Tuesday, September 23, 2014


 The annual meeting of the American Dental Association, “ADA 2014—America’s Dental Meeting”, is scheduled for the second week in October in San Antonio, Texas.  At this meeting, the CDT 2015 codes, including 15 additions, 5 deletions, and 52 revisions, will be available.  The CDT Code, used to document treatment provided on claim submissions to third party payers, must be kept current and accurate by every dental care provider who uses the codes, and it is the provider’s https://www.blogger.com/home responsibility to do so.  Watch Practicon’s print or online catalog for the new edition of Coding with Confidence, The” Go-To” Dental Insurance Guide, CDT-2015 Edition by Dr. Charles Blair.  This guide assures dramatic cuts to coding errors and boosts legitimate reimbursement.  Go to www.practicon.com for online ordering or call 1-800-959-9505 to order from one of Practicon’s friendly, capable sales representatives.

 Identity theft is on the rise, and a primary way stolen identities are now used is to obtain tax refunds fraudulently.  The IRS has reported more than 1800 new investigations involving such refunds.  Dentists in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin have reported that their stolen identity has been used to file a fraudulent tax return.  For more information about fraudulent returns and for reporting suspected tax fraud to the IRS, go online to  www.FTC.gov or notify the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.

In 2012, the last year for which figures are available, the average number of patient visits per private practice solo practitioner (excluding appointments with hygienists) was 44.8 per week.  In practices with more than one dentist, the weekly average for patient visits was 49.3. (Source:  ADA Health Policy Resources Center survey)

Thursday, September 18, 2014


CDT Code “D9985 Sales Tax” became effective January 1, 2014.  There are currently four states, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New Mexico, requiring service/sales tax on some or all dental procedures.  These four and many other states have for some time collected sales tax on certain products available for patients to purchase from the practice or provided to patients as part of their care by the practice.  Without the use of Code D9985 on ADA claim forms and on pending HIPAA standard electronic claim forms, transactions in a patient’s record cannot be accurately recorded.  Also, code D9985 is needed to distinguish between the fee for a procedure with and without the sales/service tax added.  If the sales/service tax is not filed separately, fees may appear higher than they are; i.e., be artificially inflated.

For more information on Code D9985, go to:  www.ada.org/en/publications/cdt/ada-dental-claim-form.

Monday, September 15, 2014


The ADA recently surveyed a number of dentists concerning their satisfaction level with current net income.

     Positive about his/her net income:
          2014 - 33%
          2013 - 21%
     Neutral (neither positive nor negative) about his/her net income:
          2014 - 37%
          2013 - 38%
     Negative about his/her net income:
          2014 - 30%
          2013 - 41%

What do those numbers indicate? Several possibilities: (1) Young dentists are in greater demand as associates because more mature dentists are choosing early retirement; and, when they join a practice, the young practitioners can demand and receive higher beginning compensation. (2) Overhead is better in control in a majority of practices, resulting in the dentist(s) enjoying higher net income. (3) Improved management systems in many practices assure production and collection goals are met, resulting in improved net income for the dentist(s). On the other hand, another possibility is that the survey was done after only one quarter of 2014. Revised economic statistics now show the U.S. economy did, in fact, decline almost 3% by the end of March 2014. This leads one to wonder if the survey were taken now, would the “Positive” perceptions still show a 12% increase over “Positive” feelings in 2013?

Friday, September 12, 2014


The movement, Action for Dental Health: Dentists Making a Difference, was launched by the American Dental Association in May 2013.  The program is a nationwide effort by grass-roots dentists to improve dental health across the country.  Among the goals:      
(1) improve access to care for those who have active dental disease; (2) increase dental health education and disease prevention in all communities in the U.S.; and (3) increase use of the public health safety net to reach the nearly 1.3 million residents in nursing homes with routine and emergency dental care.

For more information about this new, far-reaching program and to read stories about successful efforts across the U.S., visit www.ADA.org and go to Action for Dental Health.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Practicon offers the widest variety of models available to help your patients understand their dental problem(s) and treatment options.  The old adage, “One picture is worth a thousand words.” comes to life as you graphically explain your diagnosis while educating patients on aspects of pathology, treatment options, and oral health care.  Most of the models are life-sized or larger so that patients can see clearly what you are demonstrating.  Life-like simulation and excellent anatomical quality make Practicon’s models indispensable to case presentations and patient instruction.
See Practicon’s latest print catalog (Call 1-800-959-9505 to request a catalog) or visit us online at www.practicon.com.

Identity theft is on the rise, and many stolen identities are now used to obtain tax refunds fraudulently.  The IRS has reported over 1800 new investigations involving such cases this year.  Dentists in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin have reported their identity has been used to file a fraudulent tax return. 
For more information about tax fraud involving identity theft , go to www.FTC.gov or to report suspected tax fraud, notify the IRS Identity Protection Specialized unit at 800-908-4490.

Friday, September 5, 2014


We in the dental profession focus our attention, energy, resources, plans, hopes, and passions on all aspects of the art, science, and business of dentistry.  Sometimes, however, one must take a break from the dental world to focus on other thoughts, other priorities, other possibilities.  With that in mind, pause for just a moment to consider the words of Dr. Werner von Braun, the first director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center who has long been accepted as the “Father of the American Space Program”.  In a May 1974 article, Dr. von Braun wrote:  “One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be a design and purpose behind it all…The better we understand the intricacies of the universe…the more reason we have found to marvel at the inherent design upon which it is based…To be forced to believe only one conclusion---that everything in the universe happened by chance---would violate the very objectivity of science itself…What random process could produce the brains of a man or the system of the human eye?...They (evolutionists) challenge science to disprove the existence of God.  But must we really light a candle to see the sun?...They say they cannot visualize a designer.  Well, can a physicist visualize an electron?... What strange rationale makes some physicists accept the inconceivable electron as real, while refusing to accept the reality of a designer on the ground that they cannot conceive Him?”

What are your thoughts---our universe is here by providential design or by chance??

Thursday, August 21, 2014


The Affordable Care Act requires health insurance marketplaces to offer pediatric dental benefits to all consumers, whether or not a consumer has children.  Dental benefits for adults are not required, but some health plans may offer them.  There are also stand-alone dental plans available in every state, some offering only pediatric dental benefits while others offer family services.
Currently confusion reigns concerning dental benefits offered by various plans.  Ambiguous information about medical plans with embedded pediatric dental benefits and about stand-alone dental plans as well means it is virtually impossible for consumers to make informed choices about which plan to buy.
Among medical plans with embedded pediatric dental benefits, 34% do not have a separate dental deductible which means the consumer will have to meet significant medical deductibles before receiving any dental benefits.  One recent study reported consumers in this group might have to meet an annual deductible of almost $3,000 for other healthcare services before receiving any benefits toward dental care.
This is a typical example of the lack of transparency and limited information available to potential buyers of healthcare insurance.  Many national and state professional dental organizations are working to improve transparency of dental benefit plans, but no action has yet resulted in clarification of what is available in various marketplaces or how one plan compares to another.