November 1997 Newsletter Issue 20

President's Message | MCDS Board of Trustees / Committee Reports | Treasurer's Report Detail

NJDA State Board of Trustees Report | Articles | Announcements

President's Message

President's Message . . . Cavan Brunsden

S.W.O.T.... an acronym standing for Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

On July 23, 1996, the Middlesex County Dental Society began a program designed to analyze and plan out our future as a dental organization. In conjunction with the ADA Field Service Program we performed a SWOT analysis and I would like to share with you the findings, the recommendations, and how they form the basis for our membership action plan.

Capitalizing on the strengths and opportunities confronting the MCDS and turning around the weaknesses and threats serves as the master plan for our future.

STRENGTHS: Conveyors of information, legislative representation, networking opportunities for members, continuing education, camaraderie, research.

WEAKNESSES: Lack of employment programs, public relations, high dues, low representation of women and minorities.

OPPORTUNTIES: Full day continuing education, social events, new member welcome programs, provide leadership opportunities, new member help programs, communicate benefits.

THREATS: Declining membership, declining communication between NJDA and ADA, splintering of the profession.

Since the beginning of the membership task force, the MCDS has taken to heart the implications of this SWOT analysis. We truly see the need for active participatory leadership if we are to actively direct our own future. The message came across loud and clear. The strength of our organization is directly related to the members, more specifically, their recruitment and their retention.

There are many excellent reasons for joining organized dentistry. Some of the typical reasons are: to get involved, to support the profession, peer recognition, camaraderie, networking, legal representation, continuing education, information source, leadership opportunities, insurance, contract review services, career advancement, and the ever present, "it's the right thing to do." MCDS has taken the attitude that we have a responsibility to inform all non-members and new dentists about the true benefits of belonging. Our newsletter, the mentor program, our continuing education program and the many other programs and services provided by MCDS serve as clear examples of our commitment to the continued support and growth of our profession.

The objections to membership pale in comparison to aforementioned benefits, however, they do deserve our attention and response. The typical objections are: benefits do not justify the cost, tripartite membership requirement, no one asked me to join, not made to feel welcome at meetings, spouse membership, member of other organization, too busy. These typical objections to joining organized dentistry have become the framework around which the MCDS has designed membership recruitment and retention program.

The recent past clearly defines a new direction for the MCDS. Our response as a group is positive and assertive in its desire to confront these objections with a clear presentation of the many benefits of membership. It is our goal to raise the level of "perceived value" in a climate of camaraderie and mutual respect for our profession.

Your participation, your ideas, and your opinions give us our direction.

Thank you for your support.

-Cavan Brunsden, D.M.D., President

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MCDS Board of Trustees Report

- October 14, 1997 -

Attendance: Bloom, Brunsden, DeSciscio, Engel, Fertig, Glickman, Kahn, Krantz, Leizer, McLaughlin, Perlmutter, Rosen, Schambra, Silverstein, Villa, Weiner.

Acceptance of Minutes last meeting -September 9, 1997 - Unanimous.

Treasurer's Report:   Previous Balance  $33,016.77
 C. Bloom, Treasurer  Income / Expenses -1,167.85
   Current Balance  $31,848.92



Membership Council-N. Villa

Dues waivers were approved for three Middlesex County members. Applications for membership were received from Lynda Mabene of JFK and Hugh Rosenblatt of RWJ.

In order to attract more new members and add onto our record new membership numbers for the year, MCDS has been mailing copies of our monthly newsletter to county non-members. The money being spent for publication and mailings to non-members is being reimbursed to us by the ADA through their membership task force "Field Service Program." According to MCDS Membership Chairperson Dr. Nancy Villa, this ADA Program has been an invaluable help to our improved new membership numbers in 1997.

On the subject of New Dentist recruitment, welcome letters were mailed to the local dental residents thanking them for attending our September scientific program along with an application for membership. To date, applications for membership were received from Dr. Lynda Mabene of JFK Hospital and Dr. Hugh Rosenblatt of RWJUH.

At the recent Peer Review Workshop given by NJDA and ADA, there was a presentation on the National Practitioner's Data Bank. I am going to reprint some of the key questions and answers over the next few newsletters.

Government Affairs-J. Leizer

There was a discrepancy in the dental PIP fee schedule. PIP had allowed a cost-of-living increase in fees, but is now forced to adhere to the 75% of UCR. PIP fees are published by NJDA and are posted on their website.
NJDA assignment of benefits bill passed in the NJ State Senate and is now going to the Assembly for vote. This bill will allow patients to assign their benefits to a non-par dentist.
$100,000 in services have been donated so far this year for Donated Dental Services.
Gov. Whitman signed the Health Care Quality Act.
State prescription pads will have to be in use on 12/1/97. They will now be allowed to be imprinted with multiple office locations on one pad. There is a 90 day grace period for the effective date because some suppliers have yet to receive the state-approved forms.

ADA Board of Trustees-J. Leizer

The ADA is proposing a massive nationwide ad campaign at a cost of $90 million over the next three years. The cost would be a $300 dues increase per member per year for three years. An informal vote was taken to guide how our vote should be represented at the next ADA delegates meeting. Dr. Leizer will vote against this ad campaign.
ADA is working a nationwide Direct Reimbursement program. The cost is a dues increase of $25 per year for promotion of this program. This program has not been sucessful in New Jersey because of a large union presence and many large corporations.

Communications-P. DeSciscio

There will be a Spokesperson Training Program on Wednesday, 11/19/97. One person from each component should be selected with an alternate for this program. Training will teach how the media and spokespeople interact.

Council on Dental Benefits-D. Krantz

PSE&G has a new direct reimbursement program administered by Prudential. Problems are occurring because an insurance company is administering this program.
CIGNA is working on changing policy so that eligibility information will be able to be obtained by phone.
PIP fees for dental are being updated using the 75th percentile of UCR.
Delta is not paying periodontists for extractions when performed with another periodontal procedure.

NJDA Board of Trustees-D. Krantz

See full report in this newsletter.

MCDS Committee Reports:

Membership Committee-N. Villa

The task force will be meeting with Erin Murphy for a final review of past efforts, review of expenses, and future planning. Dr. Villa will be compiling all task force expenses for member recruitment and retention within the next two weeks. All information pertaining to this should be submitted to her as soon as possible.
Newsletters were mailed to all nonmembers this month and will be mailed next month also. Welcome letters were nailed to the dental residents thanking them for attending our scientific program along with an application for membership.
The last two years were the first time that nonmembers have been targeted for member recruitment, and this year we have 18 new members.

Editor's Report-M. Weiner

The September issue of the newsletter was sent to all nonmembers, and hopefully will attract some to become members.

For website coordination, please send all original copies of all information or articles for the newsletter directly to Dr. Silverstein so that they can be scanned for the MCDS web page. Faxed copies are not clean enough to scan.

Program Committee-P. DeSciscio

Final plans are being made for Staff Night. A deposit check needs to be sent to hold the date.
Menu choices are being changed for the dinner meetings. There will still be three selections.

Old Business

Mentor Committee-E. Glickman

10 members of the mentor committee met and discussed programs for the year. Included in this yearís program will be a workshop on high-tech advantages in dentistry which will operate on a 20-30 minute rotating basis so that information can be received on many topics in few hours. Marcy Dental Lab has a new 3 CEU computerized program that will be looked into for this year. (Marcy will pick up the cost of the room, mailings, etc.) In November there will be a program for medical spending accounts and sexual harassment. The OSHA seminar has 174 people signed up so far at a cost of $10/member and $50/nonmember.

Corporate Sponsorship-I. Rosen

The Corporate Sponsorship committee completed its sponsorship and advertising policy.
The preliminary policy is as follows:
All corporate sponsors and advertisers of the MCDS must comply with the advertising and sponsorship standards of the MCDS. The selection of a sponsor or advertiser is not to be construed as an endorsement or approval by the MCDS of the product or service being offered, unless the sponsorship or advertisement specifically involves an authorized statement that such approval or endorsement has been granted.
Corporate sponsors of continuing education programs must comply with presentations that are generic in nature. No references to superiority or products or marketing of products will be acceptable and the presentation should be generic in nature.
Sponsors or advertisers understand that the MCDS, in its sole discretion, has the absolute right to accept, reject, and/or cancel any sponsorship or advertisement for any reason whatsoever.
This policy was discussed, and will be amended to include that dentists cannot advertise dental services, but will be permitted to advertise other services. A rate sheet will be put together and potential advertisers will be approached.
This committee is dissolved now that this task has been completed.

Website-R. Silverstein

All information for the website must be received ASAP. It takes about three weeks for information to be approved by NJDA to be posted on the MCDS website. Information goes from Dr. Silverstein to Diane Davis to Art Meisel for approval, back to Dr. Silverstein, and then to Batnet, who hosts the site. Dr. Silverstein will discuss with Art Meisel and Diane Davis if informational items, like changes in meeting schedules and the like can be excluded from this process to make them more timely.

NJ Special Olympics Promotional Campaign-This program raised between $35-40,000 for NJ Special Olympics. The Special Olympics is setting up a mouthguard program to be sponsored by NJDA.

New Business

Continuing Ed Verification-A letter containing all continuing ed programs for last year was included in the September newsletter.
UMDNJ is searching for a new president. The current president is resigning effective 1998.

Good and Welfare

Sy Symanski has been moved to a veterans home in Burlington, NJ. Drs. Engel and Brunsden have his new address.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Schambra, DDS

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Treasurer's Report

October 1, 1997

Treasurer: Charles Bloom, D.M.D.

Previous Balance

(9/1/97) $33,016.77

Income / Expenses

(9/9/97-10/1/97) -1,167.85

Current Balance

(11/1/97) $31,848.92


9/1/97 Through 10/1/97


TOTAL-INCOME $2,031.78




November 1, 1997

Treasurer: Charles Bloom, D.M.D.

Previous Balance

(10/1/97) $31,848.92

Income / Expenses

(10/1/97-11/1/97) -6,860.70

Current Balance

(11/1/97) $24,988.22


10/11/97 Through 11/1/97






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NJDA State Board of Trustees Report

Effective immediately, components societies are no longer allowed to separately post minutes of the State Board of Trustees Report. You can now find the reports at

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BIENNIAL REGISTRATION FEES NJDA: 1 - Division of Consumer Affairs: O

Within the past few weeks, the NJDA (through its legal Counsel Arthur Meisel) has scored a major victory for its member dentists by succeeding in its efforts to reduce 1997-99 biennial license registration fees. The New Jersey State Board of Dentistry recently notified dentists that in addition to the reduced fees for the 1997-99 period, it would also extend the expiration date on current 1995-97 licenses and CDS registration through April 30, 1998. According to NJDA Counsel Arthur Meisel, the new active dentist biennial registration fee for 1997-99 will be $100, a significant reduction from its present $220. Moreover, non-active dentist registration fees will be reduced from $100 to $40, and the branch office fee will be reduced from $60 to $26.

It should be emphasized that there will be no extension of the period to complete 40 hours of continuing education for the biennial period ending October 31, 1997. Records for courses attended after October 31, 1997 should be counted towards the next biennial registration period for 1997-99.

This welcome reduction in biennial registration fees was precipitated by legal action initiated by NJDA. According to a recent Capsule publication, "Under state law, a professional licensing board cannot establish fees at a level that will raise amounts in excess of the amount estimated to be required . . . it appeared that the State Board would maintain a considerable surplus if a downward fee adjustment was not made. To force the issue, NJDA filed an appeal in the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division. In the face of the appeal, the Division (projected numbers that) confirmed that a substantial reduction in fees was warranted."

This is an excellent example of the fact that organized dentistry in New Jersey, accentuated by the legal expertise of NJDA Counsel Arthur Meisel, is second to none. No other professional organization in this State gives these kinds of returns on a dues investment. Having the Counsel and staff at NJDA behind us in the courthouse as well as the statehouse allows us to do what we do best, deliver quality dental care to our patients. It is important to convey to non-members how instrumental NJDA was in obtaining this dues increase. The benefits to participation in and support of organized dentistry may not have been as clear to many of these people as it is mow. The stronger our membership base of support is, the better prepared we will be to face the legal and legislative battles that lie ahead. However, we should all take a minute to bask in the glow of a rare victory against "big brother."

-Mitch Weiner

Peer Review Q&A

What is the National Practitioners Data Bank?

The National Practitioner Data Bank (Data Bank) is a new tool available to state licensing boards, hospitals and other health care entities, professional societies, and federal agencies to improve the quality of health care. The Data Bank collects information to identify adverse or disciplinary actions taken against physicians, dentists and other health care practitioners.

The Data Bank was created by the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 (the Act), Public Law 99-960. The Act was signed on November 14, 1986.

When did the Data Bank begin operation?

The Data Bank began operation on September 1, 1990. Any adverse actions taken and medical malpractice payments made on or after that date are reportable to the Data Bank.

What type of information must be reported to the Data Bank?

The Data Bank collects and releases to eligible parties the following information as it relates to adverse or disciplinary actions taken against physicians and dentists:

Health care malpractice payments, interpreted as including refunds made in response to a written request;

Adverse licensure actions;

Adverse actions on clinical privileges; and

Adverse actions on professional society memberships.

How is information in the Data Bank to be used?

The information contained in the Data Bank is to be used to inquire into specific areas of a practitioner's licensure, professional society memberships, malpractice payment history, and record of clinical privileges. The Data Bank was intended to augment, not replace, traditional forms of credentials review. It is a nationwide flagging system that provides another resource to assist state licensing boards, hospitals and other health care entities in conducting extensive independent investigations of the qualifications of the health care practitioners they seek to license, hire or to whom they wish to grant clinical privileges.

Any questions on this or Peer Review, please fax to Dr. Fromkin at (732) 821-1904.

On the Lighter Side

Imagine you've just finished another grueling workday. Your assistant called in sick and your receptionist was 1/2 hour late forcing you to play multiple roles to the point of exhaustion. Emergencies had to be squeezed into your schedule including one of your tough to manage patients with a hot molar. The turbines on two of your four high speed handpieces are shot and the hygienist has reported that the cavitron is broken and five toothbrushes remain in your inventory. Right before you finish for the day, your receptionist informs you not only that she was unable to get through to any of the insurance companies 800 numbers to track down past due claims, but also that your accounts receivable is skyrocketing. On the way home on the car radio, you hear the fed has just raised interest rates, causing your practice loan payment to increase. As you finally reunite with your family and sit down for dinner, your beeper goes off. Of course it's tough to manage patient with the hot molar (you didn't locate the fourth canal during the pulpectomy and she's still symptomatic). Many practitioners are realizing that it's impossible to live this way. That's why we've designed the "Dentists Protection Program." The Dentists Protection

Program was designed to allow dentists to abandon their lives as they know it. Upon notification to our 800 number, 1-800-BOLTING, we will pack up your belongings, give you and your family new names with necessary documentation, fly you off to a home at a new location thousands of miles away, and place you in a job virtually stress free compared to dentistry (postal worker, air traffic controller, etc.). In addition, we will relieve your staff of their duties and run a tape on your answering machine that says the office is closed for renovations and that Dr. Kevorkian is covering for you while you're gone.

The Dentists Protection Program not only helps participants, but also dentists that don't participate by reducing the number of dentists in the area, thereby creating a more favorable ratio of dentists to patients.

Dr. Gordon Christensen (not his real name) _ If I didn't get rescued by

the Dentists Protection Program, I probably would have hanged myself with size 3 Ultradent cord, the best testing packing cord in recent research by CRA."

Name withheld upon request - "Spectacular! I just love my new name. You guys saved me just in time. I had an OSHA inspectoin the next day!"

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MCDS Well Represented: at Annual NJDA Component President/President Elect's Conference


On November 5, 1997 at NJDA Headquarters, the third annual "Component President's and President's Elect Conference" was held. The conference displayed how well represented MCDS is on the state council level. In addition to the presence of MCDS current President Dr. Cavan Brunsden and President-Elect Dr. Ira Rosen, presentations were made by several MCDS members:

  • Dr. Carl Langbert Chair, Council on Governmental Affairs
  • Dr. George C. McLaughlin Chair, Council on Dental Education
  • Dr. Mitchell L. Weiner (newly appointed) Chair, Council on New Dentists
  • The powerful representation that MCDS has achieved on the state level assures that our components concerns will be given a fair hearing at state council meetings.

    New Address:


    Masonic Home of New Jersey

    902 Jacksonville Road

    Burlington, NJ 08016-3896

    (Rm. C-316)


    Sy welcomes correspondence from his friends in MCDS, an organization he has been devoted to for over 74 years.

    Ski Trip



    MCDS is organizing an all-day ski trip the last wednesday of February so that members and their families can enjoy a day of fun, sport, and stress-free re-energization. If interested, please contact Dr. Brian Dubin at 821-7676



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