Dentists stymie efforts to register Part D prescribers | Studies test drill-free cavity treatment | Dentists educate parents during Children's Dental Health Month
February 16, 2017
NADP SmartBrief
News affecting dental benefits
Industry News
Dentists stymie efforts to register Part D prescribers
The federal government has yet to fully implement a 2014 policy requiring health care providers to register with the CMS before prescribing drugs to Medicare beneficiaries. More than 92% of the health care providers analyzed who prescribe under Part D were registered, but fewer than 18% of dentists who prescribe under Part D were registered, according to a ProPublica analysis.
National Public Radio/ProPublica (2/10) 
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Debate over dental therapists continues in Mass.
The Massachusetts Dental Society is opposing legislation to create a midlevel class of dental care provider, or dental therapist, saying that midlevel providers do not have enough training to perform irreversible procedures safely. Advocates of the bill, including its lead sponsor, state Sen. Harriette Chandler, say it would expand access to care among low-income and other underserved populations.
The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (2/15) 
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Oral Health
Studies test drill-free cavity treatment
Clinical trials are testing the efficacy of resin infiltration instead of drilling and filling small cavities between teeth. The treatment, which is approved in Germany, maintains tooth structure and does not require anesthesia. (2/15) 
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Dentists educate parents during Children's Dental Health Month
February is National Children's Dental Health month, and dental care providers are educating parents, children and the public about proper oral health care. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guidelines say parents should begin taking children to the dentist every six months beginning at the child's first birthday.
WMC-TV (Memphis,Tenn.) (2/15) 
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Company News
Cigna, Anthem sue each other over merger deal
Aetna and Humana said they will terminate plans to merge, and Cigna said it will abandon its $54 billion merger agreement with Anthem, but Anthem won a temporary restraining order preventing official termination of the deal. Cigna filed a lawsuit seeking a $1.85 billion termination fee and $13 billion in damages.
Reuters (2/15),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (2/14) 
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Advantage Dental expands in Ore.
Medicaid dental benefits administrator Advantage Dental has partnered with Legacy Health and PacificSource Health Plans to expand its network into Portland, Ore. Advantage covers dental exams, cleanings and X-rays without cost-sharing, and affiliated dentists educate patients about nutrition and self-care.
The Lund Report (Portland, Ore.) (2/10) 
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Humana to exit ACA exchanges
Humana said it will not offer health insurance plans next year on publicly run exchanges, potentially forcing about 150,000 policy holders in 11 states to find a new insurer. CEO Bruce Broussard said an unbalanced risk pool has resulted in unsustainable losses.
Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (2/14) 
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Delta Dental of Ariz. crosses million-subscriber mark
Delta Dental of Arizona reported 1,024,404 dental insurance subscribers in the state this year, followed by Cigna with 458,600. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona has the third-most subscribers with 190,314.
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Phoenix (2/10) 
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Advance your career with NADP webinar recordings
Polish your skills and increase your industry knowledge with NADP webinar recordings available 24/7 via the NADP Knowledge Center. Webinar categories include customer service, health care reform, management, product development, professional relations, sales and marketing plus social media. Invest an hour to learn from industry leaders. Recordings sell for $100 for NADP members and $195 for nonmembers. Visit the Webinar Recording section of the Knowledge Center for more information.
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Administrative metrics report provides valuable benchmark data
The current business environment of high price sensitivity and health care reform highlights the importance of effective management of administrative components of dental plans. The NADP/LIMRA 2015 U.S. Group Dental Administrative Metrics report provides valuable benchmark data to help your company measure its success in areas such as distribution of ID cards and certificates of coverage, provider credentialing and re-credentialing, provider directory updates and provider recruitment. The report is now available in the Statistical Report section of the NADP Knowledge Center. Log in to receive member pricing.
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Greatness after all, in spite of its name, appears to be not so much a certain size as a certain quality in human lives. It may be present in lives whose range is very small.
Phillips Brooks,
clergyman and writer
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