July 29, 2021
NADP SmartBrief
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Ninety-six percent of respondents to a survey commissioned by Delta Dental said dental insurance helps them maintain good oral health, 95% said dental insurance relieves worries about dental emergencies, and 91% said dental insurance saves money in the long term and is worth the cost.
Full Story: Becker's Dental + DSO Review (7/27) 
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Industry News
The tax revenue lost to employer-sponsored health insurance deductions costs taxpayers $1 for every $5.34 spent on benefits, according to the American Benefits Council. "It would cost enormously more to provide the same level of financial security for health care needs exclusively directly through government programs than it does to incentivize tax-favored employer-sponsored coverage," said council president James Klein.
Full Story: BenefitsPRO (free registration) (7/26) 
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The Howard University College of Dentistry received a 5-year, $500,000 grant from the United Concordia Dental Charitable Fund to support scholarships for current and future students. "The goal of the grant is to help address the oral and overall health care needs of underserved communities," said dentist Roosevelt Allen, vice president and dental director of the fund's Government Business Unit and a Howard alumnus.
Full Story: The Washington Informer (Washington, D.C.) (7/22) 
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The CMS said it will not remove Affordable Care Act tax credits for health insurance purchased through the federal or state exchanges for the 2021 and 2022 plan years, without filing tax returns and reconciling their premium tax credits. The guidance, released last week, is intended to ensure health care coverage remains affordable through the pandemic.
Full Story: Healthcare Finance (7/26) 
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Dentists' costs for personal protective equipment have risen along with demand driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, and dentists may pass along some or all of the additional cost to patients. Some dental plans cover higher PPE costs on claims from in-network dentists.
Full Story: WBNS-TV (Columbus, Ohio) (7/23) 
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Calif. to require vaccination proof for health care providers
A California rule taking effect in August will require state employees, health care providers and facilities, and workers in congregate settings to provide verification of their COVID-19 vaccination status or undergo mandatory periodic COVID-19 testing. The state will also require unvaccinated workers at outpatient facilities, such as dental offices, to wear masks and get tested for COVID-19 weekly.
Full Story: CNBC (7/26),  KTLA-TV (Los Angeles) (7/26) 
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Oral Health
Anecdotal evidence has linked pregnancy to an elevated risk for dental problems, including cavities and tooth loss, and while some research has found an association, other studies have not. "Biological, behavioral, cultural and sociological variables all play a role," said dentist Stefanie Russell, a professor of epidemiology and health promotion at NYU's College of Dentistry.
Full Story: The Atlantic (tiered subscription model) (7/28) 
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Company News
Highmark Health's Lumevity business consulting subsidiary has begun offering business consulting services to other Blue plans, hospitals, health systems and employers. Lumevity uses machine learning and other technology to streamline administrative tasks like claims processing, potentially giving clinicians more time to spend with patients, says co-founder Marcus Johnson.
Full Story: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (tiered subscription model) (7/28) 
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The CONVERGE breakout session, Building WIN/WIN Relationships Between Carriers and Consultants, will feature a panel discussion covering carrier requirements to "qualify" consultants, creation of a Dental Consultant Association, and how Carriers can work with consultants to achieve their goals. The session will be offered Sept. 21 at CONVERGE 2021, Sept. 20-23 at the New Orleans Marriott. For more information, visit NADPCONVERGE.org.
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Could the promising future of artificial intelligence actually include real-time claims adjudication? Leaders of the Dental AI Council (DAIC) will answer that question in their Sept. 22 panel presentation, The Promise of Real-Time Adjudication: Can AI deliver? The panel will address benefits of real-time adjudication for patients, providers, and carriers; why AI holds promise for real-time adjudication; logistical impediments to real-time adjudication; regulatory impediments to real-time adjudication; and how to overcome impediments. Find more about this and other sessions at NADPCONVERGE.org.
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