September 2000 Newsletter

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

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

Membership News || Articles || Announcements

Annual Crossword Puzzle


MCDS Reduces Dues by $13

President's Message

I want to welcome MCDS members back from what I hope was an enjoyable summer for you and your families. I hope we are all ready for the September to June portion of our lives that so rudely intrudes on our summer with junk mail starting in July advertising fall fashions and back to school sales. I don’t know about you, but even though I’m not ten years old anymore, I don’t want to be reminded about summer’s end until at least the day before school starts, let alone stashing away my pastel argyle socks for the dark colors of daylight savings time. But lucky for me and my dental colleagues, the news isn’t all that bad when September rolls around because we’re in such a great profession and, in New Jersey especially, no group of professionals is backed up by a more effective organization than NJDA. Whether it’s the day after Labor Day or any other day, most of us are still our own bosses. If you want to work all summer and take your vacation starting September 4th, you can do it (if you don’t have kids!). You can set your own working hours, opt to participate in some, several, or no insurance programs. NJDA has been very active in countering the insurance industry and we can be confident about our ability to make a good living without being bitter about it, in contrast to our counterparts in medicine. We are also in the midst of a watershed moment in technology that effects every facet of our practices, from the way we can take our x-rays, prepare teeth and treat periodontal disease, to the way we can file our insurance claims and market our skills. Furthermore, particularly in New Jersey, our profession is one of great diversity and truly reflects the ethnic and racial richness that makes our country so unique. Dentistry, NJDA, and MCDS also have encouraged the participation of women. Enrollment of women in dental schools has increased significantly and Dr. Maxine Feinberg is in the process of “moving up the chairs” to become NJDA President, as is Dr. Nancy Villa in our own component.

Yes, all of these things are but a small part of what makes dentistry so great, but perhaps most important of all is the service we offer. We have the opportunity to provide patients with a good service in a supportive environment every day. We truly make a difference in peoples lives and, while we all must adhere to certain standards, we have tremendous creative freedom and can all make that difference in our own way. This is truly the core tenet of our profession and all the other issues that we gripe about are peripheral to it, besides the fact none of those issues are insoluble.

So, summer draws to a close, but is the glass half empty or half full? In light of our chosen profession (and that the Yankees are in first place and the Mets will at least be a wildcard team again), I beg you to consider the latter.

Sincerely,
Charles Bloom, D.M.D.

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MCDS Board of Trustees Report

-May 9, 2000-

Attendance: Bloom, Brunsden, Chustckie, Clemente, DeSciscio, Engel, Fertig, Glickman, Kahn, Kline, Krantz, McLaughlin, Perlmutter, Prabhu, Rosen, Schambra, Silverstein, Villa, Weiner

Acceptance of Minutes –4/11/00-vote unanimous with one correction.
President’s Report-M. Schambra
• The phone line will be installed at the executive secretary’s home on Friday. The new number is 732-238-1255.
• The House of Delegates meeting is 5/10/00 at the Pines Manor.
• The state wide Oral Cancer Screening, administered through UMDNJ, is scheduled for Middlesex County October 24-26. Training will be provided for volunteer dentists so that screenings will be standardized. Doctors Engel, Krantz and Prabhu have volunteered thus far.
• The Middlesex County College is having their pinning ceremony on 5/19/00. Dr. Krantz will present the hygiene award, which is given annually to the graduate with the highest grade point average.
Program-M. Weiner
The Staff Night seating arrangements are complete for those who have responded to date. We have decided to have a table for the dental residents since they showed such an interest in our meetings this year.
Editor’s Report-M. Weiner
We have now finished the first year of in-house printing. The layouts are getting easier, and the sponsorship has exceeded our expectations. The next newsletter will be prepared in August for a September mailing.
NJDA Council Reports:
NJDA Board of Trustees-D. Krantz
• NJDA received four bids for the roofing project. The bids ranged from $72,000 to $98,000. The consultant recommended going with the lowest bidder and the Board agreed with this unanimously.
• A proposal is being prepared to solicit bids for the septic system.
• A special non-member CAPSULE will be going out next week to promote the Annual Session, and Exhibit Hall Only badges will be provided to them.
• The state wide digital radiography course run by the Council on Dental Education had 365 attendees. The course was 6 CEU’s and was free to all NJDA members, except for the cost of lunch.
Annual Session-P. Engel
Several changes were made to this year’s Annual Session in response to last year’s input. There will be a meeting one month after the Session to go over reactions.
Membership-N. Villa
• NJDA sent a mailing to non-members with a personalized cover letter, an invitation to the Annual Session exhibit hall, an application for membership, and the annual publication, “NJDA News for Non-Members.”
• There will be a membership meeting tomorrow morning to determine the direction for the ADA Outreach Program.
Communications-R. Silverstein
The Council is beginning discussions about changes to the Journal. They are considering reducing the number of issues and decreasing the size from 60-80 pages to 20-26 pages.
ADPAC-P. DeSciscio
The annual fundraiser was held on May 3, 2000 and was well attended. An official report will be available at a later date.

Peer Review-J. Fahsbender
One case was settled through mediation.
MCDS Committee Reports:
Corporate Sponsorship-J. Chustckie
We have four to five sponsor tables confirmed for the September dinner meeting.
Continuing Education-Chustckie/Kline
A mailing will be done by NJDA for our fall continuing education program. A motion was made to credit tuition for courses attended by non-members towards their membership dues if they become a member within one year. Vote unanimous.
Mentor-E. Glickman
300 parking vouchers were obtained for the courses being held at St. Peter’s Hospital. Block Drug gave a $500 check to sponsor the OSHA course. Two sponsorship tables were given to Benco and Americus Dental Lab at no cost to thank them for their incredible sponsorship support throughout the past year.
Old Business
Dr. Clemente will remain as the chair for the UMDNJ Foundation. A committee will form to make recommendations regarding MCDS scholarships to dental students.
Good and Welfare
Congratulations to Drs. Charles and Gari Bloom on the birth of their son.
Respectfully submitted,
Bruce A. Huberman, DMD
Secretary

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Treasurer's Report

May 1, 2000
Nancy Villa, DMD

Previous Balance (5/1/00)
62,444.21
Current Balance (9/1/00)
65,853.12

PROFIT & LOSS STATEMENT
5/1/00 through 9/1/00
INCOME:
Continuing Education 1,395.00
Corporate Sponsorship
Monthly Meetings 300.00
Newsletter 500.00
Dues 10,969.85
Interest 276.45
Mentor Committee 2,400.00
Staff Night 7,182.00
TOTAL INCOME 23,023.30
EXPENSES:
Accountant Fees 200.00
Children’s Dental Health Month 1,696.67
Executive Committee Dinners 208.93
Dinner Meetings 1,621.00
Dues Refund to NJDA (R1overbilled) 6.25
Mentor Committee 628.98
Newsletter 645.68
Office Supplies 79.20
Plaques 224.63
Secretarial 903.00
Staff Night 12,828.28
Telephone 571.77
TOTAL EXPENSES 19,614.39
Net 3,408.91

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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

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Articles

DENTAL BENEFIT TIDBITS

Is It Worth It?

My topic for this Tidbit is electronic claims. It is now possible to submit your dental insurance claims electronically, directly from your computer to the insurance company’s computer and have the money electronically transferred to your Bank Account. Proponents of this system claim that you get the money faster, it is easier to track, it improves your cash flow and is cheaper than the old way (Mail, or as my daughter calls it, “snail mail”). The insurance industry wants it because it decreases their costs. Even though they have to pay the money out sooner, they can minimize handling and therefore have lower employee costs. These savings, they claim, can be used for increased benefit payments (yeah, right!). If all these assertions are true, electronic claims sounds like the greatest thing since the 1969 Mets! There are some problems with electronic claims and the positive assertions are part truth and part spin.
Let us take these statements one at a time: You get your money faster. The speed with which you get your money is really irrelevant because it is not claim turnover that keeps your office running, but daily cash flow. Allow me to invent a model based on some simple assumptions. Let us assume that you submit paper claims by mail the same day that the procedure is completed and you accept assignment of benefits. Let us further assume that these claims are clean (undisputed), do not require consultant review, are not “lost in the mail”, and are acted on promptly and properly by the insurance company (big assumption here). Let us also assume that you will get the check for the completed treatment four weeks to the day from date of submission, and your average daily claims are for about the same total amount. What this means is that for claims sent today, you will get paid four weeks from today. For checks received yesterday, the treatment was performed four weeks and a day ago, and for procedures performed tomorrow, you will get paid in four weeks and a day. Every day you receive your mail, get your checks, have a constant cash flow and are happy with the system. You are not concerned about when the procedure was done, as long as your cash flow is constant.
You are now convinced that electronic claims is the answer to your prayers. A new model with new assumptions here. Claims are submitted electronically by your computer. The claims are clean, do not require consultant review or radiographs, and are acted on promptly and properly by the insurance company. Let us further assume that you will be paid in one week, and the paper claims submitted over the past four weeks will continue to come in until there are only electronic claims outstanding. For one week you continue your regular cash flow until the electronic claims kick in. For the next three weeks you get double payments (the recently submitted electronic claims and the previously submitted paper claims). This is great! You can certainly live on double your regular cash flow! What happens in three weeks when the paper claims payments stop coming in? You revert to your regular, average, daily cash flow. Sure you are getting your money faster, but so what? If you should decide to switch back to paper claims, after the electronic claims receivables come in, you will have to wait for three weeks with no cash flow for the regular paper claim cash flow to be reconstituted.
So much for getting your money faster. What about being easier to keep track? Since there are hundreds of different computer software systems out there, there are many different computer languages and protocols. The insurance industry has to protect its own computers from these many systems so Clearinghouses were invented. These entities are the middle man between your computer and and the insurance company’s computers. The way the system is supposed to work is that you submit claims by modem to the clearinghouse, get an electronic receipt for these claims, and the clearinghouse converts the data into a form recognized by the insurance company’s computers and submits the claims. The clearinghouse charges a fee for this service, at present about fifty cents per claim. What happens all too frequently is that you get the electronic receipt, but don’t get paid. The clearinghouse says they forwarded the claim to the insurance company and the insurance company alleges they never received it. You certainly don’t want to get into the middle of a pissing contest between the clearinghouse and the insurance company, you just want your damn money! In addition, the clearinghouse requires access to your computer so that they can extract the data they need. Do you really want to allow a third party to have access to your computer without many safeguards? So much for being easy and uncomplicated.
Are electronic claims cheaper? Remember, the clearinghouse fee is around fifty cents per claim now versus thirty three cents for a stamp. In electronic claims favor, however, you do not need an envelope and someone to stuff it and therefore save on labor costs.
Should you switch to electronic claims? Maybe. But don’t be deluded into thinking that electronic claims are without problems.
All of the opinions expressed are my own; however I try to base them on current facts and information. My main reference source is CDT 3, published by the ADA.
Daniel B. Krantz, DDS, Middlesex Representative to Council on Dental Benefits

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Announcements

In Memorium

Theodore Chabrack
Dr. Chabrack practiced in Green Brook for 31 years. He was an active member of the Association.


Free CE
At
Component
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.


EXTENDED COCKTAIL AND HORS D’OEVRE HOUR AT SEPTEMBER MEETING

For the last several years, we have carried on the tradition of having an extended cocktail hour with food during the September meeting. This allows our members to mingle and catch up on everyone’s summer activities. In addition, it gives us the opportunity to welcome our new members and allow them to interact with the general membership. If you have never attended a Middlesex County Dental Society dinner meeting, September is a wonderful opportunity to see your component society in action, and pick up some continuing education credit. Our Program Chairperson this year, Dr. Ross Kline, has put together a terrific C.E. program with engaging and accomplished speakers. This is an opportunity you should not pass up.


MCDS WELCOMES NEW AREA RESIDENTS

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
Residents:
Dr. W. Dan Billington
Dr. Maha Kaga
Dr. Jennifer Reyes
Dr. Jenny Rong
Dr. Gila Jedwab

JFK Medical Center Residents:
Dr. Alex Galperin
Dr. Dipali Desai


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

ACROSS
1. You may see a liner on this floor.
7. It’s gray or pink and it’s only temporary.
10. Initials of perio procedure.
11. Sha Na ____.
12. You _____ up on the wrong side of the bed.
15. Actress initials of Bob Newhart Show wife.
16. Burt’s ex.
18. Banned Ball Player, for Pete’s Sake!
19. Gov’t organization that organized dentistry fought off.
22. Free in name only!
23. Charge upon personal property for satisfaction of debt.
25. “B & O” on Monopoly Board (Abbr.)
26. Famous wine valley.
29. Where Don Henley might find his “Witchy Woman”
31. Prefix with –maniac or –centric.
33. Type of Pole.
34. Initials of Ike’s ex.
35. It’s what occurs after Prince Charles uses the lavatory.
37. Charles doomed ex.
38. Doug Ross was a character on this show.
39. Beach Boys tune: _______ John B.
40. Rotary instruments might help you do them faster.
43. A Chinese restaurant may be able to spare one.
45. He owns Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.
46. Guidry or Howard.
47. Drawing of my last resin restoration.
53. You’ll see this word at X-mas time.
54. Hit ____ Miss.
56. Shortened Biography of an Amalgam Restoration.
60. Referring to bone.
61. Billy Joel refers to a “tight pair” of these in the song , “Keeping the Faith”.
62. Gil Garcetti held this job during the O.J. Trial.
63. New Haven Ivy.
67. Neil Young sang about this man.
69. What sprinkling Viagra powder on a mesio-angulated #31 might get you.
75. State of Legalized Prostitution.
76. Prefix with –stat or –dontium.
77. A key or legend may be on one of these.
78. TV Warrior Princess.
79. The Oscar’s gave Jim Carrey this for “The Truman Show”.

DOWN
1. Not Ma.
2. This truck might pull up to your office everyday.
3. Position behind 3rd and SS (abbr.).
4. Abbreviation for author on cover of book, “Primary Colors”.
5. Acrylic Company.
6. Unexpected departure from military. (Abbr.)
7. It’s mandatory for Dentists in NJ.
8. First 3 letters of “Moby Dick” characters name.
9. Clot Busting Drug.
13. 5 Guys with Forceps.
14. Tytin and Contour Maker.
16. Suffix with ocean- or copa-.
17. Prosthodontists might get these after a successful implant case.
18. 10K Cancer Run or trying to finish a composite on a heavy salivator.
19. Insult: He is a man ____ _____ substance.
20. ER Command.
21. Place in Ireland.
22. Word used with “Etching” or “Kam”.
24. Of or relating to Medical treatment.
27. Word used with “dontist” or “phile”
28. Lancaster Natives.
30. Squad or Restoration.
32. It could be Golden, White or Nitrile.
33. Been ______, Done That.
36. What a stutterer might call his Hawaiian Necklace.
41. How you would describe Louie Anderson next to Gillian Anderson.
42. Sponsor of Al Gore’s Convention.
44. U2 Crooner or Bad Skier.
48. Everyone’s unisex name in Jamaica.
49. Specialty that’s “Child’s Play”.
50. Fat Substitute.
51. Intellectually Alert.
52. Sammy the Bull’s favorite Ice Cream Brand.
55. Genetic Cousins (See 68 Down).
57. American League Position (abbr.).
58. Madonna’s “Like a ________”.
59. Word used with “Mesial” or “Beer”.
64. A stock Exchange.
65. In life it means everything but in tennis it means nothing.
66. Irish Pharmaceutical Company.
68. See 55 Down.
70. If you didn’t belong to it, you wouldn’t be doing this puzzle now.
71. Childhood Vaccine (Abbr.)
72. Willie Nelson Foe or 80’s Record Company.
73. Texas Locale (Abbr.).
74. You might do one after Dental School.