ACA puts dentistry under a microscope | ACA has mixed effect on young adults' uninsured rate | Delta Dental, Iowa dentists helping patients work toward wellness
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September 11, 2014
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News affecting dental benefits
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Industry News
ACA puts dentistry under a microscope
Not only will the Affordable Care Act extend dental benefits to more low-income children and adults, the law's focus on quality and outcomes will prompt insurers to analyze more claims and insist dentists follow best practices for care, Gary Dougan, dental director for the Liberty Dental Plan, said at a California Dental Association conference. Consumers will be able to compare plan prices and benefits, and insurers will be on the lookout for fraud, Dougan said. DrBicuspid.com (free registration) (9/5)
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ACA has mixed effect on young adults' uninsured rate
More 19- to 25-year-olds had health insurance in 2012 than in 2009, before the Affordable Care Act was enacted, but the percentage of 26- to 34-year-olds who had health insurance declined over the same period, a study published in JAMA Pediatrics found. Patients with health coverage were more likely to be able to afford prescription drugs, provider visits and dental care and had a higher tendency to get regular checkups and flu vaccines. HealthDay News (9/8)
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Delta Dental, Iowa dentists helping patients work toward wellness
Some 110,000 Iowa adults have gained dental benefits since the state expanded Medicaid in 2013, but some dentists say they see many patients only when there is a problem, not for preventive care. Delta Dental of Iowa is administering the benefit and also runs a sealant program through schools in 32 counties, donates toothbrushes to children enrolled in Head Start programs and offers financial incentives to newly graduated dentists who promise to work in the state for five years. Sioux City Journal (Iowa) (9/4)
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Extending dental coverage would save Ore. money, policy group says
Adding dental coverage to Oregon's Basic Health plan would help prevent costly health problems in 87,000 low-income residents, researchers with the Oregon Center for Public Policy said in a new report. The Basic Health program supports care for low-income adults who are not eligible for Medicaid. American City Business Journals/Portland, Ore./Health Care Inc. blog (9/5)
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Ga. dental clinics being investigated over Medicaid fraud allegations
Several Care Dental clinics in Georgia face accusations of recruiting refugee patients in a Medicaid fraud case. The clinics, which are under federal and state investigation, are accused of paying illegal kickbacks to recruit patients, performing unneeded dental services and submitting fraudulent Medicaid claims, according to a civil complaint. One of the claims was for a 12-year-old patient who was given 20 fillings in one visit, according to court records. Charges have not yet been filed. WSB-TV (Atlanta) (9/9)
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Northwest Ark. gets "toothmobile"
Northwest Arkansas' Washington Regional Medical Center unveiled a mobile dental clinic designed to serve low-income residents who lack transportation and dental insurance, says Washington Regional President and CEO Bill Bradley. Delta Dental of Arkansas contributed $30,000 to the clinic and supports additional mobile clinics in the state, President and CEO Ed Choate said. The Walmart Foundation gave $1.87 million to the clinic, which has two exam spaces and a digital X-ray machine. Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville) (9/9)
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Oral Health
Study links domestic abuse to poor oral health
Adults and children who live with physical or verbal abuse are more likely to have decayed or missing teeth, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association. Although the association is not known to be causal, dentists could connect patients with resources if they suspect a link between patients' poor oral health and a dysfunctional family dynamic. Dentists are "in a position to screen for a lot of things that might not otherwise get caught. We actually envision a future where a dentist would ask those kinds of questions," researcher Michael Lorber said. HealthDay News (9/5)
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Company News
NADP News
NADP/DDPA enrollment report indicates 2.3% increase in 2013
At year-end 2013, more than 191 million Americans, 61% of the U.S. population, were enrolled in dental benefits, according to the 2014 NADP/DDPA Joint Dental Benefits Report: Enrollment. The 2013 national level represents a 2.3% increase over 2012. The report provides current information about the prevalence of dental benefits in the U.S. and draws on data collected since 1994. While national and state information is provided in this report, no company-specific data are reported. Company-specific information along with states of operation can be found in NADP' Member Directory. NADP dental plan members receive the report as a member benefit, or it can be purchased in the "Research and Articles" section of the NADP Knowledge Center.
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NADP publishes 2013 Carrier Benchmark Report
The NADP Dental Carrier Benchmark Report provides a succinct presentation of key benchmark data commonly included in Requests for Proposals. The report includes benchmarks on customer service, claims processing, premium and networks. NADP dental plan members receive the report as a member benefit. It is also available for purchase in the “Research and Articles” section of the NADP Knowledge Center.
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SmartQuote
It's your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don't take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver."
-- Betty White,
American actress
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