Friday, June 10, 2011

The Morning Drill: June 10, 2011

A collection of dentistry and health related links/comments to start your day.

Bentley signs law to end dispute over dental care
Gov. Robert Bentley has signed a bill that's meant to end a dispute between a large non-profit company that provides dental care for low-income people in Alabama and leaders of the state's dental profession.

The legislation signed Thursday establishes that non-profits can provide dental care and requires them to register with state regulators. The bill was backed by Sarrell Dental Centers, which has been at odds with the state's dental establishment for more than a year amid questions about whether it was operating legally.

With Bentley signing the bill into law, Sarrell CEO Jeffrey Parker says the Anniston-based company will withdraw a state antitrust lawsuit against the Alabama Dental Association, a professional organization for state dentists.
Sarrell Dental Clinic pleased with bill’s passage
State lawmakers passed legislation Thursday clarifying the legal status of an Anniston-based nonprofit dental clinic that serves underprivileged children and ensuring it will be properly regulated.

The legislation apparently ends a battle between Sarrell Dental Clinic and the state’s dental regulatory authority, the Alabama Board of Dental Examiners, which has said the nonprofit is an illegal operation. The dental board at first lobbied against an earlier form of the legislation, which Sarrell claimed was a move by it and private dentists to stifle the nonprofit’s growth.

“I think it’s a good thing for all entities involved,” dental board president Thomas Willis said of the legislation that passed. “I think we were able to sit with mediators and negotiate a fair compromise that both entities could work with.”

Sarrell has consistently said it was a legal operation but decided to push the legislation to clarify the issue.
SC Medicaid dentist fees to be cut 3%
Medicaid of South Carolina will reduce dentist fees by 3%, effective for services provided on or after July 8, according to a public notice issued by the agency. The reduction is in addition to a 3% reduction enacted on April 8.
Many US Employers to Drop Health Benefits - McKinsey
At least 30% of employers are likely to stop offering health insurance once provisions of the U.S. health care reform law kick in in 2014, according to a study by consultant McKinsey.

McKinsey, which based its projection on a survey of more than 1,300 employers of various sizes and industries and other proprietary research, found that 30% of employers will "definitely" or "probably" stop offering coverage in the years after 2014, when new medical insurance exchanges are supposed to be up and running.

"The shift away from employer-provided health insurance will be vastly greater than expected and will make sense for many companies and lower-income workers alike," according to the study, published in McKinsey Quarterly.

"While the pace and timing are difficult to predict, McKinsey research points to a radical restructuring of employer-sponsored health benefits."
Enjoy your morning drill!

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