More states likely to consider dental therapist bills this year | Large percentage of medical tourists seek dental care | Industry asks CMS for informal guidance on 2020 ACA plan design
January 17, 2019
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News affecting dental benefits
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More states likely to consider dental therapist bills this year
More states are likely to consider establishing a midlevel dental care provider category, or dental therapist, this year in an effort to expand access to care, particularly for people who live in designated dentist shortage areas or have low incomes. States that expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act might also expand dental benefits, and trends that are likely to accelerate include integrating medical and dental care, value-based dental care and dental practice consolidation.
The Pew Charitable Trusts (1/15) 
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Industry News
N.Y. orthodontics chain to pay $9M for Medicaid fraud
Dentist Oleg Drut and the 19-office Diamond Braces chain agreed to pay $9 million to settle allegations that uncertified practitioners performed orthodontic procedures that were billed to Medicaid. The company must hire an independent monitor, pay $4.5 million to Medicaid and pay $4.5 million in penalties, according to New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Patch/Prospect Heights-Crown Heights, N.Y. (1/15),  Long Island (Commack, N.Y.)/News release (1/15) 
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Large percentage of medical tourists seek dental care
About 80% of the 85,000 US and Canadian residents who traveled to Costa Rica in 2017 for medical procedures sought dental care, according to Patients Beyond Borders. Many dental and medical procedures are significantly cheaper in other countries, but liability concerns might make US dentists and physicians reluctant to treat patients who went abroad for care if something goes wrong, says health policy expert Jay Wolfson.
WFTS-TV (Tampa, Fla.) (1/10) 
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Industry asks CMS for informal guidance on 2020 ACA plan design
Industry groups are calling on the CMS to provide informal guidance on Affordable Care Act plan design for the 2020 coverage year, given the delayed release of the official proposal amid the partial government shutdown. This year's deadline for application submission has not been set, but the deadline for the 2019 coverage year was May 2018.
Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (1/15) 
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Mich. county offers free dental exams to low-income, uninsured adults
Adults in Michigan's Upper Peninsula who do not have dental insurance can get dental exams at My Community Dental Centers through the U.P. Friendly Smile Fund, which receives funding from the Superior Health Foundation and the Marquette County Health Department. Adults whose income is less than 200% of the federal poverty level are eligible, eligible patients won't be turned away if they are unable to afford the requested $10 contribution, and staff will help patients determine whether they qualify for other dental assistance programs, officials said.
The Mining Journal (Marquette, Mich.) (1/15) 
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Oral Health
Oral-B Glide might expose users to harmful chemical
Oral-B Glide dental floss might expose users to potentially harmful perfluorohexanesulfonic acid, according to a study published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology. Women who used the product had higher serum concentrations of the chemical than women who did not use it, the researchers reported, but Oral-B said it detected no per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances in its products.
USA Today (1/10) 
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Company News
NADP News
Spotlight your products and services with NADP's Sponsored Webinars
Reach dental benefit industry leaders and decision makers with an NADP Sponsored Webinar, featuring: target audience including NADP members and potential clients; promotional content about your product or service; Live 60-minute webinar presentation; one year of On-Demand viewing; and E-marketing provided by NADP. Webinar sponsorships are $1,500 with a $150 discount for NADP members and a $100 discount for CONVERGE exhibitors. Discounts can be combined. Webinar sponsors gain free access to attendees / prospective clients (up to 100 attendees. Additional sites are available (up to 25 seats for $100). For more information, please contact the Director of Meetings & Events Jeremy May.
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Free Jan. 23 webinar explores non-opioid analgesic for dental plans
Join NADP Jan. 23 at 1 p.m. Central for the free webinar presentation, "Learn About a Non-Opioid Analgesic for Your Dental Plans," sponsored by Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In this webinar Dr. Charles Stewart, President and CEO Aetna Dental of California, will demonstrate the need for early adoption of nonopioid options for your dental plan. For more details and to register, visit the NADP Knowledge Center.
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