CMS signs off on Ky. plan for Medicaid work requirements | Dental spending spikes during tax-refund season | Republicans turn focus to repealing ACA's employer mandate
January 18, 2018
NADP SmartBrief
News affecting dental benefits
Top Story
CMS signs off on Ky. plan for Medicaid work requirements
The CMS said Friday it has approved Kentucky's request to require Medicaid beneficiaries to work, get employment training or perform community service, making Kentucky the first state in the US to be allowed to reshape eligibility around employment requirements. The state will require most able-bodied Medicaid recipients ages 19 to 64 years to participate in at least 80 hours of "employment activities," per month, and it will also require premiums from those whose incomes qualify and lock those who do not pay out of the program for six months.
Reuters (1/12),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (1/12) 
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Industry News
Dental spending spikes during tax-refund season
Spending on dental and health care rises during tax-refund season, particularly in families with low checking account balances, suggesting that patients delay care because of cost, according to a report from the JPMorgan Chase Institute.
DrBicuspid (free registration) (1/16) 
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Stem cell, laser technologies could replace dentist's drill
A stem cell-stimulating drug initially developed to treat Alzheimer's disease encourages dentin regeneration and might eventually replace the dentist's drill, scientists say. Scientists are also testing low-power laser light to stimulate tooth regeneration and avoid root canal, and using stem cells to grow new teeth.
NBC News (1/15) 
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Republicans turn focus to repealing ACA's employer mandate
Congressional Republicans are working to end the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers of a certain size offer employee health insurance, an effort that comes after the elimination of the ACA's individual mandate under the recent tax overhaul. Supporters say repealing the employer mandate would improve businesses' bottom lines, while opponents say it will lead to fewer employees having insurance.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (1/14) 
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Vt. hospital adds dental clinic
A new dental clinic at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington will increase access to care in the region and take pressure off the medical center's emergency department, says Michael Brady, the new facility's director. Dental staff will work with primary care physicians and will offer preventive, restorative, surgical and cosmetic procedures.
VTDigger (Vermont) (1/14) 
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House task force drafts bills to cut opioid abuse
The House's Bipartisan Heroin Task Force has drafted more than a dozen bills intended to address prescription and illegal opioid abuse, including bills that would mandate prescriber education and licensing, electronic-only prescribing of prescriptions for controlled substances, and expanded access to medication-assisted treatment for certain populations, co-chair Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., said.
MedPage Today (free registration) (1/10) 
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Oral Health
Specific oral bacteria linked to lower risk of head and neck cancer
An abundance of oral Corynebacterium and Kingella bacteria was associated with a reduced risk of head and neck squamous cell cancer in a study published in JAMA Oncology. Previous studies have shown the bacteria can metabolize specific toxicants in cigarette smoke, and the findings support the theory that a healthy oral microbiome has a role in preventing HNSCC, researchers wrote.
MedPage Today (free registration) (1/15) 
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Company News
Free webinar explores simplified credentialing
Join NADP Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. Central Time for the free webinar presentation, Simplifying Credentialing for Dentists and Dental Plans, co-presented by the American Dental Association (ADA) nonprofit CAQH. The ADA and CAQH are working together to make it easier for dentists to enter and share their professional and practice data with multiple dental plans. They formed an alliance to create the ADA® credentialing service, powered by CAQH ProView®. Dental plans can eliminate the resource-intensive process of accepting this data manually and entering it into their own systems. Dentists complete one online profile that can be shared with participating plans for credentialing, provider directories and other business uses. For more information and to register, visit the NADP Knowledge Center.
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