For those interested, the Academy of General Dentistry recently sent out:
The AGD is asking for your help in generating support for H.R. 1606, the Dental and Optometric Care (DOC) Access Act, legislation sponsored by Rep. Buddy Carter of Georgia that would provide fairness in contracts between doctors and insurers, increase the quality of care for patients, and protect consumers from anti-competitive practices. Please take a moment to contact your Representative and urge them to support H.R. 1606 today.
The AGD, like many of you, has long been concerned about the current mandates in insurance provider agreements that allow insurance companies to set prices on non-covered items and services. These abusive practices have not gone unnoticed. To date, 35 states have enacted bills similar to H.R. 1606 that address coverage and fees for non-covered services, but insurance providers are often able to work around these laws due to the fact that many of the plans offered are regulated at the federal level.
The DOC Access Act remedies these issues by prohibiting dental and vision plans from dictating what a doctor can charge plan enrollees for non-covered services. This legislation is especially effective because it targets plans that are regulated at the federal level and often beyond the reach of state law. Under H.R. 1606, dentists will be able (and required) to charge a fair and customary amount for non-covered services rather than be subjected to an insurer's mandated fee schedule, a long-overdue change that will eliminate anti-competitive practices in health care and improve overall quality of patient care.
Don't delay - contact your Representative today and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 1606.
Click the link below to log in and send your message:
Wow! That was a wonderful meeting! Dr. John Petty organized a wonderful time.
There were 475 dentists, 243 hygienists, 219 assistants in attendance to contribute to the overall attendance of 1,269.
It was nice that there was a complete booking of 49 exhibitors and that they were not pushed aside in some back area without traffic. They were very present with booths next to the classrooms and halls. All the vendors I spoke with were quite appreciative and had positive things to share. All special events were sponsored.
There was a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and an After-Hours Dance Party on Friday. Saturday had a TDA Reception for the running of the Kentucky Derby. Comedian Henry Cho did not disappoint at the President’s Party and it was followed by a Dessert Reception.
There was an app for the meeting once again for smartphones. We had two different podcasts here: “The Millennial Dentist” as well as “Life and Dentistry”. The New Dentist Committee is really grabbing social media by the plug and going to town on it! #TDASession2018 Speaking of which, our own Dr. Candice Coleman will be replacing Dr. Emily Boyd on that committee. She’ll be amazing, as always!
We had no Fellowship Awardee or 50 Year Dentists from our district honored there. Dr. Fred Heros of Memphis was the Jack Wells Award winner. There were no Foreign or Domestic Service Awards given this year TDA wide, instead, those who served stood for a round of applause.
HOUSE OF DELEGATES
Dr. Roy Thompson, our ADA Region 6 Trustee, spoke about ADA membership being flat which affects money coming in to accomplish goals. He warned us of a Medicare plan that may try to come about due to a poorly constructed survey.
ADA President, Dr. Joseph Crowley spoke about the ADA Credentialing service page online, CAQH style and that many insurers, etc. are beginning to turn there first. He praised Find-A-Dentist and encouraged profile updates. We are all encouraged to complete those sites. There are discussions of a program called Mortar to help sell dental practices. All that the ADA does to represent us nationally is quite overwhelming and impressive.
The motion to reduce the House of Delegates by 50% FAILED to pass.
The motion to merge Scientific Affairs and Annual Session was SENT BACK to the Board of Trustees.
The motion to extend regional Vice Presidents to two years and alternate rotations was PASSED.
The motion to outline the path for active members to reduce fees due to hardship must come through the local Trustee and be presented to the Board of Trustees PASSED.
The motion to raise dues was ruled out of order and subsequently WITHDRAWN.
On another note… there was a moment that I was sitting at the HOD with the delegates: Dr. Stanislav, an amazing past TDA President, and our present/future leaders in Drs. Kennedy, Boyd and Dye and I felt very proud to be there and humbled as I feel like all three of them will go on to do great things as I just hold the place in this moment in time. It was inspiring to look down our table and see them all.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Dr. Steven Nowlin is the new Trustee from the Sixth District.
Dr. Heath Blockley is the new VP from the East. His term is one year.
Dr. Jay Davis is the new VP from the Middle. He has a two year term.
Dr. David Magee is the new NP from the West. He has the other two year term.
Dr. Terryl Propper is the new President Elect.
Dr. Paul Cullum of Columbia is our new President as Dr. Richard Dycus becomes the Immediate Past President.
With Dr. Propper ascending from being the Trustee from Nashville Dental Society, it is unknown at this moment as to whom will fill that current vacancy. I had hoped to hear from her or Dr. Jeff Yost, President of NDS, but no name was ready to be solidified at this time.
The TDA seeks to make its website more patient friendly. Be on the lookout for it!
Seeks to separate to form a 501c3 apart from the TDA. This will decrease our liability and enable them to earn more grants. It is a darling of the BOD and an example nationwide.
BOARD OF DENTISTRY
1) Beginning 1 January 2019, all CE for all dental providers will need to be reported to CEBrokers. They have the state contract for reporting on optometry, dentistry, chiropractic, and EMS. TDA has a deal to not incur a fee and keep it a member benefit. Our RDAs and RDHs are not so lucky. Several purchase points are available for them to report their CE.
2) The Opioid Bill is done. We have a 3 day 180 MME limit with no checking the database or ICD codes or counselling women in child bearing years. There must be 90 days between prescribing opioids to a patient without doing all the things that were avoided, otherwise those things must occur. This law will begin on 1 July 2018. Failure to comply will be a misdemeanor violation and could be held against you and your license.
3) Opioid scripting is down 33% but benzodiazepine scripting is up 115%. Be judicious!
4) On the Sedation, Anesthesia and Scope of Practice Committee, Dr. Kevin Kennedy and I got to see the upcoming proposal for Facility Permit from the Board of Dentistry. Nothing is yet known about who and when or how much. I can share that they are looking at inspecting every facility that provides sedation every five years. This is in addition to the dentist’s sedation permit. More to come as I have it to share.
The TDA has gotten ahead of the likely ruling that our facilities will be required to have them in the near future. Phillips AEDs can be bought from www.onebeatcpr.com for $795. Thanks to the TDA for getting us such a great rate.
SAVE THE DATE: TDA ANNUAL SESSION WILL RETURN: 7-9 JUNE 2019 TO FRANKLIN, TN.
No Mother’s Day weekends or graduations to content with, so no excuses as it’s just an hour away (Nashville traffic pending)
Dr. Art Cole is retiring from practice after 32 years of serving our patients, many of them as the lone endodontist in town. God speed and enjoy the retired life!
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING 17 MARCH 2018
Good news: first, we had to deal with a scam about sheriff’s offices and jury duty. Sharing that
has helped our colleagues across the state. Thanks to Dr. Dye and the other doctors who
shared their stories to help prepare others for this nefarious con.
Bad news: a new scam is out there. A letter from “Medical Compliance” located in
Washington, DC (clever) is sent threatening up to $75K per violation for not being in compliance
for training. www.MedicalComplianceCertification.com is not to be trusted. The TDA makes
updated posters available for minimal costs.
The TDA Insurance Agency reports that 141 offices are covering 402 lives currently on the
MEWA health insurance plan.
Expanded Functions Dental Assistants
UT has expanded from 2 courses for 25 RDAs to 3 courses for 35 RDAs. Meharry is looking into
restarting a program as well which will help relieve the 2 year wait list.
Tennessee Opioid Bill
It seems that there has been some great cooperation to our benefit. Currently being discussed
is a bill that exempts us for three day scripts and up to 180 MME and no ICD codes to enter.
Sadly, it may not be so easy for our talented oral surgeons. TDA lobbyist, Jack Fosbinder and
AGD lobbyist, Mark Greene have worked so hard on this with the medical and pharmacist
groups as well.
Independent Hygiene Bill
As of this date, 304 dentists are registered and overall 700 persons. There are approximately
80 rooms left. All the exhibitor partnerships are filled. The parties and events are already
creating a buzz to the point that a larger ballroom is needed already. Don’t be that person who
misses out! Register today.
There are several things that will be up for a vote this year: reducing the House of Delegates by
nearly 50%, extending the terms of the Vice Presidents from one to two years, streamlining the
transfer of memberships from one component to another, streamlining dues waivers to include
various levels, Scientific Affairs absorbing the annual meeting responsibilities and a dues
increase. If anyone wishes to further discuss, please reach out to me directly.
Waivers of dues must come through the Trustee to take to the TDA Board.
If you are on a council or committee, please attend your meetings and/or teleconferences.
If you have an interest in serving on councils or committees, please let the Trustee know.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Congrats to Dr. Garrett, Dr. Cole, Dr. Stanislav, Dr. Wall and Dr. Hnarakis on this achievement! This was printed in the Leaf Chronicle on (3/6/2018).
Lots going on at this brisk and busy meeting.
Registration deadline is 14 March to save money!
In addition to the CE, there is also: a full exhibit floor, Awards Lunch, Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, After Hours Dance Party, Kentucky Derby Party, and comedian Henry Cho at the TDA President’s Party.
This meeting is in Franklin, TN so the drive is only about an hour and hotels more affordable than Nashville.
COMMITTEES AND COUNCILS:
All positions are filled and thank you to all who serve or continue to serve.
PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY AND SEDATION:
There continues to be a shortage of time and space at Same Day Surgery Centers or hospitals to see children dental patients. Part of the reason is the low reimbursement rates from insurers vs. costs for facilities and anesthesiologists, even for TennCare patients who are qualified.
EXPANDED FUNCTIONS DENTAL ASSISTANT UPDATE:
There has been progress. More RDAs are being taught than ever with increased size and addition of another course. Discussions are in place to teach RDHs to help teach later classes. Meharry Medical College may begin to offer a course as well taught by UT. There is some discussion about someone else offering the course there to help allay the travel and expense of packing up and teaching there. There is discussion about establishing a bona fide waiting list to help alleviate the multiple applications as currently it is projected that the wait may be until 2021 and these steps will help to alleviate that.
This committee continues to be a point of pride at the Board of Dentistry. There is discussion about separating it from the TDA which should help them increase their grants.
Part D Medicare opt in/ opt out seems like dentistry will be exempt. If you opted in, you are in for the next two years.
Make sure to sign up for Find-a-Dentist at www.ADA.org
CVS’s will have kiosks soon to do many things include Find a Dentist.
Some preliminary discussions about Medicare/Medicaid offering a dental plan have begun.
Inspections are happening. You may not refuse a random inspection, ask them to come back later or give them a lawyer’s card telling them to contact that person. If it is a specific complaint driven inspection, you may do those things.
Some key points to keep in mind:
Infection Control Plans and Work Exposure Control Plans must be current and known by all of the team.
Employee health records to include immunizations.
Safety Data Sheets are up to date and any employee can access and them.
Sharps are to be discarded of at point of use.
Use the heavy duty gloves for injury prevention.
Affix a biohazard label to transport trays.
BOARD OF DENTISTRY UPDATE:
Kathy Hall of Nashville is now President and seems to play things by the book but with an empathetic heart.
There is supposed to be a jurisprudence no-fail online exam that dentists, hygienists and assistants need to take when renewing their licenses. Be aware of this and make your teams aware as well. That being said, there has been a glitch in the system. You may need to contact the BOD for a code if it has not yet been repaired. 615-532-5073
There seems to be a push for all licensees to use a national CE clearing house. There is a contract the BOD has that will take effect next month but reporting to them may be required next year. It is unknown at this time if reporting to the TDA will be enough to satisfy the requirement but the TDA will work hard to potentially make it happen. The other side of this is that the BOD would be able to generate a report which would immediately select out those providers that did not meet the CE requirement for audit and likely fine.
Finally, from 32 pages of bills,
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE HIGHLIGHTS:
HB667: Pediatrician having RDHs work in their office NOTE: seems destined to die a quiet death due to dentists and physicians not being interesting in supporting it
HB25: Taxes Business to reduce to eliminate the professional tax NOTE: this bill repeats under several other numbers like HB41, HB1034, HB13, etc.
HB1831: Changes to Prescribing Opioids NOTE: we may have to check the database for every narcotic script we write
HB1745: Study on Implementation of Teledentistry NOTE: may lead to RDHs teaching EFDAs at UT
HB1845: RDH independent practice NOTE: not with TDHA blessing, submitted out of goodwill by a politician whose friends are RDHs and losing jobs due to a dentist retiring. Not expected to move.
Please feel free to ask if there is a specific bill that you wish to further know about or discuss. These that were selected have been or can be the more interesting ones that were spotlighted by our TDA lobbyist.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
1. EFDA education: We have over 500 vs. a comparable state in MO that has over 6,000. We are expecting UT-Memphis to increase from 40 to 120 students per year. There have been discussions on having most of the program on line and over a long weekend, completing the participation part. A major hurdle is that courses must be at ADA school or specialty program that is in our law whereas other states do not have such requirements. The BOT has decided to try to have a sit down with BOD and UT to help alleviate the problems. UT Acting Dean Covington is more than willing to meet us more than half way on this.
2. Health Insurance: TDA has rolled out a Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement for dental practices. There are ways to enroll just yourself or any number of employees you wish to extend into the program. Contact the TDA Insurance Company to speak with them about your needs. These plans are only available to TDA member dentists and those they wish to include.
a) Fluoride water districts are allowed to self-regulate their districts much to the dismay of the anti-fluoride persons.
b) The repeal of the professional tax stalled. It is still sough t as there is a surplus.
c) The hygiene bill is still out there, having cleared committee and can be voted at any time AND amended to full independent practice as well. TDA is opposed and we are asking the TN-AMA and Pediatrics groups/ lobbyists to join us in opposition.
d) Jurisprudence test is coming, likely next year as part of renewing licenses.
e) At July BOD meeting, Daymar was denied their dental assisting program under the new rules due to missing forms. Will be reconsidered in October.
f) Opioid legislation is coming.
a. Reduction of HOD by about 50%. Pending House Of Delegates bylaw change.
b. There is now a separation of the HOD from the Annual Session at the conclusion of May 2018 Annual Meeting.
c. Grand Division Vice Presidents will be extended from one year term to two years term. Pending HOD approval. With a staggering of VPs so that everyone is not replaced at the same time.
a. New website, old address redirects therewww.tndentalassociation.com
b. Dr. David Sain for Wellness
c. Amy Williams: Office Manager, Board of Trustees, Strategic Planning, Annual Session
d. Brittany Hall: Communications Coordinator- Journal, Newsletter, website, phone app
e. Shirley Fleener: Annual Sessions, Government Affairs, TN-D-PAC
f. Katie Voorhis: Accountant
g. Johnsie Holloway: Peer Review, Membership Director
a. We have disbursed some funds to help the relief of TX and FL after their hurricanes. This is consistent with the history of the TDA.
b. Some exhibitors have spread a falsehood that there are no more Annual Meetings. This is not true. I’d be happy to discuss with anyone who needs more clarification.
c. TDA Journal, coming soon, has a great editorial on governmental regulations. Make sure you read it.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
What a great meeting! The weather was great, the city was not overly busy as we all know it
can be. The facility was nice and our friends in the First District, led by Drs. Richard Bateman
and Allen Burleson put on a great meeting to conclude Dr. Rick Guthrie’s wonderful presidency.
The new logo was shown as well as we celebrated 150 years. And there is/was an app for the
meeting, a sign of things to come…
1006 people came to Gatlinburg of which were 340 dentists, 151 hygienists, 181 assistants.
8DDS was well represented for awards with Dr. Don Jones turning out a Fifty Year recognition.
Dr. George Lee now has a TDA Fellowship. Dr. Debbie Wallace was recognized for Volunteer
Service in a Foreign Country as was Dr. Kristy Dye (who raised the bar by earning Volunteer
Service in the United States as well).
Sunset passed without event for another four years.
Due to lengthy discussion about the gas tax, the professional business tax did not get repealed
this time. It is expected to be on the agenda in 2018.
A fluoride bill passed to regulate fluoride so that anti-fluoride bills will be tougher to come
Opioid legislation is due in 2018.
A wellness bill passed to exclude dental providers, etc. from immediate suspension from an
CE will be given for volunteering in a charity clinic.
And finally, the hygienists in pediatricians’ offices bill (SB790/HB667) stalled. As a reminder,
Matt Hill pushed this bill which would allow a RDH who works for a dentist to do fluoride and
sealants in a pediatrician’s office. The bill was not received well by the dentists or the
pediatricians and was not expected to pass. Such a bill could have raised our Pew score though.
The bill has cleared committee. This means that the bill could be amended to even include full
independent hygiene practice and have a vote. The vote could come up at any time next
session from the first day to the last day. The TDA switched stances from neutral to opposed
after it cleared committee to show solidarity with the pediatric dentists, who employed their
own lobbyist. Careful diligence is due and calls to our legislators will likely be required in the
future, especially if you see any children as patients!
UT Memphis will be expanding the EFDA enrollment from 24 to 35. Dr. Beauchamp and myself
along with a few others are on a task force to further research a solution to the bottleneck.
The biannual ethics test (open book pass/fail) is on the attorney general’s desk. This could
mean it would become a requirement as soon as next year.
TDA Membership advantages announced a discount plan with the Peabody Hotel in Memphis.
Dues statements payment options are a huge success! And with credit cards! Dues will rise
$25 next year.
TDA has announced another member benefit. Tennessee’s first MEWA (multiple employer
welfare arrangement) for health insurance per the ACA is from the TDA and has partnered with
United Health Care and will be effective August 1. The strength is in the numbers as it can save
you hundreds each month on health care insurance.
SAVE THE DATES: TDA Annual Meeting: May 4-6, 2018 in Franklin, TN
Dentsply is not controlling the meeting. They are simply sponsoring the speakers. I tell you this
as there has been some rumors and misinformation out there and anyone could be asked about
it by a vendor.
The speakers include: Dr. Douglas Lambert, Dr. Timothy Bizga, Ms. Lori Trost, and Dr. Don
Tyndall. Comedian Henry Cho will be our entertainer for the President’s Party.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
TRUSTEE MEETING: April 2017
We were updated by both dental school deans. Both report a cost in line with the national average: Meharry is $250K; UT in state is $220K and out of state is $290K.
The five year plan to phase out the professional tax seems to be moving along towards it passage.
The pediatrician/ RDH bill seems like it may pass because it has kids attached to it. The pediatric dentists are opposed, the pediatricians are not impressed and the TDA is neutral. To those who are unfamiliar with this bill, it allow a RDH to work for a dentist, in a pediatricians’ office, to do fluorides, sealants and screenings. Much like the nursing home bill, it is expected to not see much participation- if any.
It has been discussed to award hour for hour continuing education for volunteering with a limit of eight hours.
There is a water district fluoridation bill to defer all anti-fluoridation legislation.
There is a bill about impaired providers, whereas a license would be suspended immediately if suspected. We are trying to get out of it as it works off the reverse principle of guilty until proven innocent.
We can expect the ethics/jurisprudence exam next year as the holdup was changing companies.
The BOD wishes to proceed with sedation permit holders being inspected. We are trying to find a common ground based upon scientific evidence in lieu of a political climate decision.
Oral Health Initiatives
There is a need for more providers to sign up for the Ryan White Program to treat individuals with HIV/AIDS.
The ADA will be raising their dues next year by $10.
The TDA will raise theirs by $25. The last TDA increase was 3 years ago so this would represent an annual increase of 2%. The main reason is technology and other increases that are needed since the retirement of the past Executive Director.
Dues can still be paid by installments, and online!
This is the 150th Annual Meeting of the TDA!
Come to Gatlinburg and see what the new TDA is doing and see how our brethren are recovering from their disaster. They need us!
An app is ready for Android and is in final stages for iPhone.
Save the dates: May 4-6, 2018 in Franklin, TN.
We are working hard at streamlining a board orientation process for the future leaders.
Our new ED, Mike Dvorak, has seen great enthusiasm on the dentists’ part as he smoothly has taken over the role and leads us into the current times successfully.
Dr. Richard Dycus of Cookeville will assume the TDA Presidency in May. He has a long track record as a hard worker in organized dentistry and will serve us all well.
It is recommended that each dentist create/update his/her profile on the ADA’s Find-A-Dentist website.
Board Report Highlights- January 2017
I have decided to make updates available to all as not everyone can attend the 8 th District
Dental Society meetings… though you should!
Attendance is not a requirement to information, per our Executive Committee.
TDA reports our district as 83 members strong.
There will be an installment plan for paying dues, which can finally be paid by card now!
We have some great doctors receiving awards at the Annual Meeting in Gatlinburg this year.
Please come and support them and the TDA. If nothing else, see how the area has risen up
from the devastation. You know you’re curious, so come and write it off!
Tenn-D- Pac continues to grow. Continue to be generous.
Our Wellness Committee has a 90% success rate and is being copied by other states.
There is a potential challenge to sedation permit holders on inspections. The TDA is working
hard to belay the potential threat. More to come as this develops.
A jurisprudence exam is coming likely next year.
Dental Therapist bill may/not show up this year. Not expected to do well if it does.
Professional business tax may disappear!
There is an idea of allowing RDHs under the supervision of a pediatric dentist to do fluorides
and sealants in pediatricians’ office. Not well supported on either side, medical or dental.
More surveys will be coming as we delve into where we are and where we wish to go. Please
continue to participate so your voice can be heard.
The Membership survey shows that our demographic is aging as over 80% have been members
11+ years. However, 85% rate membership as fair or better. 61% wish to be contacted by
email and 25% by newsletters.
Governance survey shows that about 80% approve of the representation but only 60%
understand the process as about 80% are satisfied or better about the component boundaries.
25% want to be involved in leadership while 40% have served as a delegate.
The Annual Meeting survey revealed that the majority of us go to the meeting for CE. It also
confirmed that 88% of attendees are over 40 years old. May or April were the preferred
months (but not on Mother’s Day weekend). Nashville and rotations were nearly tied for
location and most of us want to go to the beach for a destination meeting.
1557: Cyracom was endorsed by ADA for translation services just this month. They are
reducing their rate from $1.89 to $0.81/ minute. TDA is looking at other services as well before
endorsing. Don’t forget to update your paperwork and websites if you haven’t already! Some
have you have asked me about this and we now have an answer. We got a blast this week from
the ADA on this.
Amalgamators: legislation on hold but expected to proceed. Health Choice and SolmeteX have
been named as good choices. Keep an eye out for changes in deadlines as suppliers may be
Mike Dvorak is doing quite well as our new Executive Director as he continues to push the TDA
in a very positive direction. More great things are coming like newer technology, etc.
Please come to the Executive Committee or myself with your questions or concerns.