Friday, June 29, 2012

The Morning Drill: June 29, 2012

Good Friday morning!

Now, that the United States Supreme court has ruled on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) or ObamaCare, we can now prepare for the changes to our health care delivery system. But, the legislation will have to face a referendum from the GOP in the November elections.

So, stay tuned.....

On to today's dentistry and health headlines:

How Supreme Court's ACA ruling impacts dentistry

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured policy brief, the ACA requires insurers to offer dental care for children but not adults, funds national public education programs on preventing oral diseases, and asks for additional funding to expand access to care for people who live in an area with a shortage of dental care providers, PBS "Frontline" reports.

It also calls for multimillion-dollar grants to set up training programs for alternative dental healthcare providers and fund loan repayment programs for dental students.

Task force offers road map for easing dentist shortage, but it’s not cheap

Kansas students need to have more access to dental training to help offset a shortage of dentists statewide and better address the needs of underserved areas.

That’s the conclusion in a recent report from an 11-member task force appointed by the Kansas Board of Regents    .

The report indicates a clear desire to increase the number of options available to potential dental students from Kansas.

Kansas doesn’t have a dental school, so students must go out of state to places like the University of Missouri-Kansas City

AAPD Responds to PBS Frontline's "Dollars and Dentists"

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) commends Frontline and the Center for Public Integrity for shining a light on the importance of dental care by airing its joint investigation of the nation's ruptured dental care system and bringing appropriate attention to America's dental care crisis.  While the program showcased the extreme difficulties millions of Americans - including children with government-provided insurance - experience seeking dental care, it's important to note that pediatric dentists have been consistent advocates for improvements in the system, which will result in better access to care.  Pediatric dentists speak from experience as they disproportionately treat our country's most vulnerable children, including those on public insurance.

As the leading authority on children's oral health, the AAPD and its members advocate that every child deserves a healthy start on life.  According to AAPD President Dr. Joel H. Berg, "Our historical focus has always been for optimum oral health care, and we will continue exploring methods in pediatric dentistry that will allow us to strive to deliver optimal oral health care to all children."

Nearly 70 percent of AAPD members accept Medicaid, as highlighted in its 2010 membership survey.  Pediatric dentists understand all too well this oral health care disparity, and as a result, provide significant services to 20 percent of children served in pediatric dental offices that are on public insurance.

Did ‘Frontline’ Attack on Dentistry Rely on Convicted Felon?

For-profit dental care is awful, according to a new report by PBS’s “Frontline.” The piece pushed socialized medicine and attacked dentistry companies, especially the firm Kool Smiles. But the story relied on whistleblower comments from a former Kool Smiles employee who is not only suing the firm, she may well have a felony criminal record.

The employee, Christina Bowne, was a former office manager for the company, and is suing the firm for wrongful termination. However, according to a Virginia Criminal Record report, a Christina Summers Bowne, from the same area of Virginia, was convicted of “obtaining money by false pretenses.” That woman was given a five-year sentence, which was suspended. No one responded to attempts to either contact Bowne or PBS “Frontline” producer Jill Rosenbaum.

The hour-long documentary relied heavily on anti-industry interview subjects, such as Bowne, politicians and competitors to depict for-profit dentistry as bad. Reporter Miles O’Brien, formerly of CNN, was the on-screen personality. However, in a “Frontline” chat on June 27, O’Brien made it clear he liked the non-profit model over Kool Smiles.

“I think the Sarell Dental model in Alabama is worthy of imitation. It is a non profit that focuses on poor kids. Dentists are paid a straight salary ... no matter how many kids they see or filling or crowns they do. When you remove the pressure to increase production, the nature of the care changes. In this case, Alabama leads the nation!”

The “Frontline” special was made in conjunction with the Center for Public Integrity, using the results of a Pew Research Center poll. Like-minded organizations tend to scratch each other’s backs. In this case the Pew Research Center, and CPI are both funded by Soros. Pew got $500,000 in Soros money in 2009 alone. The Center for Public Integrity got $2,416,000 in Soros funds from 2000-2003.

Enjoy your morning!

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