Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DEA to Publish Final Rule Rescheduling Hydrocodone Combination Products



AUG 21 (WASHINGTON)–On Friday the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will publish in the Federal Register the Final Rule moving hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) from Schedule III to the more-restrictive Schedule II, as recommended by the Assistant Secretary for Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and as supported by the DEA’s own evaluation of relevant data.  The Federal Register has made the Final Rule available for preview on its website today at http://go.usa.gov/mc8d

This Final Rule imposes the regulatory controls and sanctions applicable to Schedule II substances on those who handle or propose to handle HCPs.  It goes into effect in 45 days.

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) places substances with accepted medical uses into one of four schedules, with the substances with the highest potential for harm and abuse being placed in Schedule II, and substances with progressively less potential for harm and abuse being placed in Schedules III through V.  (Schedule I is reserved for those controlled substances with no currently accepted medical use and lack of accepted safety for use.)  HCPs are drugs that contain both hydrocodone, which by itself is a Schedule II drug, and specified amounts of other substances, such as acetaminophen or aspirin.

“Almost seven million Americans abuse controlled-substance prescription medications, including opioid painkillers, resulting in more deaths from prescription drug overdoses than auto accidents,” said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, “Today’s action recognizes that these products are some of the most addictive and potentially dangerous prescription medications available.”

When Congress passed the CSA in 1970, it placed HCPs in Schedule III even though it had placed hydrocodone itself in Schedule II.  The current analysis of HCPs by HHS and the DEA shows they have a high potential for abuse, and abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.  Adding nonnarcotic substances like acetaminophen to hydrocodone does not diminish its abuse potential.  The many findings by the DEA and HHS and the data that support these findings are presented in detail in the Final Rule on the website.  Data and surveys from multiple federal and non-federal agencies show the extent of abuse of HCPs.  For example, Monitoring the Future surveys of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders from 2002 to 2011 found that twice as many high school seniors used Vicodin®, an HCP, nonmedically as used OxyContin®, a Schedule II substance, which is more tightly controlled.

In general, substances placed under the control of the CSA since it was passed by Congress in 1970 are scheduled or rescheduled by the DEA, as required by the CSA and its implementing regulations, found in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations.  Scheduling or rescheduling of a substance can be initiated by the DEA, by the HHS Assistant Secretary of Health, or on the petition of any interested party.  (Detailed information on the scheduling and rescheduling process can be found beginning on page 8 of Drugs of Abuse on the DEA’s website at http://www.justice.gov/dea/pr/multimedia-library/publications/drug_of_abuse.pdf.) 

The rescheduling of HCPs was initiated by a petition from a physician in 1999.  The DEA submitted a request to HHS for a scientific and medical evaluation of HCPs and a scheduling recommendation.  In 2013, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration held a public Advisory Committee meeting on the matter, and the committee voted to recommend rescheduling HCPs from Schedule III to Schedule II by a vote of 19 to 10.  Consistent with the outcome of that vote, in December of 2013 HHS sent such a recommendation to the DEA.  Two months later, on February 27, the DEA informed Americans of its intent to move HCPs from Schedule III to Schedule II by publishing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register, outlining its rationale and the proposed changes in detail and soliciting public comments on the proposal, of which almost 600 were received. A small majority of the commenters supported the proposed change.

Friday, August 29, 2014

American Academy of Periodontology Welcomes Dental Community, Media to 100th Annual Meeting Dental Publications and Professionals Invited to San Francisco for the Latest on Gum Health

AAP Logo.jpg

Here is the latest info on the upcoming AAP meeting in gorgeous San Francisco.  Some good courses are being offered, especially for those (like me) who have a great interest in the growing body of evidence connecting oral health with systemic health.  Read on for all the details!

CHICAGO – August 28, 2014 – The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) will hold its 100th Annual Meeting Sept. 19-22, 2014, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. A number of sessions pertinent to the dental media and industry will highlight advancements in the specialty, including hotbed topics such as the perio-systemic link, tissue engineering and periodontal regeneration, and the dental industry’s impact on the overall healthcare system.

“This year’s meeting has so much to offer to the dental community, including any dental patient or potential patient,” says
Dr. Stuart Froum, president of the AAP. “The 100th Anniversary meeting will offer a comprehensive look back at how far periodontics has come, while comprehensively addressing the changing dynamic of the specialty and its effect on patient outcomes, their overall health, and on global health care,” he says.

Event highlights include the following:

  • Pillars of the Past, Foundation for the Future | Saturday, Sept. 20 – 8 a.m. to 10 a.m
    Revered periodontal thought leaders discuss the evolving art and science of periodontal dentistry. Where have we come from, where are we today, and what are the challenges and opportunities for the future? Experts will discuss the impact implants and other technologies have had on periodontal therapies, and will share insights on how of periodontics’ shifting paradigms will affect on dentistry and healthcare as a whole.
  • The Periodontist in the Treatment of the Diabetic Patient | Sunday, Sept. 21 – 10:15 to 11:45 a.m.
    As a condition intimately linked with inflammatory periodontal disease, diabetes affects 26 million people in the United States. This session will assess the influence of periodontal disease in the management of blood sugar control for diabetic patients and the unique challenged presented to dental practitioners, physicians, and patients in the dual care of diabetes and gum disease.
  • Global Perspective on Periodontal Medicine | Sunday, Sept. 21 – 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    Experts review the rapidly growing body of research that addresses the relationship between periodontal disease and systemic health. Attendees will understand the latest evidence supporting gum disease’s links to diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and pregnancy. 

The 2014 AAP Annual Meeting will feature a diverse selection of programming, including compelling general sessions,; corporate forums featuring presentations from leading product manufacturers and services; and interactive forums on groundbreaking periodontal techniques. This year’s meeting also features a dental hygiene symposium and a dental industry exhibition.

Registration fees for media representatives attending the AAP’s 100th Annual Meeting will be waived, granting access to all non-ticketed sessions and seminars. Presenters and AAP representatives will be available for one-site interviews, film, and photo shoots, which must be scheduled in advance with AAP Public Relations staff. For press credentials, contact the Academy’s Public Relations Department at 312-573-3243 or mame@perio.org.

To register for the 2014 Annual Meeting or for more information, visit http://www.perio.org/meetings/AM2014.htm, call
1-800-282-4867 ext. 3213, or email meetings@perio.org

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Take Aways from the Henry Schein Practice Solutions Summit

HSPS logo.jpeg
For the past few days, I've been in Utah attending the Henry Schein Practice Solutions Summit.  The good people at Schein hold one of these events almost yearly.  They are a think tank top event where invitees are from several disciplines in the business of dentistry.
The idea is to put lots of smart people with a knowledge of dentistry together and see what ideas they can come up with.  It also allows the folks at Schein to update attendees on new projects the company is working on or considering and get their opinions on them.
While I can't tell you all the things I learned (some I was asked to keep confidential) I can bring you up to date on a couple of things.
The Cloud based practice management software continues to be a big focus for the company.  They continue to roll out updates on a regular basis and are planning on some major upgrades this year that should please quite a few users.  I'm sorry to say that the really big development must remain confidential… for now.  My main takeaway from the discussions of Ascend is that it is very important to the company and has a strong future.
The Mac based practice management software has made good market penetration this year and continues to grow.  Schein bought this software from its original developers and has done a major rework on the coding.  It is being built as a native Mac software and the list of features it includes continues to grow.  With the computer market shifting as more and more people switch to Macs, Schein sees this program as something that will be a bigger piece of the pie as younger doctors, who grew up with Macs, want to run their offices on the platform as well.
As more and more people access their data from a mobile device, Schein is paying attention.  Since their dental software packages are doing more and more communication with patients, the company is committed to making those communications accessible on a mobile platform.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Henry Schein Practice Solutions Opens New Utah Headquarters Featuring "Center Of Excellence" Equipped With State-Of-The-Art Digital Dental Equipment & Technology

Since I'm attending the Henry Schein Practice Solutions Summit this week, I'm featuring several pieces of info about the company.  For those that don't know it, the company just opened a brand new 100,000 square foot Center of Excellence in American Fork, Utah.  Read on for all the details!


MELVILLE, N.Y., Aug. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC), the world's largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners, announced today the grand opening of a new headquarters building for its Practice Solutions business in American Fork, Utah, that will offer practitioners a state-of-the-art training facility on digital dentistry.

The 100,000-square-foot, environmentally friendly facility features a "Center of Excellence" equipped with high-quality digital dental equipment and technology from Henry Schein's valued supplier partners, including the Kavo Kerr Group, a Danaher company; Air Techniques; SciCan; and Planmeca, which provided its CAD CAM solutions. The new Center of Excellence will showcase innovative products to new dentists and provide local dental professionals a modern facility to offer free, high-quality oral care to the community's underserved population.

"The opening of our new Henry Schein Practice Solutions headquarters and Center of Excellence underscores our dedication to being a reliable source of the latest digital dental equipment and technology for practitioners," said Stanley Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Henry Schein, Inc., who spoke at the August 6 grand opening ceremony. "This facility also underscores our long-term commitment to American Fork and to the people of Utah, including its underserved population who will benefit from access to free oral care that local dentists will provide at the Center of Excellence, in keeping with Henry Schein's philosophy of 'Doing Well by Doing Good'. We are excited to provide this beautiful new facility for our team members, dental professionals and the community."

Henry Schein has been a member of the American Fork, Utah community for nearly two decades. Joining Mr. Bergman at the grand opening ceremony were Kevin Bunker, President of Henry Schein North America Dental Practice Solutions, along with more than 450 additional members of the Practice Solutions team; and Larry Gibson and Kimball Wirig, co-founders of Dentrix Dental Systems, Inc., creators of Dentrix(R) and Easy Dental(R) practice management software systems, now offered through Henry Schein Practice Solutions. Additional honored guests at the ceremony were leaders from the dental industry, including the Utah Dental Association (UDA); Roseman University; state and local government officials, including Lieutenant Governor Spencer J. Cox, and the Mayor of American Fork, James Hadfield, along with representatives from the American Fork Chamber of Commerce; Coldwell Bank and Coldwell Banker Commercial, CBRE Brokerage Services, PWAG architects and Robinson Brothers Partners, builders of the new facility.

"Henry Schein is a business leader in Utah, as well as an eager and active corporate citizen in the American Fork community," said Lt. Governor Cox. "We are delighted to help officially open this beautiful new facility because it underscores the long-term partnership between Henry Schein and the State of Utah. The new Center of Excellence in particular will be a wonderful oral health care resource for community members in need."

Dentists from Share a Smile, a dental nonprofit based in Provo, Utah, which provides free dental care to the poor and homeless, will work with Henry Schein Practice Solutions to offer dental care at the "Center of Excellence."

"With the Center of Excellence's fantastic array of advanced dental technology, we can help provide even more individuals than ever before with high-quality dental care to restore the function and esthetics of their teeth," said Dr. Eric Vogel, founder and President of Share a Smile. "Because of this wonderful facility, the lives of many Utahans will be immeasurably improved by giving them the health, happiness and confidence of a great, bright smile."

Attendees at the building's grand opening ceremony had an opportunity to tour the new facility and view a range of practice management software designed and developed by Henry Schein Practice Solutions, including:

   -- Dentrix(R), the leading practice management software in the dental 

-- Dentrix Ascend(R), a web-based practice management system;

-- Dentrix(R) Enterprise, a scalable and customizable system designed to
meet community health care (CHC) organization needs;

-- Viive(R), a Mac-based practice management system;

-- Easy Dental(R), a low-cost, entry-level practice management system;

-- Specialty / OMSVision(R), PerioVision(R) and DentalVision(R) systems
designed for oral surgeons, periodontists and enterprises; and

-- eServices(R), powerful electronic services integrated with Dentrix and
Easy Dental.

The new Henry Schein Practice solutions headquarters features a redesigned work environment created to optimize the Company's technology support function, and collaborative spaces for its development teams. 450 of the 800 Henry Schein Practice Solutions team members will work in the new building, which also includes "green" office features to reduce the facility's carbon footprint and increase energy efficiency. The building is currently pending LEED "Silver" Green Building Certification.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New product allows dental practices to see exactly how PPO plans are affecting their business and assists in decision-making

The smart minds at my magazine, Dental Products Report, put together this great article about the new Dentrix PPO Analyzer, give it a read!
New product allows dental practices to see exactly how PPO plans are affecting their business and assists in decision-making
Thu, 2014-08-07 16:09 | Compiled by DPR Editorial Team

Great Minds, Inc., and Rae Dental Management have launched a new product for the dental practice that is looking for statistics to help make better decisions about their PPO dental plans. The PPO Analyzer is available for any dental practice that is currently using Dentrix G5.

"We have heard from dental teams that they want efficient and accurate systems for the front office to improve treatment planning, increase collections, and easily view net production," creators of the product said. "We have heard from doctors that they want all of this for their dental teams and they want to be able to track statistics such as write-off’s, patient demographics, and specific production information without having to sort through multiple reports. We have been listening. The PPO Analyzer brings all this information together on one report."



There are four main components to The PPO Analyzer.

PPO Production Summary – This will give you production by fee schedule and compare it to your UCR fee schedule and give you a net difference. This is your bottom line PPO write-off.

PPO Patient Demographics – This will give you total number of patients and percentage of active patient base by fee schedule. Also, it will break it down by male, female, and child.

PPO Claim Statistics – If you have ever wondered how long the average claim aging is by each PPO plan, you are in for a treat. These statistics will give you not only average claim aging, but also total number of resubmissions by fee schedule.

PPO Patient Visit Summary – These statistics break down the numbers a little farther and give you total number of doctor visits, hygiene visits, and average production per visit. Also, this section will show you total number of broken appointments by fee schedule.

How to successfully implement practice management software

“There isn’t anything else like it on the market right now. The Dentrix users should be very excited about this report because they cannot pull these numbers onto one report,” said Aaron Cali with Great Minds, Inc.

According to the creators, these components can help you make better decisions about your PPO dental plans. They also say it might also help you to target market certain employers with good PPO plans or help you map out your schedule to increase production.

For more information or to purchase The PPO Analyzer, go towww.greatminds.com/products.

Business of Dentistry Conference recap: How one dentist built a successful group practice in Las Vegas [VIDEO]

We sit down with Dr. David Ting, the CEO of Boston Dental Group with 18 locations throughout Las Vegas and plans to expand to California, Arizona, and northern Nevada.
Mon, 2014-08-11 19:24 | by Kevin Henry, Group Editorial Director

Through what he calls “trial and error,” Dr. David Ting has built Boston Dental Group into one of the most recognized dental entities in Las Vegas.

With 18 locations throughout Las Vegas and plans to expand to California, Arizona, and northern Nevada, Dr. Ting recently sat down with Dental Practice Management during theHenry Schein Business of Dentistry Conferenceto talk about his business model, why his practices are growing and prospering, and why he believes so strongly that dentists should be entrepreneurs.

“We started as a solo practitioner and started to recruit an associate doctor,” Dr. Ting explained. “We began incorporating technology and management systems and we’ve been growing ever since.”

Dr. Ting was one of more than 1,100 attendees at the Business of Dentistry and one of the panelists during the Dentalpreneur portion of the conference, explaining his beliefs in the dentist becoming a strong businessperson.

“For us, it’s a constant learning experience,” Dr. Ting said. “The number one thing for us to realize and always remember is that we don’t know what we don’t know. We learn a lot from new grads.”

PPO Analyzer for Dentrix launched at Business of Dentistry Conference

Dr. Ting has a simple piece of advice for his colleagues out there.

“Learn from the best. Surround yourself with the best,” Dr. Ting said. “Constantly look for things that you don’t know about and don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

Monday, August 25, 2014

athenahealth and Henry Schein, Inc. Expand Strategic Agreement

Jul 28, 2014

Integration of athenaNet® and Dentrix® Enterprise for Federally Qualified Health Centers and Community Health Centers to Streamline Reporting and Reduce Costs; Companies to Initiate Pilot Program to Ensure Seamless Integration
WATERTOWN, Mass. and MELVILLE, N.Y., July 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN), a leading provider of cloud-based services for electronic health record (EHR), practice management, and care coordination, and Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC), the world's largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health, and medical practitioners, today announced an expansion of their strategic agreement announced on May 21, 2014. Under the expanded agreement, athenahealth's athenaNet® platform and Henry Schein's Dentrix® Enterprise, the leading Electronic Dental Record (EDR) solution installed in Community Health Centers (CHCs) across the United States, will integrate to facilitate Uniform Data System (UDS) reporting, which is a requirement for CHCs, including Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).

The collaboration is expected to strengthen athenahealth's and Henry Schein's efforts to serve CHCs and FQHCs by bringing the two companies' best-of-breed products and services together with increased integration, creating new value and efficiencies. The advanced integration of the athenaNet and Dentrix Enterprise platforms will automate the UDS reporting process, ensuring accurate, complete UDS reports, without the need for manual and time-consuming reconciliation between separate systems.

"Value-based care models, like the FQHC model, require substantial documentation and reporting; our goal is to automate these processes wherever possible to save valuable time and reduce cost for our clients," said Jonathan Bush, chairman and CEO, athenahealth. "By teaming up with Dentrix Enterprise, we are enabling our CHC and FQHC clients to work smarter and more efficiently as they pursue quality care, better health, and lower costs for their patients."

"Staff time is a limited, critical resource in CHCs and FQHCs, and finding ways to increase efficiency through system integration are essential," said Kevin Bunker, President, Henry Schein North America Dental Practice Solutions. "Dentrix Enterprise already integrates with many medical EHR vendors through HL7 Interface. Our integration with athenahealth will provide CHC and FQHC customers with significant value through a more seamless exchange of information for customers that use both systems."

Family First Health of Pennsylvania and Three Lower Counties Community Services, Inc. of Maryland will participate in a pilot program to create standard documentation and efficient processes. The companies plan to roll out the integrated offering to their broader client bases in 2015.

"Managing the reporting demands as an FQHC can be a complex and time-consuming process, so we are thrilled that athenahealth and Henry Schein have partnered to simplify UDS reporting," said Jenni Black, chief information officer, Family First Health. "This effort is not only going to result in a substantial cost savings for our practice, but also will enable us to put more of our valuable resources toward patient care, where we can truly make a difference in our community."

"The pairing of athenaNet and Dentrix Enterprise is a positive step for FQHCs like ours, that are looking to find ways to streamline processes and reduce unnecessary work," said Susanne Gray, RN, MSN, CEO and chief operations officer, Three Lower Countries Community Services. "We are pleased that athenahealth and Henry Schein have identified this important opportunity to deliver value to their clients, and we look forward to working alongside their talented teams to make this integration a success."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hall of Fame Jim Kelly is Recovering from Oral Cancer

Earlier this year, I blogged about quarterback Jim Kelly and his battle against oral cancer.

I'm very passionate about fighting this disease because it frequently is a debilitating and disfiguring disease.

The secret to beating it is to catch it in its earliest phases, but that is often difficult.

If your dental office is not routinely doing oral cancer screenings/exams at every cleaning, request that they do so. We also use a variety of high tech devices to hat help us locate areas of concern at the earliest stages. I highly recommend that doctors acquire and use at least one of these.

CNN had a chance to talk with Jim Kelly recently about his checkup where doctors declared him "cancer free". It's a powerful video and I highly recommend you give it a look.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad