States, look out: Don’t let licensing boards limit access to quality care

The Hill –

Americans continue to experience an increase in the cost of healthcare, a trend largely advanced by the massive expansion of regulation triggered by implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

As a result, providers are continuously seeking market-based solutions to increase access and quality, while bringing down the cost of care. This week, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), released its latest analysis Overregulation Threatens Market-Driven Solutions in Dentistry, which outlines policies impacting state licensing regulations and educates on the benefits Dental Support Organizations bring to healthcare.

See full article here.

Rent Seeking Organized Dentistry

Group Dentistry Now –

Before reading an article entitled, Drilling Down on Rent Seeking Dentists, I had no idea what “rent seeking” meant. Jeff Steir, a senior fellow at The National Center for Public Policy Research, a non-partisan, free-market, independent think-tank, crafted the article. What I discovered in this piece was an interesting definition for a political technique that has been used recently by ‘old guard dentists’ and organized dentistry. “Rent seeking” is defined in the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics as the act of people, companies, or organizations attempting to gain benefit through the political process. Simply put, “rent seeking” describes people’s lobbying of government to give them special privileges. A more suitable term may be “privilege seeking.”Before reading an article entitled, Drilling Down on Rent Seeking Dentists, I had no idea what “rent seeking” meant.  Jeff Steir, a senior fellow at The National Center for Public Policy Research, a non-partisan, free-market, independent think-tank, crafted the article. What I discovered in this piece was an interesting definition for a political technique that has been used recently by ‘old guard dentists’ and organized dentistry.  “Rent seeking” is defined in the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics as the act of people, companies, or organizations attempting to gain benefit through the political process.  Simply put, “rent seeking” describes people’s lobbying of government to give them special privileges.  A more suitable term may be “privilege seeking.”

See full article here.

DSO Acquires A Three Practice Group In Texas

Group Dentistry Now –

Great Expressions Dental Centers (GEDC) has announced its affiliation with three Family Tree Dental Group offices in the Austin area. The recent affiliations bring GEDC’s Austin footprint to six offices and 15 total in Texas.

family-tree-dental

“Family Tree Dental Group’s dedication to patient service and care matches that of GEDC’s,” said Richard Beckman, CEO of Great Expressions Dental Centers. “These affiliations allow GEDC to continue to grow in the Austin area through the strong foundation Family Tree Dental Group has built and we’re committed to providing affordable and convenient care to patients at these locations.”

See full article here.

Mastery Company’s 1st Annual Associate SUMMIT Recap

Group Dentistry Now –

The 2016 Associate SUMMIT, held in late September at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort, was a breakthrough event. There isn’t a dental enterprise in the U.S., large or small, that doesn’t have issues with recruiting, onboarding, retaining and increasing the commitment of associate dentists. The future of dentistry lies in the successful introduction of associates into the practice, the culture and the practice team.

See full article here.

DSO Wins “Reader’s Choice” Award

Group Dentistry Now –

Dental Associates Fond du Lac dental center was named “Best Dental Clinic” in the 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards. Readers of the Fond du Lac Reporter voted on the winners of these awards.

Over the years, Dental Associates Fond du Lac has established itself as one of Fond du Lac’s best dental clinics, winning or being a finalist in the Readers’ Choice Awards each of the last six years. “Our clinic has been a part of the Fond du Lac community since 1996, and our focus since day one has been to provide the very best, most patient-centered care to this community,” says Barb Moser, Practice Manager at Dental Associates Fond du Lac. Dental Associates Fond du Lac features general and specialty dentistry including pediatric dentistry, oral surgery, periodontics, endodontics, prosthodontics, and cosmetic dentistry.

See full article here.

More Dentists Now Count on DSOs for Business Success

Inside Dentistry –

Andrea Watkins, ADSO

The practice of dentistry isn’t what it was two decades ago. Increased regulation, rapid technological change, and process innovation have left many practitioners struggling to keep pace. While dental school delivers the clinical skills needed to run a practice, many practitioners are increasingly frustrated with marketing, payroll, and other functions not covered in the curriculum.

Each year, more dentists elect to associate with organizations that specialize in offloading these nonclinical functions, resulting in less time doing paperwork and more time spent with patients.

Dental support organizations (DSOs) have been around for decades, and today there are hundreds, ranging in both scope and size. Most commonly, DSOs are contracted to provide critical business management and support to a practice’s nonclinical operations. This relationship allows practice owners to focus on their practices and provide the best oral healthcare to patients, while leaving the administrative aspects of the practice to business experts.

The list of duties commonly tackled by DSOs is lengthy:

• Bookkeeping and accounting
• Payroll and banking
• Billing and collections
• Marketing and advertising
• Information technology
• Human resources
• Office and property management, including housekeeping
• Risk management and compliance

For many dentists seeking to improve their work-life balance, those functions elicit groans or a shudder. DSO-supported dentists often find their administrative time slashed by hours per day upon affiliation with these organizations, giving them back flexibility.

These organizations are now available to support virtually any type of dental practice, from general practitioners to endodontics and from prosthodontics to oral surgery. While nonclinical practice support is a broadly cited reason for choosing to contract with a DSO, there are several additional benefits for potential practice owners to discover.

See full article here.

October: National Dental Hygiene Month

The Sheridan Press –

The timing of this article couldn’t be better from this dental hygienist’s point of view. We are just wrapping up September, which in our world is Dental Infection Control Awareness Month (see last year’s health watch column) and we’re about to kick off October, National Dental Hygiene Month (NDHM).

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association and its partners work to raise public awareness about good oral health year round, but especially during NDHM. In addition to focusing on the four components of good oral health maintenance — brushing teeth twice daily, cleaning between the teeth every day, rinsing with mouthwash and chewing sugar-free gum — NDHM also celebrates the important role that dental hygienists play in preventive oral health care, patient education and improving the public’s oral and overall health. So, if you happen to be visiting your dental hygienist this month, don’t be surprised if there’s an added emphasis on prevention and overall health.

See the full article here.

A Good Dentist Is Hard To Find In Rural America

NPR –

A study by the Federal Reserve found that a quarter of Americans went without dental care they needed in 2014 because they couldn’t afford it. For those in rural areas, the problem is far worse. A 2015 report by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that people in rural areas are poorer and less likely to have dental insurance than their urban counterparts. They’re also less likely to have fluoridated water, and more likely to live in an area where dentists are in short supply. Those dentists that are there probably don’t take Medicaid, government health insurance for the poor.

See full article here.

Overcome limitations for better dental health

Nevada Appeal –

What do 155 million American adults have in common? They did not go to the dentist last year. Cleaning and check-up appointments are essential to both your oral health and overall health. However, many barriers often stand in the way of getting the care you need.

Maybe you lack dental insurance or don’t have enough time to take off of work. Perhaps you simply cannot afford it. For many, there may not be a dental practice nearby – if so, you may live in a “dental desert.”

See full article here.