February 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 || Nominations for 2000-2001 || 2/00 Proposed Changes to the Bylaws


MCDS Reduces Dues by $13

President's Message

The burgeoning economy in our country would appear to have no negative aspects; what’s not to like about a record breaking stock market and all-time low unemployment. The downside became apparent to me, however, when I recently had to face the task of replacing several staff members in my office, and the ever-shrinking pool of qualified applicants within the job market presented an employer’s nightmare. Not one, not two, but three of my staff are taking maternity leave all within three months of each other. I was convinced that this was a conspiracy designed to plunge my office into turmoil. To paraphrase a popular camera company’s ad campaign, ”perception is everything”; and when I altered my perspective on the situation to appreciate the joy and happiness that was inherent in this event for my staff members it changed the task of searching for replacement staff from a burden to a “practice transition “. My skilled and loyal staff, who have chosen not to return to work, will be sorely missed, but now I faced the process of hiring new staff with a light-heartedness that seemed impossible when the situation first presented itself.
This subtle shift in perception was also precipitated by a conversation that I recently had with a patient .She had just completed a lengthy, complex course of dental treatment, and I asked her how she felt now that her dental rehabilitation was finished. I expected an answer along the lines of “my bite feels great, I love the way my teeth/smile looks, etc.”, but what she said was: ”My self-esteem and confidence have never been as great as they are now. I smile without any self -consciousness, and I can chew my food more comfortably than I ever could. This has changed my life in ways I never would have imagined.” To set the record straight, her treatment was provided by several dentists; general and specialists, so my contribution was only a partial one.
Needless to say, I was significantly effected by her comment. As dentists, we are doctors of the oral cavity; we treat the ravages of dental disease and/or trauma and restore our patient’s mouths to a state of function and health. I have always been proud of my role towards achieving these goals with my patients, but I think it is important to remember that we have all changed patients’ lives in a positive way that transcends the restoration of oral health and function. We have all improved our patients’ confidence levels and self-esteem through our caring and skill; and that subtle shift of perspective can restore a sense of purpose and accomplishment to our professional lives when the pressures and demands of running a practice threaten to overwhelm us. Perspective is everything.
I received positive feedback from several members following the January meeting with the N.J.D.A. officers and staff. It was an excellent opportunity to “pick the brains” of our representatives on the state level, as well as highlighting the latest legislative accomplishments, state board, legal, and insurance updates. Mr. Arthur Meisel, the new N.J.D.A. executive director, and the staff of N.J.D.A. highlighted the many benefits available to our members, including over ten endorsed, commercial programs which are available at a discount to our members.
Our February speaker is an attorney, Ms.Ann Kiernan,Esq., who will address the legal issues involved with managing a private dental practice, and a staff of employees It should be a very informative lecture, and I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.
Sincerely,
Mark Schambra DDS

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MCDS Board of Trustees Report

-January 11, 2000-

Attendance: Bloom, Brunsden, Chustckie, Clemente, DeSciscio, Fahsbender, Fertig, Huberman, Kahn, Kline, Krantz, Livanos, Prabhu, Schambra, Silverstein, Villa, Weiner
Acceptance of Minutes –10/12/99-Accepted, vote unanimous. 11/2/99-Accepted, vote unanimous.
President’s Report-M. Schambra
• The accountant for MCDS has completed the documentation required for the IRS to designate MCDS as a “not-for-profit” organization. The completed forms, along with a copy of the MCDS by-laws and the required fee, will be mailed to the IRS this week. Dr. Villa and Dr. Schambra will keep the board apprised of the status of the application.
• Dr. Schambra spoke with other components that have executive secretaries. He found that they were long-term positions, held between 9-23 years for the four components that were contacted. The duties varied from basic secretarial like the minutes and handling phone calls to more extensive tasks like newsletter layout, keeping and printing a membership directory, and coordinating a job bank. All of the positions started part-time and expanded and became more complex over time. The Board discussed possible candidates for the position. Marlene Glickman was presented as an interested candidate. The board voted on offering her the position; 15-yes, 2-abstain. Drs. Schambra, Bloom, and Villa will meet and discuss the immediate duties of the secretary.
• The dues reduction of $13 was reflected in the bills sent to members by NJDA, so there was no net increase in dues for the MCDS members this year (this was to offset the $13 increase from ADA).
President-Elect’s Report-C. Bloom
The slate of nominees was discussed. Dr. Krantz agreed to extend his tenure as NJDA trustee. Dr. Perlmutter will remain as alternate trustee, however, he does not wish to succeed Dr. Krantz as trustee. The Board will consider other nominations to replace Dr. Perlmutter as alternate trustee.
Editor Reports
Ross Kline-Business Editor-All advertisements are paid to date. Two advertisers have renewed for another year.
Program-M. Weiner
• There will be a business meeting on “Officer’s Night”.
• A phone call was received from a member dentist asking if his office manager could attend the February lecture “Employment Law Considerations”. Until this time, the meetings and scientific lectures have been open only to member dentists and invited guests. A motion was made to allow staff members to attend scientific lectures if a member dentist in good standing accompanies them and they pay for their dinner. Discussion followed. Vote 9-yes, 5-No.
• The plaque needs to be ordered for the Sy Symanski Memorial Lecture.
• A/V equipment needs to obtained for the Symanski lecture.
Special Olympics-C. Brunsden
NJDA’s support of New Jersey Special Olympics continues. Sixty billboards are presently posted statewide.
NJDA Council Reports:
NJDA Board of Trustees Report-D. Krantz
• Art Meisel will re-examine all policies as new executive director of NJDA.
• New Jersey lost a membership seat at the ADA level because the overall membership for the state went down.
Membership-R. Kline
On November 18, 1999 the NJDA Membership Council met along with the Membership Task Force. A Forum for Minority Issues was dropped in favor of having more involvement/representation with the Minority Dental groups in the State. It was decided to have members from NJDA attend the meetings of the Minority Dental Associations, and to invite their representatives to attend our meetings, especially the Atlantic City convention, in ordered to try and foster better communications and relations. In addition, the task force will try to assess and address the needs of the members and non-members based on their years in practice. For example, Dentists will be targeted/marketed to differently based on their first 5 years in practice, their second five years and then years 10-20. Thoughts were also given to sending congratulations and welcome letters to new licenses in the State. Art Meisel reviewed the new Installment Payment plan with the hopes that this would help some the younger members afford the dues payments.
Dental Education-P. DeSciscio
A statewide Dental Radiography course will be held April 5, 2000 in North Jersey. This is a member benefit for continuing education requirements. The cost will be for meals only.
Children’s Dental Health Month-C. Brunsden
This year’s programs include the County-wide School Poster Contest, the Pediatrician’s Awareness Program, County School Nurse’s Continuing Education, NJDA at the Circus, and the Dental Health Fair and Awards Ceremony.
Peer Review-J. Fahsbender
Four cases have been reviewed and ruled in favor of the patient.
ADPAC-P. DeSciscio
This year’s fundraiser will be back at the Meadowlands for a “Night at the Races” which will be held in March or April. The date will be announced shortly.
Old Business
The bylaws need to be amended regarding the associate editor. A motion was made to pluralize to Associate Editors and add corporate sponsorship and newsletter advertising to the duties. Vote unanimous.
Respectfully submitted,
Bruce A. Huberman, DMD
Secretary

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Treasurer's Report

Detailed Treasurer’s Report
February 1, 2000
Nancy Villa, DMD

Previous Balance (1/1/00)
43,529.57
Current Balance (2/1/00)
43,195.72

PROFIT & LOSS STATEMENT
1/1/00 through 2/1/00
INCOME:
Corporate Sponsorship
Monthly Meetings 1,875.00 Newsletter 150.00 Interest 45.25
TOTAL INCOME 2,070.25
EXPENSES:
Certificates 59.95
Executive Committee Dinners 208.93
Newsletter 424.76
IRS tax exempt status
Registration fee 500.00
Accountant’s fee 500.00
NJ State corporation registr. fee 15.00
Telephone 27.76
TOTAL EXPENSES 1,736.40
Net 333.85
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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

CONGRATULATIONS IN ORDER

MCDS Congratulates Dr. Philip Engel and Dr. Nina Lehrhaupt on the birth of their son, Henry


NJDA NOTEWORTHY NEWS

• The NJDA Board of Trustees voted to allocate funds to provide CE Record Keeping Folders to the membership for the current biennial licensing period.
• The Membership Council discussed the feasibility of inviting dental students and non-member first year licensees to the NJDA Annual Session as a vehicle for membership recruitment. It was noted that biographical information could be included on the application for the Annual Session and that the affected groups could only attend at no cost if they pre-registered. As this is only a proposal, further input will be solicited from the Council on Annual Session.
• NJDA has filed suit with Princeton Insurance Company on behalf of its members based on denial of coverage for Hurricane Floyd related damages that NJDA Counsel believes is within the parameters of covered benefits.
• The Department of Human Services had a meeting to discuss next years budget including increasing Medicaid’s dental reimbursement (currently the worst reimbursement of all 50 states!). The Medicaid Subcommittee will get together with NJDA Attorneys to discuss the issue further.
• NJDA submitted comments to the DEP on Regulated Medical Waste proposing a reduction of fees charged to small generators and/or an exemption for those generators.
• The New Jersey Health Care Consumer Information Act sets up a database with information on malpractice suits against physicians and podiatrists. The Department of Consumer Affairs is to prepare a report on expanding the data base to include, among others, dentists in the next 18 months. The bill was held at the last Senate Budget Meeting and is being closely monitored by NJDA Governmental Affairs personnel.
• In order to help “jump start” the new UMDNJ Student Component of NJDA, the Council on New Dentists proposed that the general membership be solicited to sponsor a UMDNJ Student for their $10 membership dues in addition to serving as a mentor/contact during their dental school tenure. This proposal will be brought to the NJDA Board of Trustees.


Did you know that?


MCDS reduced our dues portion $13 to make up for the $13 dues increase this year by the ADA, therefore giving their members no net dues increase for 2000. A combination of non-dues income (corporate sponsorship/advertising), savings from printing the newsletter in-house, and continued fiscal restraint by the MCDS Board has enabled us to provide our members with this benefit.

•Voluntary contributions from NJDA Members are strongly encouraged to support NJDA’s sponsorship of the Special Olympics. This is a worthwhile cause that is also providing member dentists with a targeted PR marketing campaign.

•MBNA has a credit card endorsed by NJDA that provides royalties (non-dues income) to NJDA based on usage.


DENTAL BENEFIT TIDBITS
Spin Control

I was reading a novel several years ago about the voyages of Marco Polo. When he was in China at the court of the Great Khan (Genghis...not Richard), he met a character who was the royal torturer and executioner. He was referred to as the royal “fondler”. So began spin and spin control; the art of using words and terminology to make everyone think you are saying something, when in reality you are saying something else. Don’t you just love the modern health care terminology? We have Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), Dental Maintenance Organizations (DMO), Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Capitation, and my favorite, Managed Care. The terminology makes them seem warm and fuzzy, patient care is paramount, and damned the cost...Let’s just get the patient well. The reality of the situation is that all these terms were invented by some clever advertising and spin control experts to hide from the public the actual purpose of these entities: Cost control. PPOs, HMOs and DMOs are nothing but contract doctor organizations where the primary aim is to minimize patient reimbursement so the profitability of the insurance company is maximized. To be fair, insurance companies are legitimately interested in the health of their insured customers, but there is always an adversarial relationship lurking in the wings where the interests and needs of the insured are secondary to the interests and needs of the insurance company. This has led to many of the abuses we hear about today: Women sent home before they recover from childbirth, denial of necessary tests, and in our arena, substitution of the least costly alternative treatment.
Please understand me. There is nothing wrong with an insurance company making a profit. But while they are doing it, they should not make it seem as if the doctor is overcharging or performing unnecessary treatment, when the real reason is poor or incomplete benefits.
There are many different payment models available in the marketplace. Some are:
Indemnity Plans are dental plans where a third party payer (insurance company, union welfare plan, etc.) provides payment after the service is performed. This payment is in the form of a table of allowances, a UCR table or a schedule of allowances. The reimbursement can be subject to annual maximums, deductibles or co-charges.
Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) are plans where there is a formal agreement between a plan purchaser and a defined group of dentists to perform particular dental services to a defined group of patients for a prenegotiated fee. This fee is usually discounted a certain percentage off of the dentist’s regular fee. In this model, the patients can only see the group of dentists and specialists in their plan. There are variations where patients can go out of network, however.
Capitation Plans are where the participating doctors are given a list of subscribed patients and are paid a specified amount up front, usually at the beginning of each month, per head (thus “capitation”). For this fee, the doctor is required to provide certain dental services at no or reduced cost to the patient. The doctor’s monthly capitation reimbursement is unrelated to whether the patient comes in or not.
Direct Reimbursement is a self-funded program, usually cutting the insurance companies out of the equation. In its purest form, the patient goes to a doctor of his choice, receives dental treatment, pays the doctor’s fee, presents the receipt to his employer and get reimbursed from his employer. There are restrictions and guidelines, however.
Fee for Service is the traditional form of dental reimbursement. The patient receives the agreed upon dental treatment and pays the agreed upon dental fee.
In future articles, I will discuss some of the advantages and pitfalls of these and other plans.
All of the opinions expressed are my own; however I try to base them on current facts and information. My primary source of information is CDT-3/2000, American Dental Association, 1999.
Daniel B. Krantz, DDS
Middlesex Representative to Council on Dental Benefits

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Announcements

In Memorium
Dr. Jack M. Eskow

Dr. Eskow practiced in Perth Amboy for 52 years.
He was a retired Life Member of the Association.


Dr. Alla Fishbeyn
1997 NYU CD, 1999 JFK GP residency, looking for P/T fee for service high
quality office.
Enthusiastic team player. Enjoy working in creative and productive environment.
For contact call
(732) 248-8411


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.


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.