A ValuePenguin survey found that 39% of Americans either dropped or reduced their insurance coverage last year, with health insurance, dental insurance and auto insurance the most frequent targets. Fifty-eight percent of the 1,023 respondents had no dental insurance.
California approved an emergency waiver to allow dentists to administer COVID-19 vaccines, and a December report released by the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy and the National Governors Association listed 20 states that are considering allowing dentists, veterinarians, paramedics or medical or dental school students to administer COVID-19 vaccines. New Jersey asked retired health care providers to volunteer to give vaccines, and the American Optometric Association says optometrists could give vaccines.
Delta Dental of Massachusetts asked Gov. Charlie Baker to move dentists and dental office staff higher on the COVID-19 vaccine priority list and allow them to be vaccinated immediately. Dentists and hygienists "play a pivotal role in keeping people healthy" and have gone to great lengths to ensure they can provide care safely throughout the pandemic, but the nature of their work puts them at high risk of exposure to aerosolized viruses, Delta Dental of Massachusetts President and CEO Dennis Leonard wrote.
Engineers at Cornell University have developed a prototype helmet for dental patients that could reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. The transparent helmet is open at the mouth and is attached to a pump that pulls air through a filtration system, preventing aerosolized droplets from exiting the front of the helmet, and is more efficient and less expensive than whole-room filtration, engineers say.
An Artemis Health survey showed that 78% of benefit professionals consider employee health and well-being to be a much higher priority after the pandemic events of 2020. The survey also found that these professionals feel more driven by employee health improvement than cost savings.
Veillonella parvula bacteria in the mouth can cause gum disease by encouraging the overgrowth of Porphyromonas gingivalis, according to research in The ISME Journal. P. gingivalis uses growth molecules from V. parvula in dental plaque to colonize the mouth, and the findings will help researchers develop targeted therapies for periodontitis, said lead investigator Patricia Diaz.
The Delta Dental Foundation launched a $400,000 fund to help safety-net dental clinics in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio purchase COVID-19-related supplies and equipment. The funds can be used to buy air purifiers, teledentistry equipment or other items that expand access to care at federally qualified health centers, community health departments, school-based dental clinics and other safety-net dental clinics.
In its first year as sole publisher of the Claims Processing Metrics, NADP has made several changes to make the data more meaningful to dental insurance plans and to better present data on electronic transactions and electronic data interchange topics. The report includes data on claims processing performance, Real Time and Auto-adjudication, Use of Diagnostic Codes in claims processing and plan development, Electronic Data Interchange, Quality Measures, and Performance Guarantees. The report is available for purchase in the NADP Knowledge Center where it is also offered free to plan members.
Miss an NADP webinar? Listen to the recording now. The NADP Knowledge Center includes more than 50 webinar recordings, which are available to members free of charge. Nonmembers can purchase these recordings for just $99 each. See the Recordings section of the Knowledge Center for details.