Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Morning Drill: June 14, 2011

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

Alabama Passes Nonprofit Dental Clinic Law
A nonprofit dental clinic in Alabama said it will drop its lawsuit against the state's dental association in the wake of legislation that clarifies the clinic's legal status.

"The passage of our bill is a huge victory for the children of Alabama and Sarrell Dental," Sarrell Dental Center Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Parker said in a written statement. Gov. Robert Bentley signed the bill into law yesterday, a week after it passed in the state Senate without opposition. The bill was inspired by the rapid growth of Sarrell Dental, a nonprofit chain of clinics that specializes in children whose healthcare is paid for by Medicaid.

Some dentists in the state had complained that Sarrell was competing unfairly because it pays low rent, does not pay income tax, and gets its supplies at a discount. Parker argued that the clinic was caring for children who would not have gotten care otherwise, because so few dentists in Alabama are willing to treat Medicaid patients.

Tom Willis, the executive director of the Board of Dental Examiners, said the board wanted a law giving it power to regulate nonprofit clinics because state law allows only dentists, not corporations, to own dental practices.

However, the board could not get the nonprofits to sign on to any legislation, and Sarrell drafted its own law that would have "exempted" nonprofits from the state's dental practice act. In the end, Sarrell and the board both agreed to compromise legislation that says nonprofits can own dental practices, but the dental practices will be regulated by the board.

"I think that it was a good compromise that both sides can now be at ease and get back to their separate missions," Willis told Medscape Medical News in an email.
Proactive Phone Counseling Improves Smoking Cessation Rates
Proactive telephone counseling improves rates of smoking cessation, according to the results of a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials reported online June 10 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

"Systematic reviews demonstrated that proactive telephone counseling increases smoking cessation rates," write Flora Tzelepis, PhD, from the Health Behaviour Research Group, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia, and colleagues. "However, these reviews did not differentiate studies by recruitment channel, did not adequately assess methodological quality, and combined different measures of abstinence."
Slice of Life: Lawrence dentist still in practice after 66 years
Dr. Paul Kincaid, 90, has practiced dentistry longer than many of us have lived. He is Kansas’ longest-serving practicing dentist and doesn’t have retirement plans.

Dr. Paul Kincaid, 90, is the longest-serving practicing dentist in the state of Kansas.

“I retired for a day, once, and didn’t like it,” he says.

“I’ve been blessed with good health, balance, eyesight and steady hand. I’ve enjoyed 66 years of dentistry and want to practice for as long as I’m able and hope to die at the chair.”
With HPV-Related Head and Neck Cancers Rising, Focus on Treatment and Vaccination
A form of head and neck cancer associated with the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus is on the rise, especially in men, the WSJ reports.

Fast-rising rates of oropharyngeal cancer — tumors in the tonsil and back-of-the-tongue area — have been linked to changes in sexual behavior that include the increased practice of oral sex and a greater number of sexual partners.

But HPV-positive cancer has also been reported in individuals who report few or no sexual partners. It may also be possible for the virus to be transmitted to an infant via an infected mother’s birth canal. An HPV vaccine is routinely recommended for girls because the virus can cause cervical cancer.
The rise in HPV-positive head and neck cancers is leading to a new focus both on treatment of the disease, and whether recommending routine vaccination for boys could prevent oral infections and cancers. (A CDC advisory panel said in 2009 that it was fine for boys to get the vaccine, but recommended against routine administration.)
Enjoy your morning drill!

No comments:

Post a Comment