HHS: 108 million Americans lack dental insurance | N.J. bill would block plans from setting rates for non-covered care | Proposed Texas dental board rules meet resistance
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October 23, 2014
NADP SmartBrief
News affecting dental benefits

Industry News
HHS: 108 million Americans lack dental insurance
The Affordable Care Act does not require dental coverage for adults despite the law's emphasis on other types of preventive care, leaving some 108 million Americans without dental insurance. The American Dental Association is pushing lawmakers to increase funding for dental care and encouraging communities to fluoridate water supplies and implement tooth sealant programs. Dental savings plans are working with dentists and insurers to increase affordability of care, and some are forming online marketplaces. Healthline (10/18)
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N.J. bill would block plans from setting rates for non-covered care
Dental insurers may not dictate rates in-network dentists charge for services not covered by the plans under a bill approved by the New Jersey General Assembly. Law360.com (subscription required) (10/16)
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Proposed Texas dental board rules meet resistance
Rules proposed by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners would restrict dentists' ability to contract with "unlicensed persons" for administrative support, business and nonclinical functions, according to the Federal Trade Commission and some Texas business groups. The proposed rules are meant to clarify the board's interpretation of Dental Practice Act rules regarding dental practice ownership and influence of non-dentists on practitioners' professional judgment, dental board Executive Director Julie Hildebrand said. DrBicuspid.com (free registration) (10/17)
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More insurance shopping options will be available to some small businesses
Small-business owners and their employees in some states will see improvements in health insurance exchanges set up under the Small Business Health Options Program. Some states are opening new SHOP exchanges while others have added features to existing exchanges, but 18 states were allowed to delay employee-choice options. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/20)
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Oral Health
Dentists aim to remove barriers for children with autism
A small, but growing number of pediatric dentists are seeking ways to accommodate children with autism. Two small studies have examined ways to desensitize children with disabilities to the routines of dental cleanings. Organizations such as Autism Speaks offer resources and online trainings to dentists. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Well blog (10/20)
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Survey finds poor oral health in older adults
A survey of Illinois residents age 60 and older found that more than 80% had no dental coverage, 42% had not visited a dentist over the past 12 months, 29% had untreated caries and 26% rated their oral health as poor or fair. Some of the survey respondents said they had dental coverage through Medicare, but Medicare does not cover dental care, researcher Sherri Lukes said. Older adults' oral health needs "are not being addressed sufficiently and should be examined more closely to encourage policy changes and health promotion, disease prevention, and reduction interventions," the study team noted. DrBicuspid.com (free registration) (10/21)
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Company News
November 4 Webinar: Improving Claims Accuracy
Today over 60% of claims are electronic. Some 85% of claims are processed in less than 5 days. And 97% of claims are processed in 6 to 10 days. Procedural accuracy lags behind payment and financial accuracy of claims. The potential for multiple policies in the new coverage environment fostered by the ACA holds challenges for both payment and procedural accuracy of claims. Dental office practice management systems, clearinghouses, dental benefit administrators and payers all play a critical role in identifying issues and solutions to the challenges in maintaining and improving claims accuracy. NADP has assembled a panel of experts from each segment of the claims pipeline to examine claims accuracy issues in today's environment. For more information and registration, visit the NADP Knowledge Center.
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NADP publishes claims processing metrics report
The 2013 NADP/LIMRA U.S. Group Dental Claims Processing Metrics report was published on Aug. 26. The report is available to voting members as a part of your membership, and to non-voting members at a deeply discounted rate. The report can be downloaded or purchased from the "Statistical Reports" section of the NADP Knowledge Center.
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When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
-- Wayne Dyer,
American author and motivational speaker
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