October 1999 Newsletter

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

Treasurer's Report Detail || NJDA State Board of Trustees Report

Membership News || Articles || Announcements

President's Message

Are you ready for Y2K? During the last year of the century, this is a question that has particular relevance to most dental practices, the majority of which are computerized. Many different types of electronic devices can be effected by the Y2K “bug”, including alarm systems, fax machines, VCR’s, postage machines, phone systems, etc…, but the most significant concern for most modern dental offices is the Y2K readiness of the office computer system and dental software.
After placing a call to our dental software supplier, I decided that we had two viable options: update our dental software and hardware with our current dental software company, or upgrade our system with a completely new and different company. My front desk staff had long-standing concerns regarding inadequacies with our current system and the software company’s support services, so we chose the latter option. We are now in the process of installing the new computer hardware and setting up the training dates for the front desk staff to learn the new software “system”.
If, as you are reading this, you have not yet evaluated your office system for it’s year 2000 readiness, then the hour is decidedly late, but the situation is not hopeless. There are many resources available to help you: the first place to go for help is the dental software company that installed and maintains your system. They can provide your office with a system analysis to determine if your computer is Y2K compliant, and if not, whether a software upgrade, hardware upgrade, or both is required.
The NJDA web site “members only” area has links to several sites that can provide helpful information regarding Y2K readiness; the most comprehensive site is maintained by the U.S. Small Business Association @ www.sba.gov/y2k. Some of the computer and software manufactures have sites devoted to year 2000 information and updates, including: www.software.ibm.com/year2000, and www.microsoft.com/y2k or by telephone @ 1-888-MFST-Y2K.
During the Autumn season NJDA annually hosts the President’s and President’s- Elect conference at NJDA headquarters. This year the all day meeting was hosted by the NJDA officers, Art Meisel (who will succeed Phil Cocuzza as executive director in January 2000), council chairpersons and NJDA staff.
This meeting is a forum for the component President’s and President’s-Elect to voice their concerns and wishes to the officers and staff on the State level. It also highlighted the many, and varied benefits of membership in organized dentistry: continuing education, legislative and regulatory representation, assistance with third-party-payer matters, publications such as the NJDA Journal and Capsule, the Mid-Atlantic Dental Expo, Law Line, NJDA web site, and our monthly MCDS meetings to name a few.
I truly hope that hurricane Floyd left all of our members relatively unscathed, and that all of the Y2K “bugs” in your computer systems are vanquished by years end. I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.
Mark Schambra, D.M.D.
Middlesex County Dental Society

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MCDS Board of Trustees Report

-September 14, 1999-

Attendance: Bloom, Brunsden, DeSciscio, Engel, Fahsbender, Fertig, Fromkin, Huberman, Kline, Krantz, Leizer, Livanos, Perlmutter, Rosen, Rosenheck, Schambra, Silverstein, Villa, Weiner
Acceptance of Minutes-5/11/99-Vote unanimous.
President’s Report-M. Schambra
• NJDA presented a $1000 check for the Net-a-Member-a-Month Award at the Annual Session for the highest net new members for 1998.
• The November Board of Trustees Meeting will be November 2ND instead of November 9th because of a conflict for the meeting room. Art Meisel will be addressing the Board at this meeting.
• The House of Delegates Meeting will be Wednesday, November 17, 1999 at the JFK Conference Center.
• A reception and dinner honoring Phil Cocuzza will be held on Wednesday, November 2, 1999 at the Forsgate Country Club at 7pm. Response forms a re available.
• Southern Dental Society is hosting it’s 100th Anniversary on Sunday, October 24th, 1999. The guest speaker is Dr. Richard Mascola, ADA President.
Editor Reports
M. Weiner, Content Editor-The deadline for the ads being placed in the monthly newsletter and the mailing list for that newsletter is the Board of Trustees meeting. All other submissions need to be made the following Tuesday, in Microsoft Word format.
R. Kline, Business Editor-$13, 345 has been earned in corporate sponsorship in less than a year. Calls are beginning to come in for corporate sponsorship without solicitation.
Secretary Report-B. Huberman
Continuing education documentation has been changed. There will be separate sign-in sheets for each member, which will be suitable for State Board credit and documentation if audited. A non-member binder will also be kept. The Board unanimously accepted the new system.
NJDA Council Reports:
NJDA Board of Trustees Report-C. Bloom
• The State Board responded to a question regarding participation of children in a school-based fluoride program. The Board stated that each child had to be evaluated individually and must have parental consent.
• The Trustees discussed policy statements issued by the Kansas and South Carolina State Boards of Dentistry. Both states regard any acts of diagnosis by an insurance company or their consultants as the practice of dentistry. It was noted that such policy will undoubtedly become a national trend.
• In the instance where a dental practice has been sold because of death or retirement, proposed legislation would liberalize the length of time the name of the retired or deceased dentist may remain as a part of the name of the dental practice.
• The trustees voted that ADA delay implementation of the new “Systematized Nomenclature of Dentistry” (SNODENT) and the 1998 ADA approved insurance claim form with new diagnostic codes until a dental health and economic impact study is performed to determine the oral health, dental benefit, and economic ramifications. The trustees are concerned that insurance companies could abuse the new codes and assign lower benefits.
• ADA Life Membership category will be re-examined to allow life members to earn some income or work a certain amount of hours and still retain their active life membership and not pay dues.
• Art Meisel reported on two new NJDA endorsements, the Glove Club and Paychex (payroll service). NJDA members should receive a discount on every box of gloves purchased from the Glove Club and Paychex has agreed to give NJDA members a 15% discount from its regular price schedule.
• Prior to the Trustees meeting, a budget committee hearing was held. The proposed year 2000 budget was passed and the grand total of all budgeted expenses was approved at $2,044,035.
Special Olympics-C. Brunsden
NJDA’s support of New Jersey Special Olympics continues this Fall. Packets have been mailed out to member dentists detailing sponsorship activities. 100 billboards will be posted statewide this Fall promoting NJDA member dentists support of Special Olympics. Dentists who participate will receive posters for the office, lapel pins for the staff, and a certificate or plaque in recognition of support.
Annual Session-P. Engel
There were pluses and minuses to the 1999 Annual Session. This year it was held on a weekend rather than mid-week, the classrooms were great and the exhibit hall was wonderful. On the downside, the convention center was too large for this affair-it looked empty with the number of people that attended (95 from MCDS), although it was the fourth highest percentage in attendance history, the food areas were too far removed from where the events were taking place, and the exhibitors were not happy with the amount of traffic through the exhibit hall. The event earned $152,000.
There is discussion on how to improve attendance and also to improve traffic through the exhibit hall so that the continue to return, like having a box lunch available in the exhibit hall and having a wine and cheese party there. Free lunch could be in the Hall on the last day of the Session. A companion ticket could be offered for a spouse to attend a lecture.
Membership Council-R. Kline
• A new drop list has been published. There are 20 names on the list, but many be in error. A personal contact may be indicated.
• A recruitment and retention manual has now been distributed, and new tripartite brochures have been printed.
• A decision needs to be made on how to publicize the website and to make it known that it is not just for dentists.
Communications-R. Silverstein
The Council is seeking a public awareness campaign from a firm that is different from the one that was designed by the ADA. It appears as if the goals of the campaign need to be defined. MCDS will oppose a public awareness campaign at this time.
Peer Review-J. Fahsbender
Three cases have been reviewed and settled.
MCDS Committee Reports:
Program-M. Weiner
• The schedule for the year is set with the exception of Staff Night. Anyone with innovative ideas is asked to contact Dr. Mitch Weiner.
Website-R. Silverstein
The May 1999 newsletter has been posted on the website.
Old Business
The revisions in the Rules of the Board revisions are being made, and will be presented to the Board.
New Business
The Board unanimously voted for a $2000 donation to be made to St. Peter’s Hospital for use of the conference room for continuing education events and $300 for use of the videotape library.
Respectfully submitted,
Bruce Huberman, DMD, Secretary

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Treasurer's Report

Detailed Treasurer’s Report
October 1, 1999
Nancy Villa, DMD

Previous Balance (4/30/99)
Current Balance (9/30/99)

5/31/99 Through 8/31/99
Continuing Education 50.00
Corporate Sponsorship
Continuing Education 1,625.00
Dinner Dance Ad Jour 1,550.00
Monthly Meetings 1,050.00
Newsletter 2,065.00
Dues 5,745.00
Interest 265.83
Mentor Committee 1,630.00
NJDA Membership Contest 1,000.00
Staff Night 2,140.00
TOTAL INCOME 17,120.83
Accountant Fees 200.00
Children’s Dental Health 1,893.00
Continuing Education 1,381.61
Dinner Dance .…85.18
Dinner Meetings 4,229.50
Donations(St. Peter’s) 2,300.00
Executive Committee Dinners 436.93
Insurance 337.42
Lecture Fees 700.00
Membership mailing 38.70
Mentor Committee 796.75
Name Badges .71.53
Newsletter 1,231.32
Plaques 391.91
Secretarial 161.00
Staff Night 10,052.25
Telephone .224.74
Net -7,411.98

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NJDA Board of Trustees Report

Components societies are not allowed to separately post minutes of the State Board of Trustees Report. You can now find the reports at http://www.njda.org/member/board_minutes/index.html.

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Membership News

MCDS Welcomes Our Newest Member:

Dr. Samuel Gordon, Jr.

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*At its meeting on September 3, 1999, the State Board adopted a regulation which will allow the direct supervision by a dentist of 3 hygienists. The rule will become effective upon its publication in the New Jersey Register.
*State Board Ruling-A dentist can charge patients for providing medication (SBE prophylaxis, etc.) chairside as long as the drug is needed in connection with the dental treatment being rendered.
*State Board Ruling-Dental hygienists cannot provide dental hygiene services to a homebound patient without direct supervision by a dentist.
*Dr. Henry Finger was elected President of the State Board. (Dr. Jerome Fien was elected Vice-President.)
*Lynn Foley was appointed as NJDA’s new Director of Membership and Communications and Nancy
Dean was appointed Director of Administration and Assistant Counsel of NJDA.
*A motion for summary disposition has been filed (by NJDA Counsel Arthur Meisel) with the Appellate Division seeking an order directing the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance to publish a proposed new PIP dental fee schedule.
*The Council on Communications made a presentation to NJDA Board of Trustees on a possible public awareness campaign. The campaign would consist of a combination of billboard advertising, in-office promotional materials and radio spots on NJ 101.5FM. (Middlesex component voted against pursuit of this public awareness campaign due to cost/benefit considerations).
*All members are reminded that Biennial License Renewal Application forms are due at the State Board by October 31, 1999. A late fee of $100 will be imposed on the $170 renewal fee if not received by this date.

Children's Dental Health Month 2000

“Healthy Smiles are
Out of This World”
Children’s Dental Health Month 2000
Organizational Meeting
Tuesday October 19, 1999
(after component meeting)
Please join our group as we plan for Children’s Dental Health Month. Your input will help define our campaign goals as well as identify our response to community dental health issues.
Cavan Brunsden, DMD


Dr. Harmon Katz , past-President of NJDA and MCDS, was elected President of the American Association of Endodontists.
Dr. George McLaughlin was elected to the Board of Trustees of Delta Dental Plan of New Jersey.
Dr. Richard Stern and his wife Natalie on the birth of their son, Lee.

Council on New Dentists

The NJDA Council on New Dentists met in September, with representation from the new student component from UMDNJ established this fall. The establishment of the student component provides our states dental students with direct access to and participation in NJDA’s active councils and a better appreciation for the benefits of membership in organized dentistry.
The council discussed ways to improve NJDA’s membership data for newer dentists, who change jobs or move residences frequently in the years following graduation. Among the suggestions were obtaining e-mail addresses for communication and the use of “address correction requested” envelopes in mailings to younger dentists. It is imperative that new dentist members who do move residences or offices notify NJDA and their local components as soon as possible so they can continue to receive newsletters and other important timely information from NJDA/ADA at their new address.
The Council also encouraged components and NJDA to continue to use corporate sponsorship as a means of defraying continuing education costs for newer dentists at their annual full-day C.E. programs.


Did you ever notice this? You sent out two claim forms for the same procedure for two different patients and you got back an EOB (Explanation of Benefits) stating that one of the claims “was above UCR”. How can the same procedure both be above and at UCR simultaneously? What does UCR stand for anyway? Does it stand for “Usual, Customary, and Reasonable” or does it stand for “Unjustified, Confidential, Rip-off”? The answer is neither and both.
When employers purchase a plan from an insurance company, they are purchasing specific covered benefits, at a specific percentile level, for a specified premium amount. If the employer wanted either additional benefits, or to have these benefits covered at a higher level, the employer would have to pay a higher premium. In other words, if a dental benefit plan is paying benefits at the 70th percentile level (percentile is the amount of Doctors charging less than that level), the premium to the employer would be less than if the employer purchased coverage at the 80th percentile level. Consequently, the UCR benefit amount for the 70th percentile plan would be less than the UCR benefit amount for the 80th percentile plan.
Dell Webb, a national speaker on this subject, suggests that Dental Insurance is closer to Automobile Insurance than Medical Insurance. Do two neighbors, he states, pay the same rate for their auto insurance? No, because the premium amounts are determined by the coverage limits and the specific coverages purchased.
So UCR is Usual, Customary and Reasonable, but only at a specific percentile level. If this simple fact is hidden, or if the patient is made to believe that the Doctor is overcharging, by such verbiage as “…the fee submitted exceeds the usual, customary and reasonable fee for this procedure”, then the UCR is also Unjustified, Confidential and is truly a rip-off.
If you have any questions about this Tidbit or any other Dental Benefit concerns, call me at my office (732) 469-8083, or call Mary Moskal at the New Jersey Dental Association (732) 821-9400.
Daniel B. Krantz, DDS
Middlesex Representative to Council on Dental Benefits

On the Lighter Side…

(The following is an OP-ED piece reprinted from The New York Times/Friday May 28,1999-Content Ed.)
My Fee-for-Service Coiffure (by Dr. Sharon Lewin-private practice, NYC)

I went to my hairdresser the other day. I’m a doctor on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and my hairdresser is my patient. He asked me whether I was in a certain managed-care network, and I said I was thinking of dropping out of all of them.
He said, “What will I do?” and I said, “You’ll have to pay me like I pay you.” It occurred to me that my haircuts cost twice as much as his visits to me.
I always ask new managed-care patients who referred them to me. Sometimes they say, “I got your name out of the managed-care directory.” I find myself asking them, “Would you choose a hairdresser from the Yellow Pages?”
The answer, invariably, is: “No! Who knows what I’d end up with?”
Something is wrong with this picture. For the sake of fairness in life, I think this country needs Managed Hair.
Hairdressers and clients would join H.M.O.’s (hair maintenance organizations). Clients would pay a small co-pay at each visit. Hairdressers would bill the H.M.O.’s and then wait (indefinitely) for payment. Because of reduced fee for service, hairdressers would have less time to spend with each client.
People with hair emergencies would have an 800 number to call for permission to see their stylist. These emergencies would be ranked in severity. For example, waking up one morning with no hair at all would be the most critical, followed by various sorts of bad hair days. If a client needed a major procedure (cut and color, let’s say), this would have to be pre-approved by a well-paid H.M.O. employee.
Sure, this would be a radical change, but these are desperate times. After all, the cost of hair care in this country is very high, and everyone has the right to good hair.

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In Memorium
Dr. Maurice Belsky
Dr. Belsky was a retired Life Member of the

Free CE
Society Meetings

MCDS members may attend general meetings of all component societies in the state and receive continuing education credit for the program (course) portion of the evening. Component Societies are providing this feature as a benefit of membership. Individuals wishing to purchase dinner must reserve prior to the meeting by calling the contact person indicated. A complete listing of programs can be found in the members only CE section of the NJDA website (www.njda.org). Be advised that programs involving NJDA officers and staff may not be eligible for credit. Licensees may utilize 7 credits per licensing cycle in practice management courses.

Save the Date...

The NJDA Council on New Dentists will be sponsoring a reduced fee course at the annual session in Atlantic City, Saturday, May 22nd. Featuring Dr. Karl Leinfelder: "Clinical Evaluation of Restorative Systems"

All members 10 years out of dental school or less can attend the full day course for only $90.

More details to come in future issues.

Don’t Forget These Great Member Benefits

MCDS Web Site — Our web site has all of the latest MCDS news, as well as archives of past newsletters and useful links. You can reach the site through NJDA’s component section (http://www.njda.org/member/02_components/middlesex). Contact Diane Davis at NJDA at 821-9400 or ddavis@njda.org for a user name and password.
MCDS Video Library — at St. Peter’s Hospital. All you need is a valid ADA membership card to access the extensive video collection.
Lawline — Remember LAWLINE if you have a legal question related to your dental practice. As a continuing member benefit, NJDA’s General Counsel, Arthur Meisel, Esq. is always available to confer, at no cost, with members.
If you have a question or need assistance, call Mr. Meisel at his direct-dial number (732) 422-2730 or send him a fax at (732) 821-1082.
Discounted hotel rates are available to ADA members at selected hotels in Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. For specific hotels and rates, call ADA at 312-440-2500 extension 2853.
Members who join Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom Club receive discounts at Disney hotels, resorts, and stores and on Disney cruises. Membership in the Magic Kingdom Club is free to ADA members. For more information, call ADA at 312-440-2500 extension 2582.
Hertz offers ADA members money-saving rates on car rentals in the United States and Canada, as well as bonus coupons throughout the year. For more information, call ADA extension 2923.

Annual Crossword Puzzle and Answers

1. What a hygienist might say to the third party candidate?
8. __ Elliot.
9. Final Impression Weapon.
10. Comedian Philips.
13. Don’t get a hygienist mad that’s holding one of these.
14. Word used with table or excavator.
15. They run the NYC Subway system.
18. Protease Inhibitors are used to combat this illness.
19. You can seal it or mosh in it.
20. Show that introduced the term, “Anti-Dentite” to the world.
23. An oral surgeon may employ one for OR cases.
24. Dental Honor Society.
26. Board game or management category.
27. Spielberg Classic.
28. Movie: __ Unmarried woman.
29. If you have this, then you know what I’m thinking right now.
31. Matrix falls off while being placed on Paul McCartney’s tooth.
35. Stereotype Land of Bad Teeth.
37. Participant in the healing process.
38. A Farewell __ Arms.
39. A Shot that’s “Dressed to Kill”.
44. Sha Na __
45. Old “Center Square” on show hosted by Peter Marshall.
46. One might use this term to describe a spitter.
51. Don’t let it get to you or you may snap.
52. Draft Organization.
53. Kind of Top.
54. Tooth Prefix.

1. Government Regulatory Agency.
2. School in Baton Rouge.
3. Bilko was one.
4. What an Orthodontist or Lawyer might do to you.
5. Chemical Suffix.
6. Lukewarm
7. Indiana Native.
11. A “Three Surface” Squad that may include Link.
12. It makes a good first impression.
14. Polio vaccine inventor.
16. You can vary the color of porcelain or composite by adding this.
17. Breakfast __ Tiffany’s
20. Friendly’s makes a good one on any day of the week.
21. Abe Vigoda played one.
22. Company that manufactures 12 DOWN.
25. Composite Lecturer from Middlebury, CT. Dr. John _____.
30. Term used to describe certain Ninja Turtles.
32. Anterior Forceps.
33. Top, Front and Back Surfaces.
34. Response from patient to the question, do you have your checkbook?
36. Relation.
40. It may be Refractory.
41. _____ Miss
42. It may be BI, TRI or even UNI.
43. You can’t get a dental licence without passing it.
47. ______ and Hammer.
48. Seinfeld Uncle.
49. AOL is one.
50. Man ____ Nature.