Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Morning Drill: July 28, 2011

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

Aspen Dental’s Growth Continues with Opening of 300th Office

Four new full-service Aspen Dental practices will open July 28 in Davenport, Iowa; Roseburg, Oregon; Arcadia, Arizona; and Sun City, Florida – bringing to 300 the number of locations throughout the country.

“When the first Aspen Dental office opened in 1998, there was an unmet need for affordable, high-quality dental care in areas across the nation,” said Bob Fontana, President & CEO of Aspen Dental Management, Inc. (ADMI), which provides business support services to Aspen Dental practices. “The number of Aspen Dental locations has continued to grow, even during the economic downturn. This demonstrates the continuing need to get people the dental care they need. Knowing that Aspen Dental practices are making a positive difference in the lives of increasing numbers of people is what’s so special about this milestone.”

“With ADMI providing support services, dentists can focus on what they’re trained to do – provide quality dental care to patients,” said Arwinder Judge, DDS, vice president of clinical support at ADMI. “Aspen Dental practices are excited to be part of the healthcare solution affecting comprehensive dental care across the United States.”

Last year Aspen Dental locations recorded nearly 1.9 million patient visits, including visits from more than 422,000 new patients.  Opening an average of one new office each week, Aspen Dental practices are located in 22 states.

End of an Era: Walter Reed Closing Its Doors
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the world famous military hospital in Washington, DC, is shutting its operations next month. Yesterday, the staff, patients, dignitaries and government bureaucrats held an official ceremony celebrating the center’s illustrious 102 year history.
Retirement-Age Physicians Should Not Be Hit With eRx Penalty
Any physician who is currently eligible for Social Security retirement benefits — or will be by 2014 — should be exempted from the Medicare penalty that debuts next year for not electronically prescribing, organized medicine stated Monday in a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The rationale for the exemption, the American Medical Association and 91 other national and state medical societies argue, is that physicians close to retirement would find it economically burdensome to install and use an e-prescribing system. In addition, many of these physicians may retire or close their practices to Medicare patients simply to avoid the penalty, thus making it harder for seniors to find a clinician.

The retirement loophole is one of several that the medical societies floated in response to proposed CMS regulations that would spare more physicians, nurse practitioners, and other prescribers from the penalty in 2012. The deadline for responding to these draft regulations, published in May, was July 25.

In its letter, organized medicine endorsed the loopholes that CMS wants to create but lobbied for more. CMS has estimated that the 2012 penalty could hit as many as 109,000 clinicians.

The proposed CMS regulations in question are different from those the agency published early this month that would help clinicians avoid the e-prescribing penalty in 2013 and 2014 as opposed to 2012.
Enjoy your morning!

No comments:

Post a Comment