “community water fluoridation based on strong evidence of effectiveness in reducing dental caries across populations.” In addition, the ADA “supports ongoing research on the safety and effectiveness of community water fluoridation.”

 

CHICAGO — The American Dental Association (ADA) examined a recent review released by the Cochrane Collaboration designed to study the effects of water fluoridation on the prevention of tooth decay and dental fluorosis.

 

The key findings from the review, titled, “Water fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries,” were:

 

  • Data from studies conducted prior to 1975 show that water fluoridation is effective in reducing tooth decay in children.
  • There is insufficient information to determine whether water fluoridation results in a change in tooth decay across socioeconomic status (SES) levels.
  • There is insufficient information to determine the effect of stopping water fluoridation on tooth decay levels.
  • No studies that aimed to determine the effectiveness of water fluoridation for preventing caries in adults met the review’s inclusion criteria.
  • The authors’ confidence in the evidence relating to the association between dental fluorosis and the fluoride level is limited due to the high risk of bias and variation in the studies’ results.

 

The authors noted that there is much debate around the approach used to assess the quality of evidence within this review when applied to public health interventions, particularly for research questions where evidence from randomized controlled trials will never be available. Community water fluoridation is one such area.

 

The U.S. Community Services Task Force conducts systematic reviews of interventions in many public health topics to find which program and policy interventions have proven to be effective, their benefits or harms, return on investment and other factors. The Task Force recommended community water fluoridation based on strong evidence of effectiveness in reducing dental caries across populations.

 

The American Dental Association strongly endorses the Task Force’s recommendation and supports ongoing research on the safety and effectiveness of community water fluoridation.

 

For more information about fluoride and water fluoridation visitwww.ada.org/fluoride.

 

Article Source : http://www.ada.org/en/press-room/news-releases/2015-archive/july/the-american-dental-association-responds-to-cochrane-review-of-water-fluoridation

 

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Speaker Of The House Of Delegates Of The American Association Of Orthodontists Elected

Dentistry IQ (7/9) reports that Michael J. Foy, DDS, MS, a Colorado Springs orthodontist, was elected to serve a three-year term as the speaker of the House of Delegates of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Foy said, “The goal of our organization is to provide resources that enable AAO members to provide their patients with the highest quality of care,” adding, “I am humbled by this opportunity to contribute to the well-being of our millions of patients.

 

Michael J. Foy, DDS, MS, an orthodontist who practiced in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been elected to serve a three-year term as the speaker of the House of Delegates of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). The announcement was made recently at the AAO’s 115th annual session in San Francisco. The house of delegates is the policy-making body of the AAO and convenes at the AAO’s annual session. The speaker of the house is a member of the AAO board of trustees and an officer in the organization. The speaker presides at meetings of the house as it elects officers, adopts the annual budget, and acts upon reports submitted. The speaker also serves as the liaison between the AAO Board of Trustees and the house of delegates and performs customary and parliamentary obligations as required.

 

“It is a privilege to be elected as speaker of the house of delegates and to serve my fellow AAO members,” said Foy. “The goal of our organization is to provide resources that enable AAO members to provide their patients with the highest quality of care. I am humbled by this opportunity to contribute to the well-being of our millions of patients.”

 

Foy has been an orthodontist since 1980. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1970 from Creighton University, and his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry 1974. After joining the US Army, he served four years of active duty at Tripler Hospital, Honolulu. Following his military service, Foy continued his education to nederlandsegokken online casino become an orthodontist, and completed his Master of Science in Orthodontics in 1980 at the St. Louis University Center for Advanced Dental Education, Division of Orthodontics. Foy and his family moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he was in the private practice of orthodontics until he retired in 2013. He also remained in the US Army Reserves for 16 years, retiring in 1994.

 

Foy is a diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO). Long active in organized orthodontics and dentistry, Foy is a member of the AAO, the Rocky Mountain Society of Orthodontists (RMSO), and the Colorado Orthodontic Association. He maintains memberships in the American Dental Association (ADA), the Colorado Dental Association and the Colorado Springs Dental Society. Among his many leadership positions, Foy was president of the Colorado Summer Meeting for Orthodontists in 2004 and 2005. He served on the AAO Council on Orthodontic Health Care from 2002 to 2006; on the AAO Council on Governmental Affairs from 2006-2012; and as a delegate representing the RMSO to the AAO House of Delegates, including service as RMSO’s Chief Delegate in 2014.

 

Foy has shared his dental expertise as a volunteer for many years. Among his missionary travels, Foy has made three trips to Belize with the Belize Mission to provide dental care for those in need. He has also volunteered for the Colorado Mission of Mercy, the Galapagos Dental Mission, and the Guatemala Wheel Chair Mission.

 

Dr. Foy and his wife, Janet, reside in Colorado Springs.

 

Article Source : http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2015/07/dr-michael-j-foy-elected-speaker-of-the-house-of-delegates-of-the-american-association-of-orthodontists.html

 

 

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ADA’s Annual Meeting Benefits New Dentists, Dental Students

The ADA News (7/8, Burger) reports that Dr. Kristopher Mendoza of the UCLA School of Dentistry Class of 2015 is encouraging new dentists and dental students to attend the ADA’s annual meeting, ADA 2015, which takes place November 5-10 in Washington, DC. Dr. Mendoza said, “One of the greatest benefits for students at the annual meeting is definitely networking with other dentists and students.” Mendoza added, “Everyone there is extremely helpful, helping the next generation of dentists.” The ADA annual meeting coincides with the New Dentist Conference for the first time this year.

 

Westwood, Calif. — While many 2015 dental graduates are busy looking for or settling into practices, one of their fellow graduates is urging both them and dental students to mark some days in early November on their calendars.
The ADA”s annual meeting will take place in Washington, D.C. from Nov. 5-10, and dental students and new dentists alike should make every attempt to attend, said Dr. Kristopher Mendoza of the UCLA School of Dentistry Class of 2015.

 

He should know, considering that he is the immediate past president of the American Student Dental Association and has been an active participant in two past ADA annual meetings.

 

“It”s a great time to recharge and see what”s beyond dental school,” Dr. Mendoza said.

 

The 25-year-old dentist, who has just begun a three-year residency in dental anesthesiology at UCLA, said that while the advantages of attending the annual meeting are myriad, one in particular is especially useful for dental students and new dentists.

 

“One of the greatest benefits for students at the annual meeting is definitely networking with other dentists and students,” Dr. Mendoza said. “Everyone there is extremely helpful, helping the next generation of dentists. They want to see you succeed.”

 

There are several reasons why connecting and interacting with students and more established dentists is important, Dr. Mendoza said. One is that dental students close to graduation and new dentists are seeking jobs, and he has found that some of the established dentists have looked at dentists to join their practices or even sell their practices to.

 

A second reason is that the ADA annual meeting exposes current and new students to a national community of dentists who provide perspective and inspiration. Attending dental school can place students in a bubble but going to a conference with hundreds of other people who had gone through the experience or were going through the experience invigorated him, he said.

 

“It was my break,” Dr. Mendoza said. “It helped keep me going. You”re not the only one going through it. It gave me a better outlook on the dental field.” It helped Dr. Mendoza because when he grew up in Fresno, California, he didn”t have any dentists in the family to relate to.

 

Other reasons to attend include the New Dentist Conference, which for the first time will coincide with the ADA annual meeting. New dentists can participate in both meetings this year and experience all ADA 2015 has to offer, featuring high-level networking opportunities during Leadership Day; a new dentist reception at Penn Social; inspiration from keynote speaker Daymond online casino John, entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” co-star; an exclusive, customized continuing education track featuring real-time interactive technology and more.

 

Mendoza gets asked frequently from younger dentists and dental students if they should join the ADA. “I would challenge them to explore all that being a member offers,” he said. “The value far exceeds the cost.”

 

In a separate article, the ADA News (7/8) reports that ADA 2015 will offer seven cadaver courses. Information on the hands-on courses is available online at ADA.org/ADA2015CE.

 

Seven hands-on cadaver workshops will be offered at ADA 2015 — America’s Dental Meeting, Nov. 5-10 in Washington, D.C.All workshops will be held in the convention center, and pricing will be $595 for dentists and dental students for all cadaver courses except for the Head and Neck Anatomy Dissection Workshop, which is $995. The continuing education can be implemented upon returning to practices.

 

The courses offered are:

  • Head and Neck Anatomy Dissection Workshop (4201), presented by Dr. Henry A. Gremillion, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 4.
  • Non-Esthetically Located Dental Implants (5230), presented by Dr. Lee H. Silverstein, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 5.
  • Local Anesthesia Human Cadaver Dissection Workshop (5232), presented by Dr. Alan W. Budenz and Dr. Mel Hawkins, 2-5 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 5.
  • Twenty-First Century Laser-Assisted Dentistry Cadaver Workshop (6230), presented by Dr. Anthony R. Cardoza, 8-11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 6.
  • Gain Perio/Restorative Access: Flaps and Lasers Cadaver Workshop (6232), presented by Dr. Samuel Low, 2-5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 6.
  • Mucogingival Surgery (7230), presented by Dr. Jon B. Suzuki and Dr. Kevin Suzuki, 8-11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 7.
  • Dissection of the TMJ and Related Structures Cadaver Course (7232), presented by Dr. Terry T. Tanaka. 1-5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 7.

 

CE information can be found online at ADA.org/ADA2015CE. Complete course descriptions are available in the online eventscribe itinerary planner.

 

Article Source : http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2015-archive/july/annual-meeting-inspires-new-dentists-dental-students

Article Source : http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2015-archive/july/dont-miss-cadaver-courses-offered-at-ada-2015

 

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Dentists Play “Key Role” In Detecting Oral Cancers Early

In a broader piece reporting that infection with human papillomavirus 16 (HPV) might be causing “more than half of all cases of oropharyngeal cancer,” HealthNewsDigest (7/7) reports that dentists can play a key role in early detection of oral cancers. Kerstin Stenson, MD, a head and neck cancer surgeon and a professor of otolaryngology at Rush University, stresses that in addition to receiving the HPV vaccine, people can benefit from regularly visiting the dentist. Stenson said, “Dentists play a key role in detecting oral cancer,” adding, “Having regular dental visits can help catch cancers early to help ensure the best outcome.” According to the article, “The American Dental Association states that 60 percent of the U.S. population sees a dentist every year.”

 

(HealthNewsDigest.com) – Head and neck cancers, while still considered rare, are striking younger men at a higher and more rapid rate. And many of the patients do not have the typical cancer risk factors: smoking, chewing tobacco, or consuming alcohol.

 

Instead, infection with human papillomavirus 16, commonly known as HPV, is now thought to cause more than half of all cases of oropharyngeal cancer, a type of head and neck cancer.

 

“The head and neck cancers we have found in younger men with no known risk factors such as smoking are very frequently associated with the same HPV virus that causes cervical cancer in women.” says Kerstin Stenson, MD, a head and neck cancer surgeon at Rush and a professor of otolaryngology at Rush University.

 

The cancer develops from an HPV infection, likely acquired years earlier during oral sex with a female partner infected with HPV.

 

“Men are more susceptible to these cancers because they don’t seem to have the same immune response as women and do not shed the virus like women do,” Stenson explains.

 

‘Epidemic proportions’

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cancers of the oropharynx (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils) are usually caused by tobacco and alcohol, but recent studies show that about 72 percent of oropharyngeal cancers are caused by HPV.

 

“There has been significant change in the last decade. The HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer has reached epidemic proportions,” Stenson warns.

 

The American Cancer Society estimates that 45,780 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer of the oral cavity and oropharynx in 2015.

 

If this trend continues, the number of cases of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer will surpass the number of cervical cancer cases.

 

Early detection is key

The HPV vaccine currently in use has been shown to decrease the incidence of cervical infections and cancer associated with the virus. While the same result is anticipated for HPV-associated head and neck cancer, the impact of vaccines on incidence of persistent oral HPV infection and/or HPV associated oropharyngeal cancer has not yet been investigated. Still, head and neck surgeons, medical oncologists and other researchers strongly advocate vaccination of both girls and boys to help prevent all HPV-associated cancers.

 

“For all individuals, the key is in early detection, as with any cancer,” Stenson observes.

 

In addition to being vaccinated, Stenson stresses the importance of regular visits to the dentist. “Dentists play a key role in detecting oral cancer,” she says. “You might not see a primary care physician even once a year, but most people see their dentist twice a year. Having regular dental visits can  help catch cancers early to help ensure the best outcome.”

 

The American Dental Association states that 60 percent of the U.S. population sees a dentist every year.

 

Oral cancer warning signs

The Oral Cancer Foundation presumes that cancer screenings of the existing patient population would yield tens of thousands of opportunities to catch oral cancer in its early stages.

 

Possible warning signs of oral cancer may include difficulty swallowing, pain when chewing, a white patch anywhere on the inside of your mouth, a lump or sore in the mouth or on the lip that does not heal. If you notice any of these symptoms, ask your dentist or doctor about it.

 

Treatment includes surgery for early or low-volume late stage lesions and radiation or chemoradiation for more advanced cancers.

 

“There is much that can be done for those who are diagnosed with head and neck cancer.  Since early detection and treatment is critical, it’s important to see your dentist regularly and to promptly see a medical professional if there are any warnings signs,” Stenson advises.

 

Article Source : http://www.healthnewsdigest.com/news/Sexual%20Issues0/Can-Sex-Give-You-Cancer.shtml

 

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Review Finds Fewer Dental Providers Take Medi-Cal Patients

The California Healthline (7/7, Gorn) reports that California’s review of the rate structure for Medi-Cal dental coverage finds that the number of Denti-Cal providers has dropped by 1,354 over five years, falling from 9,527 in 2008 to 8,173 in 2013. Although provider access was not the direct focus of the review, Alicia Malaby, director of communications at the California Dental Association, said the finding is problematic. According to Malaby, “Based on the significant increase in beneficiaries covered and the decrease in the providers in the network during the same time period one can easily conclude that access to care is problematic in the Denti-Cal program.” Low reimbursement rates are a major problem for the program.

 

State health officials last week released a review of the rate structure for Medi-Cal dental coverage. It compared California’s payments to four other populous states — New York, Illinois, Florida and Texas. California paid less than three of them.

 

It also showed the change in dental provider participation in Denti-Cal — California’s Medicaid program for dental care — since 2008, and that number was particularly alarming to advocates.

 

According to the California Department of Health Care Services report released to the public July 2, there were 9,527 Denti-Cal providers in 2008. That number slipped to 8,173 in 2013. That’s a loss of 1,354 providers over five years —  a little over 14%.

 

Considering the millions of Medi-Cal beneficiaries added to the rolls in those five years, California is facing a serious dilemma, according to Alicia Malaby, director of communications at the California Dental Association.

 

Although the question of access was not directly raised by the DHCS rate review, the issue is clearly a problem, Malaby said.

 

“Based on the significant increase in beneficiaries covered and the decrease in the providers in the network during the same time period one can easily conclude that access to care is problematic in the Denti-Cal program,” Malaby said.

 

The rate review itself is not supposed to draw conclusions about access, or whether rate increases might be justified or not, according to Anthony Cava, information officer at DHCS.

 

“The statutory requirement is limited to a rate review,” Cava said in an email. “It does not call for department conclusions. Any rate increase in Medi-Cal would be handled through the administration’s regular budgetary process.”

 

Jennifer Kattlove, senior director of programs at The Children’s Partnership, believes any discussion of rates should include its companion piece — access. That’s especially true of a state review of those rates, she said.

 

“It’s missing the most important piece of information — how rates affect access,” Kattlove said. “It has been shown there’s a correlation between low rates and less access, but that’s missing from this report.”

 

According to the welfare code requirement for this rate review, “The director annually shall review the reimbursement levels for physician and dental services under Medi-Cal, and shall revise periodically the rates of reimbursement to physicians and dentists to ensure the reasonable access of Medi-Cal beneficiaries to physician and dental services.”

 

That does not include a requirement for any opinion on changing rates — though the rate review did include a mention of access, after citing a number of legal decisions around rates:

 

“Given these recent legal actions, DHCS must reiterate that a reimbursement rate and its relationship to beneficiary access is not a strict or linear one. Instead, there are a multitude of factors that must be considered and addressed when ensuring appropriate access to covered services,” the report said.

 

KPBS-TV San Diego (7/6, Goldberg) reported that the review “shows between 2009 and 2014, the number of children enrolled in the Denti-Cal program increased by nearly 40 percent,” while the number of providers treating Denti-Cal patients fell by almost 14 percent. According to the article, “Denti-Cal pays less than one-third of the commercial insurance rate,” and “the California Dental Association says if the state wants to get more dentists in the program, it needs to increase Denti-Cal rates.”

 

California’s dental program for the poor is falling short.

 

A new state review of the Denti-Cal program, shows between 2009 and 2014, the number of children enrolled in the Denti-Cal program increased by nearly 40 percent.

 

But the number of dentists who treated Denti-Cal patients decreased by almost 14 percent.

 

Denti-Cal pays less than one-third of the commercial insurance rate.

 

Jenny Kattlove, programs director of The Children’s Partnership, a nonprofit advocacy group, said dentists who treat kids with Denti-Cal coverage take a financial hit.

 

“The state really needs to look at its priorities and set rates higher, so that it can attract enough quality providers,” Kattlove said.

 

State lawmakers recently reversed a ten percent Denti-Cal pay cut that took effect in 2013. But theCalifornia Dental Association says if the state wants to get more dentists in the program, it needs to increase Denti-Cal rates.

 

Article Source : http://www.californiahealthline.org/capitol-desk/2015/7/states-rate-review-shows-fewer-dental-providers-take-medical-patients

 

Article Source : http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/jul/06/denti-cal-gaining-patients-and-losing-dentists/

 

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Seven “Flossing Facts” Provided

In an article discussing seven “important flossing facts,”HealthyWomen (7/7, Kraft) states that “the American Dental association reports that only 50 percent of Americans floss daily, 31 percent less than daily and 18 percent don’t floss at all.” According to the article, “When you consider that flossing helps prevent gum disease and cavities and not flossing is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, it makes you wonder why more people don’t do it.” The article adds that “the most important thing is to just do it—once a day.”

 

A national survey conducted by Harris Poll for the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) recently discovered that a lot of us are lying to our dentists. No, it’s not about how much sugar-laden candy we’re eating or how often we brush (or don’t brush) our teeth. It’s about something that potentially has more impact on our health than that.

 

Twenty-seven percent of us lie about how often we floss.

 

The reason is fairly simple: People don’t like to floss. In fact, they’d rather wash dishes, clean a toilet or even spend time doing their taxes than floss. The American Dental association reports that only 50 percent of Americans floss daily, 31 percent less than daily and 18 percent don’t floss at all.

 

But when you consider that flossing helps prevent gum disease and cavities and not flossing is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, it makes you wonder why more people don’t do it.

 

Flossing Facts

1. Maybe you’re too tired at the end of the day to bother with flossing. Yet, it doesn’t really matter when you do it. The most important thing is to just do it—once a day. Whether you floss before or after you brush doesn’t much matter, either.

 

2. Here’s a no-brainer tip for easy flossing: Try storing floss in your car, in your bag or in your office drawer—then break it out when you have time (just don’t floss in public—your friends and coworkers will thank you). There’s no need to floss in front of a mirror, either. (And there’s no need for an excuse if you keep the floss handy and within reach!)

 

3. Flossing removes plaque from areas between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. If this plaque is not removed, it can eventually harden into calculus or tartar, leading to gum disease. There’s also evidencethat periodontal bacteria can attach to the fatty plaques in blood vessels and set off an inflammatory process, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Other research has shown that infections in the mouth may be associated with diabetes, pneumonia and other health problems.

 

4. You need not use only dental floss to clean between your teeth. There are other options specifically made for the purpose, like pre-threaded flossers, tiny brushes that can reach between your teeth, pointed rubber tips or wooden plaque removers.

 

5. Flossing should not be painful. It’s normal for it to be uncomfortable when you first start, but within a week or two, that discomfort should ease.

 

6. Be aware of flossing too hard—it could damage the tissue between your teeth. But don’t be too gentle either, which might not result in a complete job.

 

7. Children should start to floss as soon as they have two teeth that touch.

 

Article Source : http://www.healthywomen.org/content/blog-entry/7-important-flossing-facts

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Wisconsin Dental Clinic Growing After Receiving $375K AAPD Grant

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (7/8, Boulton) reports that the Waukesha Community Dental Clinic has seen “rapid growth” during its eight years in existence. Currently, the clinic primarily treats children and also facilitates a school-based oral health program for Waukesha County. Additionally, the clinic received a five-year, $375,000 grant from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that “will enable the clinic to expand its education and treatment programs, such as helping to support a full-time community dental health coordinator.”

 

The Waukesha County Community Dental Clinic now has a staff of 22 people, including six part-time dentists and four hygienists, and a budget of $1.3 million. It provided care to 3,200 patients, most of them children, last year. And it coordinates a school-based oral health program for Waukesha County.

 

This is for an organization that didn’t exist eight years ago.

 

The clinic also was one of only two organizations nationwide that recently won multiyear grants from the foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

 

“To receive it is quite an honor and a testament to what we do here,” said Renee Ramirez, executive director of the Waukesha County Community Dental Clinic. “Our focus is children, and they recognized us for doing it right.”

 

Twenty other organizations received one-year grants.

 

The Waukesha County Community Dental Clinic and other organizations, she said, were invited to apply for the grants.

 

The five-year grant for $375,000 will enable the clinic to expand its education and treatment programs, such as helping to support a full-time community dental health coordinator.

 

“The earlier we reach the children,” Ramirez said, “the better their oral health long term.”

 

The community dental health coordinator helps oversee an in-school screening and sealant program as well as a program that provides screening, education and fluoride varnish treatments to children before they enter Head Start, the early childhood education program.

 

Sealants are plastic coatings applied to the chewing surface of molars to prevent tooth decay.

 

For the sealant program, the clinic partners with Waukesha County Technical College and volunteer dentists and visits eight schools.

 

Children who need to see a dentist are given appointments at the clinic at 721 American Ave. in Waukesha.

 

The Waukesha County Community Dental Clinic provides only urgent or emergency care for adults, though it can refer some adult patients to a network of volunteer dentists.

 

“We are focused on kids,” Ramirez said.

 

The clinic was founded in 2007 after a survey by the Waukesha County Dental Coalition found that almost one in five children in third grade had untreated cavities. The survey also found that children from low-income families had trouble getting access to dental care.

 

That is a longstanding and well-documented problem in Wisconsin.

 

The coalition raised $1.6 million to build a clinic in office space donated by ProHealth Care and to cover three years of operating losses.

 

Most of the children seen by the clinic are covered by BadgerCare Plus, the state’s largest Medicaid program. The program overall pays only a fraction of the cost of providing dental care — roughly 52% in the case of the Waukesha County Community Dental Clinic, Ramirez said.

 

The shortfall is made up by contributions from the community and volunteers.

 

Article Source : http://www.jsonline.com/business/waukesha-community-dental-clinic-sees-rapid-growth-b99533732z1-312307051.html

 

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ADA Dentists Urge Congress To Pass ACA Device Tax Repeal

The ADA News (7/8, Palmer) reports that dentists have responded to proposed legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s medical device tax with more than 6,500 messages to Congress members. The House passed legislation to repeal the provision on June 18, and “dentist messages continue now that the repeal debate has moved to the Senate,” the ADA News reports. On June 30, the ADA sent the most recent of its three action alerts on the subject, thanking “dentists who sent messages to the House of Representatives,” writing specifically, “Please take a moment to urge your Senators to vote to repeal this burdensome tax.” The article casts the Senate as likely to consider the legislation later this year, though the White House “has threatened to veto the repeal.”

 

Washington – ADA member dentists have urged Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act medical device tax in more than 6,500 messages to their representatives and senators, the Association said.

 

The U.S. House of Representatives on a bipartisan 280-140 vote June 18 approved a repeal of the excise tax on medical devices that has generated widespread industry and professional opposition. ADA member messages supported repeal of the tax.

 

Dentist messages continue now that the repeal debate has moved to the Senate. The Association said dentists have responded to three action alerts, two geared to the House vote, with 6,500 messages to Congress.

 

A third ADA medical device action alert June 30 thanked dentists who sent messages to the House of Representatives and said, “Please take a moment to urge your Senators to vote to repeal this burdensome tax.” The Senate is likely to consider repeal legislation later this year and the White House has threatened to veto the repeal.

 

“The dental industry estimates that the excise tax increases the cost of dental care by over $160 million annually,” the action alert said.

 

The Affordable Care Act authorized the tax to support expanded health care coverage. Certain medical and dental devices are subject to the 2.3 percent medical device excise tax, which is payable by the manufacturer of the covered device.

 

 

Article Source: http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2015-archive/july/member-dentists-urge-tax-repeal

 

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