Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Morning Drill: February 1, 2012

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Good Morning!

On to today's dentistry and health headlines:

Hazlet dentist Dr. Ping Cai indicted for alleged Medicaid fraud

Dr. Ping Cai of Holmdel, a dentist with a practice in Hazlet, has been indicted for allegedly submitting false claims totaling $39,000 to the Medicaid program, state Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said Tuesday.

Cai, 49, is charged with second-degree health care claims fraud and two counts of third-degree Medicaid fraud.

The Monmouth County grand jury indictment alleges that between Jan.1, 2007 and Jan.1, 2010, Cai fraudulently billed the Medicaid program for dental service purportedly rendered to Medicaid recipients. It is alleged that Cai submitted fraudulent claims for payment from Medicaid for relining and rebasing of dentures and filling of cavities when those dental services were not rendered.

An investigation by the state Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit determined that, as a result of alleged fraud, Cai was allegedly paid the more than $39,000 by Medicaid for the services that were not rendered.

Dr. Ping Cai of Holmdel

Pfizer recalls 1M birth control packs after mixup

Pfizer Inc. is recalling 1 million packets of birth control pills because of a packaging error that could leave women with an inadequate dose of the hormone-based drugs and raise the risk that they will get pregnant accidentally.

The problem affects 14 lots of Lo/Ovral-28 tablets and 14 lots of generic Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets. Both products are manufactured by Pfizer and marketed in the U.S. by Akrimax Rx Products under the Akrimax Pharmaceuticals brand.

Pfizer found that some packets of the drugs had too many active tablets, while others had too few. Oral birth control products use a series of 21 drug tablets and 7 inactive sugar tablets to regulate the menstrual period while providing contraception.

The affected packets have expiration dates ranging between July 31, 2013, and March 31, 2014. Lot numbers are available at

AAP Updates Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedules

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued its 2012 immunization schedules for children and adolescents, according to a policy statement published in the February issue of Pediatrics. Charts for the current immunization schedules are posted online and are openly accessible to all.

Are Diet Soft Drinks Bad for You?

A new study finds a potential link between daily consumption of diet soft drinks and the risk of vascular events.

Individuals who drink diet soft drinks on a daily basis may be at increased risk of suffering vascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death. This is according to a new study by Hannah Gardener and her colleagues from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and at Columbia University Medical Center. However, in contrast, they found that regular soft drink consumption and a more moderate intake of diet soft drinks do not appear to be linked to a higher risk of vascular events. The research appears online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine published by Springer.

In the current climate of escalating obesity rates, artificially sweetened soft drinks are marketed as healthier alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages, due to their lack of calories. However, the long-term health consequences of drinking diet soft drinks remain unclear.

They found that those who drank diet soft drinks daily were 43 percent more likely to have suffered a vascular event than those who drank none, after taking into account pre-existing vascular conditions such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes and high blood pressure. Light diet soft drink users, i.e. those who drank between one a month and six a week, and those who chose regular soft drinks were not more likely to suffer vascular events

Ostrow Dentistry School launches new identity

The USC Ostrow Dentistry School is updating its brand and website.

The school launched a new site last week as part of a larger campaign aimed at demonstrating leadership and medical excellence.

The redesigned site now features a new web platform with updated information on the academic application process, requirements and courses for prospective students as well as information on the clinical services, opportunities and programs for its patients.

Dean Avishai Sadan tweeted Thursday that one of the goals for the modified site is “to accommodate our largest web audiences, prospective students and patients.”

Enjoy your morning!

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