New Medicaid enrollees in Calif. struggle to find dentists | Retired dentist moves to form large group practice in Conn. | HHS audit finds questionable Medicaid dental billing in La.
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August 21, 2014
NADP SmartBrief
News affecting dental benefits

Industry News
New Medicaid enrollees in Calif. struggle to find dentists
Some 100,000 Orange County, Calif., residents have enrolled in the state's Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, since January, and 88,500 more children in the county were transferred to Medi-Cal's dental program. All will be eligible for dental care, but low reimbursement rates mean many dentists are not accepting new Medicaid patients, says Dulce Medina, who directs prevention and community initiatives at Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County. Patient advocates have called for better reimbursement rates, establishing a new tier of provider, allowing teledentistry and fluoridating more water supplies. (Santa Ana, Calif.) (8/20)
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Retired dentist moves to form large group practice in Conn.
Retired dentist Greg Schwab is working with dental management-acquisition firm Tralongo to buy independent dental practices in Connecticut and form a large group practice. Schwab will act as managing director, and back-office support will come from Tralongo. The firm has a similar arrangement with another dentist in the state as well as in Georgia, New Jersey, Texas and Wisconsin. Hartford Business Journal (Conn.) (8/18)
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HHS audit finds questionable Medicaid dental billing in La.
Twenty-six of 512 Louisiana dentists investigated by HHS auditors submitted questionable Medicaid billings for dental care provided to children. Discrepancies included possible overcharging, unnecessary treatments and billing for an unusually large number of patients. WDSU-TV (New Orleans)/The Associated Press (8/20)
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How to get lapsed patients back into the dentist's chair
The Delta Dental Oral Health and Well-Being Survey found that nearly half of Americans have at least once gone three or more years without dental care. Dentists should reach out to lapsed patients with e-mail, direct mail or a phone call and remind them of how important dental care is, says dentist Bill Kohn, who is vice president of dental science and policy at the Delta Dental Plans Association. Dentists should not be afraid to discuss costs and should take advantage of dental insurers' programs to reach patients at risk for dental issues, Kohn said. (8/15)
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Oral Health
Some dentists lack evidence-based clinical knowledge about sealants, study finds
Most dentists use dental sealants in their clinical practices for caries prevention and have positive attitudes about using dental sealants, but some lacked a high level of evidence-based clinical knowledge about the appropriate use of sealants, researchers report in the Journal of the American Dental Association. Some dentists were uncertain about sealants' effectiveness, were concerned about tooth selection or were afraid of sealing in caries, the researchers found. Dental schools should revise their curricula to reflect American Dental Association recommendations on sealant use, the researchers suggested. (free registration) (8/19)
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Device to treat temporomandibular joint pain gets FDA OK
The FDA has cleared TMJ Health to market a device that offers a better alternative to bite splints in treating temporomandibular joint disorder. The TMJ NextGeneration Device features a pair of hollow ear canal inserts that aren't noticeable from the outside, but enable full transmission of sound while addressing joint pain in the ear canal. (8/19)
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Company News
CONVERGE breakout sessions listed! Plan your experience now is your one-stop shop for all your CONVERGE needs. NADP has posted a real-time schedule of all breakout sessions, separated by subject area, as well as speaker bios to help make your CONVERGE planning easier. Breakout sessions range from government relations, sales and marketing to professional relations. There is something for everyone! Visit the updated schedule and start planning your educational experience today.
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August 26 webinar explores overall health connections
Note: Due to the delay in implementation of ICD-10, this Aug. 26 webinar broadcast will now update you on Oral and Overall Health Connections Update.
Join NADP and Dr. Stephanie Lepsky for an update on Oral and Overall Health Connections. Dr. Lepsky is the senior consultant/dental subject matter expert at OptumInsight. She has been with United Health Group companies for over five years serving as a dental director/senior consultant. Read more and register.
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The winds and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators."
-- Edward Gibbon,
British historian
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