Dental technology blog

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Thursday, 26 June 2014 11:18

post 76 picAs I posted earlier, businesses offering Wi-Fi connections to their customers are becoming increasingly common and dental offices are no exception. 

As you look at doing this, keep in mind that you are not a coffee shop or hotel.  You are what HIPAA defines as a covered entity and that comes with rules and regulations that Starbucks and Hilton don’t need to observe.

Wi-Fi is a wonderful tool that can extend your Local Area Network (LAN) into unwired spaces of your office, such as the waiting room or break room.  With this extension comes ease of access, convenience and possibly increased productivity. 

It is modern technology that will reach through walls, floors, around dividers and even past locked doors. 

Your wireless network might easily extend into your parking lot or the neighboring office.  This will increase your exposure to network intrusion and the potential disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI).  

There are some simple precautions that you can take when establishing your Wi-Fi network that can limit the possibility of nefarious activities.

Thursday, 12 June 2014 00:00

fast attachRegence BlueCross BlueShield, an insurer in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah, recently announced that they are no longer accepting paper claims or issuing paper checks, which have providers all over these four states scrambling to make sure they have the appropriate electronic processes in place to continue working with this major payer. 

As a vendor of practice management software, we have been working with our clients and helping them adapt to this announcement. 

In doing this we have been surprised at the number of dental practices who are still not using the electronic attachment services of NEA (National Electronic Attachment, Inc.).

Friday, 25 April 2014 10:34

post 100 picA dental practice is one of the trickiest businesses to effectively market, either by traditional methods or by utilizing our available digital technologies.

Many times, providers and practice managers are overwhelmed by the wide array of available tools and by vendors that are knocking on their doors trying to get dentists to purchase their services.

It is not surprising that when the subject of marketing a practice arises, people typically take a step backwards trying to move out of an uncomfortable subject. However, a person will never make it through a maze if they are continually taking steps backwards.

In order to have, and maintain, a competitive advantage in the dental community, an office needs to understand the options available to effectively market their practice to both existing and prospective patients.

Sesame Communications conducted a national research study in February, 2014 to examine how dental providers view digital marketing. The findings show that most dental providers valued their ranking on Healthgrades.com.

They felt that automated reminders and their website impacted practice success. Interestingly, a majority felt that print advertising did not contribute to their practice growth.

Thursday, 20 March 2014 07:53

post 85 picWhere else can dental professionals go to learn updated clinical strategies, see and touch the latest technology, network with other dental professionals, buy a bottle (or two) of wine and win a 2014 Ford Mustang? 

You got it!  The Oregon Dental Conference is upon us once again April 3-5, 2014 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.  

I have attended ‘a few’ dental conferences in my professional lifetime, mostly on the west coast. 

But I have yet to see a dental conference that offers the fun side of dentistry right along with valuable educational opportunities packed into a three day session such as we see at the ODC. 

And yet, each year it seems that they have more to offer to enrich your practice (as if the Mustang wasn’t enough?). 

Thursday, 21 November 2013 10:07

post 70 picThe Dental Community Addresses Access to Care

The Oregon Dental Association is hosting our fourth Mission of Mercy event on Monday & Tuesday, November 25th & 26th. 

Oregon Mission of Mercy is a dental clinic with 100 portable dental stations set up in an exhibit hall at the Oregon Convention Center. 

Dental screenings and services are provided on a first-come, first-served basis, at no charge to those who attend.  MOM combines the donated services of hundreds of dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental lab technicians and an array of other community volunteers to provide these free dental services.

The ODA Board of Trustees has said that they would like to see OrMOM programs alternate between Portland and other communities in the state. 

The first two OrMOM clinics were held in Portland, the third was in Medford, and the 2014 clinic will be held in Salem, July 11-12. 

In the three years we have held OrMOM clinics, we have provided a total of $2.8 million of treatment (that’s 23,695 procedures and 4,601 patient visits)!

Thursday, 14 November 2013 22:18

post 69 picAs it turns out, our friends in Congress may be a dentist’s greatest ally.  

Technology options for dental professionals have continued to evolve at an exciting pace.

Such technologies can help providers to build patient trust and empowerment through information and education.

Developments in digital diagnostic tools can facilitate enhanced quality of care. Many tech solutions yield improved data privacy and security, lessening potential liability. Others advance operational efficiencies, directly contributing to the bottom line.

Digital adoption may even serve as a catalyst to boost practice valuation for a possible future sale or transition.  

Regardless of the motivation or outcome, the return on investment for technology adoption can be rapid and significant, and is most definitely an impetus for change.  

Another such incentive was thought to be near extinction, but rest assured that the Section 179 tax deduction is alive and well.  

Thursday, 07 November 2013 11:12

post 68 picWhether your news source is the old- school newspaper, or online, you can’t dodge news that links your oral health to your overall health. 

The latest article I read was titled, “Research Links Oral Bacteria to Colorectal Cancer.” 

The article describes an anaerobic organism in the oral cavity that is implicated in periodontal disease and has been linked to the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S, colorectal cancer.

The author states that more research is needed, but dental plaque is increasingly implicated in the pathogenesis of some systemic diseases including cardiovascular disease, pneumonia and even diabetes. 

Add to that list colorectal cancer.

Thursday, 24 October 2013 08:16

post 66 picThe Affordable Care Act mandate that requires businesses with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees to provide employee health insurance benefits has been waived for one year. 

Beginning in 2015, employers who fall into this category will face penalties for not offering employee coverage that provides the required “minimum essential health benefits”. 

Penalties will also be assessed if the coverage offered does not meet the definition of “affordable”. 

In order to comply with the affordability rule, an employee’s portion of his health insurance premium cannot exceed 9.5% of his annual household income.

Beginning in 2014, businesses with 50 full-time equivalent employees or less are exempt from the mandate to provide coverage, and will not face any monetary penalties for not providing an employer-sponsored group health insurance plan. 

The penalties for not offering coverage, however, may come in the form of reduced employee morale and it may become more difficult to recruit and retain quality employees in the future. 

Healthy employees often make more productive employees.

Thursday, 17 October 2013 09:56

post 65 picConsumers anxious to browse for individual health insurance options and determine their eligibility for financial assistance to purchase health insurance, and those ready to initiate the application and enrollment process, have already experienced many bumps in the road. 

Much of the frustration has stemmed from technology glitches associated with the on-line marketplaces.  

Fortunately, the initial delays should not have much of an adverse impact on securing a Qualified Health Plan, since the earliest available coverage date for the new “Obamacare” plans is January 1, 2014.

On-line marketplaces have been created to provide consumers with a streamlined, one-stop shopping experience for health insurance. 

Consumers will have the opportunity to compare all available health insurance options based on their preference for deductibles, co-insurance, monthly premium, carrier, quality ratings, and type of coverage desired. 

They will then have the opportunity to enroll in the medical and dental coverage that fits their needs and budget. 

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