Labor Dept. announces final rule on association health plans | New group promotes teledentistry, orthodontics | Dentist fined for submitting false Medicaid claims
June 21, 2018
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News affecting dental benefits
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Labor Dept. announces final rule on association health plans
The Labor Department issued a final rule that will make it easier for small businesses and self-employed individuals to join together to purchase cheaper association health plans that skirt some Affordable Care Act requirements. Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta said the new plans "will offer more health care coverage options at a better price," but a recent Avalere Health analysis showed expansion of association health plans would cause 3.2 million people to leave the ACA markets by 2022 and raise premiums for those still in the individual market by 3.5%.
The Hill (6/19),  Kaiser Health News (6/19) 
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Industry News
New group promotes teledentistry, orthodontics
The newly formed American TeleDentistry Association aims to develop best practices for teledentistry and orthodontics, educate dental professionals and the public, expand access to orthodontic and dental care, and ensure the availability of the technology as it matures, says founder Marc Ackerman, director of orthodontics at Boston Children's Hospital. "It's our mission to modernize access to care through teledentistry with advocacy for the implementation of innovative teledentistry guidelines and solutions," Ackerman said.
mHealth Intelligence (6/19) 
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Dentist fined for submitting false Medicaid claims
A dentist who provided services at nursing homes in Nebraska and Iowa pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud and was ordered to pay more than $82,500 to the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services and more than $4,700 to the Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals. The dentist submitted false Medicaid claims between Feb. 12, 2013, and Jan. 22, 2016, authorities say.
KCRG-TV (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)/The Associated Press (6/19) 
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Ill. Medicaid to cover preventive dental care for adults
Illinois will reimburse Medicaid managed care organizations for preventive dental care for adults and will cover preventive dental care for adults not in a managed care program. The cost of expansion is expected to be offset by prevention of expensive restorative care and avoidance of emergency department visits for dental problems, says state Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago.
The State Journal-Register (Springfield, Ill.) (6/17) 
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Judge to rule on HHS' authority to allow Medicaid work requirements
A federal judge said he will issue a ruling by the end of the month on a lawsuit challenging HHS' authority to allow Kentucky to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries. The outcome of the case could affect programs in Arkansas, Indiana and New Hampshire, which received similar waivers from the CMS, as well as a number of other states considering work requirements.
Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (6/15) 
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House GOP budget proposal would slash Medicare, Medicaid funding
House Republicans unveiled a budget proposal Tuesday that would slash Medicare spending by $537 billion and funding for Medicaid and other health care programs by $1.5 trillion. The proposal would also fast-track a reconciliation process that would allow Senate lawmakers to repeal the Affordable Care Act with only 50 votes.
The Hill (6/19),  ThinkAdvisor (free registration)/Bloomberg (6/19) 
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Oral Health
Fluoridated water linked to reduced odds of dental caries
Researchers found that children and teens with better access to fluoridated drinking water had a lower likelihood of developing dental cavities, compared with those who didn't. The findings in the Journal of Dental Research were based on 1999-2004 and 2011-2014 CDC and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data involving 19,604 youths ages 2 to 17.
United Press International (6/14) 
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Commentary: Mich. has room for improvement in oral health care
Michigan scored well on a recent national survey of oral health policy, but the state could do even better, writes Lisa Wegner of the Barry-Eaton District Health Department. The Eaton County Oral Health Coalition supports higher Medicaid reimbursement rates for dental care, more coordination between medical and dental care providers, a 10% increase in the number of communities with fluoridated drinking water, improvements in oral health literacy and understanding, and wider access to oral health care for at-risk populations, she writes.
The Lansing State Journal (Mich.) (tiered subscription model) (6/14) 
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Company News
Delta Dental, Mass. Dental Society agree on cost-containment plan
The Massachusetts Dental Society supports Delta Dental's proposed change to the company's Premier plan that eliminates annual reimbursement rate increases tied to dental industry inflation and will allow the company to continue offering the plan alongside the lower-cost Total Choice PPO. The agreement "is the result of candid, productive conversations that we've had over the past year with dentists, the Massachusetts Dental Society, state lawmakers, employers and business groups about the important role that the dental community must take in addressing health care cost containment," said Delta Dental President Dennis Leonard.
The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (6/17) 
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NADP News
CONVERGE offers content in three tracks
Hear from industry thought leaders regarding timely industry trends at CONVERGE 2018, the NADP annual conference. CONVERGE 2018 will offer professional development opportunities in three tracks: Business Operations, Government Relations and Professional Relations. CONVERGE 2018 is Sept. 27 at the Hyatt Regency at Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Visit the NADP Knowledge Center for details and to register.
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CONVERGE regular registration expires June 29
Save on CONVERGE registration when you register by June 29.  CONVERGE is the premier professional development event in the dental benefits industry featuring timely educational content and networking opportunities. CONVERGE 2018 is Sept. 27 at the Hyatt Regency at Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Visit the NADP Knowledge Center for details and to register.
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