April 1999 Newsletter

President's Message || MCDS Board of Trustees / Committee Reports
Treasurer's Report Detail || NJDA State Board of Trustees Report
National and State Governmental Affair News || Articles || Announcements

President's Message

Our Prez

The members of the Middlesex County Dental Society Board of Trustees have been working feverishly in our behalf. They have been preparing for two major events - and they are both in April! The dental society exists to serve its members - it serves many purposes for each of us. Two of its key functions are to provide camaraderie amongst the members and to provide high quality continuing education for the members.

The first event will be the Middlesex County Dental Society Dinner Dance on Saturday evening, April 17th, 1999. The sole purpose of this evening is to have fun Let's get together with our friends and colleagues and enjoy an evening of good food, drink, music and dancing. We hope to see everybody having a great time together. Please be sure to come out and join us!

The second event is our all-day continuing education course, which is being held on Wednesday, April 21st, 1999. The speaker for the day is Gary Takacs. He is a nationally known lecturer on the subject of practice management. He is a regular contributor in Dental Economics. His topic will be "Getting Paid: New Strategies for Changing Times". This is an important topic and should provide us with practical tools that we can put to use immediately in our offices. His lectures are both motivating and entertaining for both the doctors and their staff members. This is a unique opportunity for us to see a nationally known lecturer in our own backyard at a significantly reduced fee. Be sure to bring your staff members for this course - you will be glad you did!

Our monthly evening dental society meeting is the Tuesday night preceding the all-day course. Gary Takacs will be speaking that night as well, and will be putting together a unique presentation for us. He rarely has the opportunity to lecture to an audience comprised solely of dentists without their staff members, and this will allow him to address some sensitive practice management issues with us on that Tuesday night, April 20th, 1999. The two presentations will be completely different and we hope you plan to attend both of them!

Please be assured that the members of the Board of Trustees are working hard behind the scenes for all of us. If any of you have any issues, concerns or ideas for the dental society, please call me and make your thoughts and opinions heard. If any of you are interested in helping or getting involved, please call me as well. I hope to see you all this month!


Ira S. Rosen, D.M.D.

President, Middlesex County Dental Society

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MCDS Board of Trustees Report

-March 9, 1999-

Attendance: Brunsden, Chustckie, Clemente, DeSciscio, Fertig, Glickman, Habas, Huberman, Kahn, Kline, Krantz, Lawson, McLaughlin, Perlmutter, Prabhu, Rosen, Schambra, Silverstein, Villa

Acceptance of Minutes-2/9/99-Vote unanimous.

Treasurer's Report: Previous Balance $47,241.05
P. DeSciscio, Treasurer Income/Expenses + 1,299.43 Current Balance $48,540.48

President's Report-I. Rosen

All resolutions for the House of Delegates must be brought to Phyllis Cortazzo by 3/26/99 for the Annual Session.

The ADA has requested nominations for the Golden Apple Awards. We will consider submitting MCDS for a Golden Apple Award for Membership.

We need to update the Rules of the Board to outline procedures for dealing with new members, life members, deceased members, induction of new officers, CE credit verification, dues waivers, MCDS phone line, and patient referrals to member dentists.

ADPAC Report-P. DeSciscio

This year's fundraiser event will be in Atlantic City on 5/21/99. Diamond Club members receive preferred seating and complimentary beverages.

NJDA Council Reports:

Governmental Affairs Council-J. Perlmutter

Multiple bills are pending in the legislature and we will be kept appraised as to their progress.

The NJDA Council on Governmental Affairs will consider the names of nominees to the State Board of Dentistry to be recommended to the Governor for her consideration. Two positions may be available, and component societies have been asked for nominees to fill those positions. The names of Drs. George McLaughlin and Arnold Rosenheck were presented for possible nomination.

Judicial Council-J. Fertig

A meeting of the Judicial Council was called by the Monmouth-Ocean component for next week to discuss the vote on the NJDA dues increase at the House of Delegates meeting this past November.

Long Range Planning-R. Kline

The Council will be changing the NJDA mission statement and will be presenting it to the Board of Trustees for approval. The new mission statement will appear on their letterhead and in the Journal.

The Council is also developing new, high-tech ways to communicate with its membership, and also considering ways to improve membership R & R.

Special Olympics-C. Brunsden

Member dentists raised Forty thousand dollars for Special Olympics this year. Corporate sponsors paid for the billboard advertising around the state, which were provided at a greatly reduced rate for the Special Olympics.

Children's Dental Health Month-C. Brunsden

The County Nurses Continuing Education Program is March 10, 1999. Forty-two nurses are registered for this program.

MCDS Committee Reports:

Membership-N. Villa

A new member prospect list was compiled. Volunteers will select people they know and call them and invite them to an evening dinner meeting and also mail them a newsletter. We will try to contact ten nonmember dentists per month. The upcoming full day program will be a great advertisement for membership in the Society because of the tremendous member benefit that it provides.

We have one new member since the last meeting.

Dinner Dance-H. Habas

RSVP's have just started coming in for the dinner dance. We are expecting many more to follow shortly. There will be a meeting following next month's Board meeting to finalize seating arrangements.

Continuing Education Committee-P. Engel

The brochures have been completed and will be mailed to Middlesex and Central members and Middlesex non-members.

Mentor Committee-E. Glickman

The OSHA course is scheduled for April 15, 1999. 150 doctors and staff are registered so far.

New Business

A resolution was made, discussed, and unanimously approved by the MCDS Board of Trustees as follows, "Resolved that MCDS opposes the purchase of the Prudential health care business by Aetna. We feel that such a merger will be anti-competitive and detrimental to patient care and we further encourage NJDA and ADA to support this position.

Respectfully submitted,

Bruce Huberman, DMD

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Treasurer's Report

Previous Balance (2/28/99) $47,241.05
Reimbursement from NJDA (Executive Committee Dinners) .. 304.77

Adjusted Balance ... $47,545.82
Income / Expenses
(1/31/99 - 2/28/99 .... $14,725.00

Net Profit: $ 994.66

Current Balance

(3/31/99) $48,540.48

2/28/99 Through 3/31/99


Dues $11,260.00
Dinner Dance 2,200.00

Corporate Sponsorship -

Newsletter 665.00
Meetings 600-00
Total $ 14,725.00


Office Supplies $8,170.60
Newsletter 1,482.56
Dinner Meetings 2,322.85
Dinner Dance 1,092.48
Lecture Fees 500.00
Secretarial 98.00
Name Badges 70.22
Telephone 43.63

TOTAL EXPENSES . .. ($13,223.18)

NET PROFIT $994.66


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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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National and State Governmental Affairs News

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has audited several dentists questioning their use of a tax credit associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act (AwDA) for the purchase of dental equipment such as intraoral cameras, panorex machines and certain chairs. The Council recommended a regulatory approach and suggested that staff approach the Department of Justice to facilitate the ADA:s future effort on this issue with the IRS. If the regulatory approach is not successful, the ADA will consider legislative initiatives.

At the request of the ADA, Representative Manzullo (R-11) will re-introduce the "Accounting Fairness for Physicians and Dentists Act of 1998" in the 106th Congress to ensure dentists are able to use the cash method of accounting in their practices. Last year, Rep. Manzullo met with the IRS Commissioner Rossetti. Shortly thereafter, the IRS issued a technical advice memorandum favorable to the Illinois dentists affected by the initial cash v. accrual adverse rulings. As a result, those dentists can continue to use the cash method of accounting. However, it is necessary to advance Representative Manzullo's bill to ensure a similar situation does not occur in the future.

Prompt Payment/HINT (A-2121, S-323):These bills, which would require paper claims to be paid within 40 days and electronic claims to be paid within 21 days, among other things, are both on the Governor's desk. While it is believed that the Governor will eventually sign this legislation, the bills may be conditionally vetoed to make some small changes.

Dental Anesthesia/Hospital Charges (A-1913): This legislation, which would require health insurers to pay necessary hospital and anesthesia charges for patients aged five or under or those disabled of any age, is also on the Governor's desk. Mr. Prentice expects this bill to be signed.

Health and Dental Claims Responsibility Act. (A-2626) this legislation would require insurers to promptly notify health care providers as to whether treatment is authorized.

Tobacco Tax Settlement: The COGA discussed the possibility of having some portion of New Jersey's share of the national tobacco tax settlement be used for increasing dental reimbursement for Medicaid services. While there will be many worthy programs fighting for these dollars - expected to total $250-300 million a year for 25 years - dentistry should fight for its share.

Dental Assistant X-Ray Training (S-226) This legislation, supported by NJDA, would empower the State Board of Dentistry to set the xray training standards for dental assistants. The bill was considered for a vote in the Senate , but it was held when it failed to receive sufficient votes for passage. A primary reason for the lack of support was the presence of many dental assistants and dental assisting students in the State House who conveyed the incorrect message that the bill lowered the training standards. NJDA will be working with Senator Cardinale, the bill's sponsor, to ensure that it passes in the near future.

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Labor Department wants UCR data given to patients

U.S. Labor Department officials admonished dental benefit representatives at a public hearing February 19, 1999 that usual and customary fee schedules must be made available to patients under federal ERISA rules.

The agency held three days of hearings on proposals to require employer-sponsored health plans to provide better information on how benefits are determined and faster responses when claims are denied.

"Labor has made it fairly clear they (fee schedules) are subject to disclosure," an official with Labor's pension and welfare benefits administration told Delta Dental and National Association of Dental Plans representatives. He cited a 1996 Labor Department advisory opinion stating that "usual and customary" fee schedules used as a basis for determining the dollar amount that would be paid for health claims are "instruments under which the plan is established or operated" within the meaning of section 104(b) of the ERISA Act and therefore must be furnished to participants and beneficiaries upon written request.

At that time, Labor emphasized that under ERISA, participants and beneficiaries should have access to documents that directly affect their benefit entitlements. This principle takes on an enhanced importance when such documents are directly relevant to the denial of a specific benefit claim. Source: ADA ONLINE, ADA News Daily, March 4, 1999

American Association of Dental Examiners

The main theme this year was "fostering Better Communications" and featured ten speakers discussing licensure examinations. Forty-one states utilize a Regional Board and twelve states have their own examination. All states recognize the National Board for the didactic portion. The AADE wants to have a national standard examination while recognizing state's rights at the same time.

The AADE is shifting education to performance rather than requirements. The schools will develop competency standards to evaluate students. They will look at behavior skills.

The ADA wants exams comparable, not necessarily standardized. The ADA is also looking to changing clinical exams away from human beings and more to dentoforms or computer generated images. There is a concern for what happens to the patient who has a treatment that fails the exam. The ADA has vested the Joint Commission to create a national data base to find out what happens to these people. The chairman of the AADE Committee on Competency was upset that he was not on this commission.

The most significant part of the meeting took place at the meeting of the AADE Executive Council. They reviewed their deliberations of the PEW Commission report "Strengthening Consumer Protection: Priorities for Health Care Workforce Regulation." The implications from this report can change the face of the practice of health care in ways we have never before considered.

The report calls for.

o More public representation on State Dental Boards (which may lead to denturism and dilution of professional expertise on State Boards).

o More detailed disclosure of malpractice payments (even though many cases are settled without a determination of wrongdoing and are influenced by insurance company desires to settle for economic reasons)

o Facilitating professional mobility through legislation (most controversial).

ADA Board of Trustees News

OSHA has finally released its long-anticipated proposed ergonomics standard, which will affect approximately 2 million work sites if it takes effect next year. Our preliminary assessment is that a dental office in which a repetitive stress injury is reported would be subject to OSHA enforcement measures. We also are quite concerned about the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommended exposure limit of 25ppm of nitrous oxide to staff during nitrous administration. Our Division of Science has determined that even with proper scavenging systems, it is impossible to reduce exposure to that level in a dental administration of nitrous because of the open system and inadequate exhaust rates. Although NIOSH does not have regulatory authority, OSHA has adopted this level as a standard and we are aware of one citation of a dentist with levels in the operatory of only 44ppm. Our division of science is currently working with NIOSH to have them set aside their 25ppm recommendation until an appropriate study can be completed to verify or refute this level of exposure. OSHA will not back off of the 25ppm level unless NIOSH will agree to change their position.

NJ State Board News

The State Board is preparing its fiscal year 2000 budget. Based on the preliminary information given to the State Board and supplied to NJDA, it appears that license fees will be increased by $70 to $170.


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MCDS' Second Annual Full Day Continuing Education Course

Featuring Nationally Recognized Practice Management Consultant and Lecturer

Dr. Gary Takacs

Wednesday, April 21, 1999

It's Time for Another

Dinner Dance


April 17, 1999

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.

OSHA Course Rescheduled

The January OSHA course sponsored by the Mentor Committee was cancelled due to inclement weather. It has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 15, 1999 at St. Peter's Hospital. Registration will be from 6:30-7:00 pm and the course will follow from 7:00-9:00 pm.
Limited space remaining - call immediately to register (mandatory).
Dr. Ethan Glickman
732-572-4244 or fax to 732-572-4274

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.


Middlesex County Dental Society


"A Great Smile is Always in Fashion"

County-wide School Poster Contest

• Pediatrician Awareness Program

• County Nurses Continuing Education -Mar. 10, 1999

• NJDA at the Circus - "A Family Affair" -Mar. 14, 1999

* Dental Health Fair and Awards Ceremony - Apr. 11, 1999

MCDS members actively support the concept of early preventive dental health education for children. If you wish to participate in the Children's Dental Health Program contact:

CAVAN BRUNSDEN, DMD at 732-679-2323

Don't Forget These Great Member Benefits

MCDS WEB SITE - (password and user name assigned by Diane Davis at NJDA: 732-821-9400).

MCDS VIDEO LIBRARY - at St. Peter's Hospital - all you need as a MCDS member 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 (732) 821-9400 (NJDA).

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