U. of Neb. expands school-based teledentistry program | Mother charged with felonies for neglecting sons' oral health | Survey highlights employer concerns about drug, medical costs
January 16, 2020
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News affecting dental benefits
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U. of Neb. expands school-based teledentistry program
The teledentistry program at the University of Nebraska's College of Dentistry has been operating in Omaha schools for the past five years and is now expanding to the Lincoln Public School District. School nurses armed with a camera attached to a tablet computer send real-time images of children's teeth to dentists at the university, who then develop a care plan and help the children and their families establish dental health.
KOLN-TV/KGIN-TV (Nebraska) (1/13) 
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Industry News
Mich. House considers bill funding pre-K dental screening
A bipartisan bill under consideration in the Michigan House would add funding for oral health screening in addition to hearing and vision screenings for all children in the state entering kindergarten. "A dental screening will help to identify oral health problems that can affect learning in at-risk children who are not accessing dental care before they start school and set them up with healthy habits for a lifetime," said Michigan Dental Association President Margaret Gingrich.
WILX-TV (Lansing/Jackson, Mich.) (1/14) 
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Mother charged with felonies for neglecting sons' oral health
A Pennsylvania woman who allowed her two 4-year-old sons' teeth to decay faces two counts of second-degree felony child endangerment. Court documents say one child had 11 cavities and needed nine crowns and two extractions, while the other had 14 cavities and needed eight teeth crowned, six extracted and one filled.
The York Dispatch (Pa.) (1/15) 
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Survey highlights employer concerns about drug, medical costs
A survey by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions showed more than 60% of employers said drug and medical spending was costly and unsustainable, 55% were considering using a pharmacy benefit manager, and 44% wanted to use reference-based pricing. The report offered recommendations, including greater price transparency and more investment in preventive care and disease management programs.
BenefitsPRO (free registration) (1/14),  Employee Benefit News (free registration) (1/14) 
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Administration urges court to deny request to expedite ACA review
The Trump administration and a group of Republican-led states urged the Supreme Court to turn down a request to expedite review of a lower court's ruling that the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate is unconstitutional. The request says that a review would be premature because the law remains in effect while a lower court re-examines whether parts of the law are constitutional.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (1/10),  Politico (1/10) 
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Oral Health
Study: Tweaking oral microbiome could improve cardiometabolic health
A high level of oral nitrate-reducing bacteria is inversely associated with plasma glucose and insulin resistance in young to middle-aged adults, and with mean systolic blood pressure in normotensive people, suggesting that nitrate-reducing oral bacteria modulate the bioavailability of systemic nitrogen oxide, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Heart Association. A causal relationship, which was not proven, would enable researchers to identify oral microbial indicators of cardiometabolic health, and oral microbiome manipulation could become a method for improving cardiometabolic health, the researchers wrote.
Cardiology Advisor (1/9) 
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Company News
Delta Dental mobile clinic provides free care to S.D. students
More than 100 children in the Rapid City, S.D., school district signed up for no-charge dental care provided by a Delta Dental mobile dental clinic. The clinic is equipped for X-rays, cleanings, fillings and extractions, and volunteers from Black Hills Reads brought books and educational games so the students who were waiting for their appointment wouldn't get bored.
KOTA-TV (Rapid City, S.D.) (1/14) 
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