Tuesday, December 10, 2019

What’s New at ALD 2020? The First “Laser 101” Full-Day Session

 


The Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD), recently announced its first “Lasers 101” full day educational track at the upcoming 27th annual conference and exhibition, April 2-4 at the Paradise Point Resort in San Diego.

Specifically, the “Lasers 101” track is a day pass program entitled “So You Got a Laser. Now What?” This program will take place on Saturday, April 4th from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. According to ALD executive director, Gail Siminovsky, CAE, “This learning track is designed to excite clinicians interested in exploring laser dentistry or those who may be on the fence about it. By taking this course, clinicians put themselves in the driver’s seat with confidence when it comes to evaluating lasers clinically and using them. It’s another example of ALD’s innovative approach to laser education”.

Here’s the “So You Got a Laser. Now What?” program at a glance:

• 3 expert speakers:
• Michael Cataldo, CEO of Convergent Lasers. “Return on Your Laser Investment”
• Dr. Juliana Barros, “Let the Light Shine: A Brighter Day at the Office”
• Dr. Shalizah Patel, “Laser Protocols: Let the Evidence Guide You”
• Unbiased, scientifically relevant practical information
• 6 CE credits
• Full access to exhibit hall
• Breakfast and Lunch included
• Panel discussion
• Only $695 per attendee**
• This program is FREE when you register for the entire ALD 2020 Meeting**

Click http://bit.ly/2pWYBl3 to register for this one-day only program. Seating is limited!

The over-arching theme of ALD 2020 is “The Future is NOW: Integrating Technology into Your Practice”. The ALD 2020 experience is designed to transform careers by providing unbiased lectures and hands-on workshops on all types of lasers. Digital imaging, CAD/CAM, 3-D cone beam radiography, are all part of the curriculum, as well.

“ALD’s openly friendly and genuine approach will impress you. ALD’s discussions are lively and supportive.” says Siminovsky.”

What else is new and exciting in the laser world? ALD 2020 includes a strong educational track on one of the most exciting developments in laser dentistry; photobiomodulation or PBM, a form of low-level laser therapy which has been clinically proven to heal tissue and reduce pain. The complete schedule includes the highest caliber of informative and relevant sessions that make this conference “dentistry’s laser meeting.”

Lectures: Endodontics, Periodontics, Pediatrics/TOTs, Esthetics, Medically Compromised Patients, Sleep Apnea, Pain Management, Hygiene, Financial Planning, Wealth Management, Legal Protection

Workshops: Diode Laser Basics, Advanced Diode Lasers, Endodontics, Photography, Whitening, Hygiene, Laser Certification

New Trends: 3-D Imaging, Green Dentistry. Smile Design, Caries Prevention, Periodontal Endoscopy, Adjunctive Modalities for Laser Dentistry

Early Bird Discount:
For full conference program details and registration information, visit http://bit.ly/2NOgmcK.
An early bird registration discount of $150.00 is in effect until December 31, 2019. What’s more, during the Greater New York Dental Meeting, $200.00 tuition discount coupons will be distributed during the laser courses presented by Dr. Sam Low, Dr. Mel Burchman, Dr. Gerry Ross and Dr. Laura Braswell. Each of these coupons can be combined with the early bird discount for a total savings of $350.00 for total tuition of only $895.00.

About the Academy of Laser Dentistry:
The Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD) is the only independent and unbiased non-profit association devoted to laser dentistry and includes clinicians, academicians and researchers in all laser wavelengths. The Academy is devoted to clinical education, research, and the development of standards and guidelines for the safe and effective use of dental laser technology. ALD was founded in 1993, with the merging of the International Academy of Laser Dentistry, the North American Academy of Laser Dentistry and the American Academy of Laser Dentistry. For more information, visit www.LaserDentistry.org.

* Hotel not included
** Additional workshops and hotel not included.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Ransomware at Colorado IT Provider Affects 100+ Dental Offices

 


This is another attack that has affected multiple offices in multiple states.  It seems that Complete Technology Solutions (CTS) a company based out of Englewood, CO was attacked and the hackers used this initial penetration to then infect client offices.

Many IT providers use remote access software to allow their support people to log into a dental office computer & fix problems when they arise.  While some companies set things up so that the dental office has to be at the computer and actually “allow” remote use by clicking “OK”, other companies setup remote control without a user’s permission simply because it is easier, faster, and can be done even when no one is in front of the computer needing to be fixed.

In this case however, since all of the client offices were setup to allow CTS log in without someone actually being at the computer, once hackers gained control inside of the CTS system, they then had access to every client computer.  This allowed the hackers to spread ransomware from CTS to all these client computers.  Basically once hackers had control inside of CTS, they *also* had control inside of every one of their clients computers as well.

Ransomware was installed and this brought over 100 client dental offices crashing down.  Since most of these clients were using CTS as their cloud backup solution as well, their backups were also encrypted and locked.  This attack demonstrates why backups should never all be held in one place.

I’m sure that many of these practices went home each night thinking their office was safe and that even if disaster struck, their data was backed up.  In this case the data *was* backed up but when your backups are also encrypted they are useless.

For years now I’ve been preaching that your backup protocol should be a “backup chain” and by that I mean it needs to have as many links as possible.  Having only ONE backup is not enough.  I would highly recommend at least two… and perhaps even more.  The concept of cloud storage and backups has given many people a false sense of security.  When you consider how important data is to your business ( and it IS the heart of your business) backing up should be one of the most important, if not THE most important part of your business plan.  If you only want to do cloud backup, then make sure you have 2 independent companies providing that service.  Backups are no good if you cannot retrieve them.

Over 500 hundred practices have been taken offline by ransomware since late August.  Do not think this cannot happen to you.  For all the details, checkout this article by security expert Brian Krebs.  

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Curve Dental Releases ePrescribe, Allowing Doctors to Send Digital Prescriptions

 


One of the things that many dental management software systems have been lacking is the ability to ePrescribe.  The idea of paperless prescriptions has been available in the medical world for quite some time now, but it’s been lacking in dentistry.  Now comes great news from Curve Dental that their cloud based management system allows for this sought after feature.

Here are the details:

Dental practitioners can now send or renew prescriptions to pharmacies from any device, Curve Dental announced today. A new release of enhanced functionality for ePrescribe, a module within the Curve Cloud Platform, allows clinicians to send prescriptions to pharmacies from any digital device, including a smartphone or tablet.

In partnership with DrFirst, a leading provider of e-prescribing, price transparency, and medication management solutions, Curve Dental offers customers an efficient process for sending prescriptions from their everyday workflow within its cloud-based dental practice management solution.

The new release includes three prescribing options; ePrescribe, which allows doctors to manage electronic prescriptions with ease; iPrescribe, which allows doctors to write and send prescriptions from mobile devices; and Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP) registration for Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances.

With this new functionality, Curve’s ePrescribe module allows customers to streamline prescription writing and reduce prescribing errors using the SmartSuite™ feature. This feature minimizes the need to search for drugs by displaying commonly prescribed medications with complete sig based on historical prescribing behaviors.

Gary Long, Curve's Chief Revenue Officer explains, "Our combined EPCS and PDMP solution streamlines workflow and dramatically reduces the time it takes to check patient prescription history, document the PDMP check and complete the electronic prescription. It also helps eliminate the possibility of human error throughout the process. We are committed to doing our part to address the country's opioid epidemic and feel that our solution will help dentists do their part to support the PDMP initiative."

Curve Dental is a web-based dental software and services provider in the US and Canada. To date, Curve has 25,000 users in the US and Canada and strives to make dental software about the user experience. For more information, visit curvedental.com.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Hospital Chain Agress to $2.175 Million Settlement with Office of Civil Rights

 


There is a lesson in today’s post.  Reporting security breaches is required to be in compliance with HIPAA statutes.  Also consulting knowledgable experts can greatly help in these situations.

The situation I’m reporting on here includes a breach which was reported, but actually under reported.  You’ll get the idea after you read the information released by the Department of Health and Human Services:

In an agreement with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Sentara Hospitals (Sentara) have agreed to take corrective actions and pay $2.175 million to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Breach Notification and Privacy Rules.  Sentara is comprised of 12 acute care hospitals with more than 300 sites of care throughout Virginia and North Carolina.

In April of 2017, HHS received a complaint alleging that Sentara had sent a bill to an individual containing another patient’s protected health information (PHI). OCR’s investigation determined that Sentara mailed 577 patients’ PHI to wrong addresses that included patient names, account numbers, and dates of services.  Sentara reported this incident as a breach affecting 8 individuals, because Sentara concluded, incorrectly, that unless the disclosure included patient diagnosis, treatment information or other medical information, no reportable breach of PHI had occurred.  Sentara persisted in its refusal to properly report the breach even after being explicitly advised of their duty to do so by OCR. OCR also determined that Sentara failed to have a business associate agreement in place with Sentara Healthcare, an entity that performed business associate services for Sentara.

“HIPAA compliance depends on accurate and timely self-reporting of breaches because patients and the public have a right to know when sensitive information has been exposed.” said Roger Severino, OCR Director.  “When health care providers blatantly fail to report breaches as required by law, they should expect vigorous enforcement action by OCR.”

In addition to the monetary settlement, Sentara will undertake a corrective action plan that includes two years of monitoring. The resolution agreement and corrective action plan may be found at https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/compliance-enforcement/agreements/sentara/index.html

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

What’s New at ALD 2020? The First “Laser 101” Full-Day Session


 


The Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD), recently announced its first “Lasers 101” full day educational track at the upcoming 27th annual conference and exhibition, April 2-4 at the Paradise Point Resort in San Diego.

Specifically, the “Lasers 101” track is a day pass program entitled “So You Got a Laser. Now What?” This program will take place on Saturday, April 4th from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. According to ALD executive director, Gail Siminovsky, CAE, “This learning track is designed to excite clinicians interested in exploring laser dentistry or those who may be on the fence about it. By taking this course, clinicians put themselves in the driver’s seat with confidence when it comes to evaluating lasers clinically and using them. It’s another example of ALD’s innovative approach to laser education”.

Here’s the “So You Got a Laser. Now What?” program at a glance:
• 3 expert speakers:
• Michael Cataldo, CEO of Convergent Lasers. “Return on Your Laser Investment”
• Dr. Juliana Barros, “Let the Light Shine: A Brighter Day at the Office”
• Dr. Shalizah Patel, “Laser Protocols: Let the Evidence Guide You”
• Unbiased, scientifically relevant practical information
• 6 CE credits
• Full access to exhibit hall
• Breakfast and Lunch included
• Panel discussion
• Only $695 per attendee**
• This program is FREE when you register for the entire ALD 2020 Meeting**
Click http://bit.ly/2pWYBl3 to register for this one-day only program. Seating is limited!

* Hotel not included
** Additional workshops and hotel not included.The over-arching theme of ALD 2020 is “The Future is NOW: Integrating Technology into Your Practice”. The ALD 2020 experience is designed to transform careers by providing unbiased lectures and hands-on workshops on all types of lasers. Digital imaging, CAD/CAM, 3-D cone beam radiography, are all part of the curriculum, as well.
“ALD’s openly friendly and genuine approach will impress you. ALD’s discussions are lively and supportive.” says Siminovsky.”

What else is new and exciting in the laser world? ALD 2020 includes a strong educational track on one of the most exciting developments in laser dentistry; photobiomodulation or PBM, a form of low-level laser therapy which has been clinically proven to heal tissue and reduce pain. The complete schedule includes the highest caliber of informative and relevant sessions that make this conference “dentistry’s laser meeting.”

Lectures: Endodontics, Periodontics, Pediatrics/TOTs, Esthetics, Medically Compromised Patients, Sleep Apnea, Pain Management, Hygiene, Financial Planning, Wealth Management, Legal Protection
Workshops: Diode Laser Basics, Advanced Diode Lasers, Endodontics, Photography, Whitening, Hygiene, Laser Certification

New Trends: 3-D Imaging, Green Dentistry. Smile Design, Caries Prevention, Periodontal Endoscopy, Adjunctive Modalities for Laser Dentistry

Early Bird Discount:
For full conference program details and registration information, visit http://bit.ly/2NOgmcK.
An early bird registration discount of $150.00 is in effect until December 31, 2019. What’s more, during the Greater New York Dental Meeting, $200.00 tuition discount coupons will be distributed during the laser courses presented by Dr. Sam Low, Dr. Mel Burchman, Dr. Gerry Ross and Dr. Laura Braswell. Each of these coupons can be combined with the early bird discount for a total savings of $350.00 for total tuition of only $895.00.

About the Academy of Laser Dentistry:
The Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD) is the only independent and unbiased non-profit association devoted to laser dentistry and includes clinicians, academicians and researchers in all laser wavelengths. The Academy is devoted to clinical education, research, and the development of standards and guidelines for the safe and effective use of dental laser technology. ALD was founded in 1993, with the merging of the International Academy of Laser Dentistry, the North American Academy of Laser Dentistry and the American Academy of Laser Dentistry. For more information, visit www.LaserDentistry.org.

Monday, December 2, 2019

It’s Time For Health Insurance To Pay For Dental Care

 


The article quoted today could be a very slippery slope.  While I agree that dental care needs to be covered better by health insurance, I’m not sure that including it as *part* of health insurance is a good idea.  One of the biggest complaints is that the $1000-1500 deductible on today’s dental policies are the same maximum amount that was covered in the 1960s… and of course the costs of that treatment are no where near what they were back them.  The problem becomes that reimbursement of healthcare by insurance in the medical model is not what it should be either.  I don’t know that I want my treatment mixed in with all of the other aspects of the healthcare system.  How about just increasing the yearly maximums to what they would be adjusted for inflation?

Be that as it may, author Peter Ubel has a good point in his article.  You can read it in its entirety here.

Last time I checked, the mouth was still part of the human body. If I remember correctly, when people experience mouth problems, they ache just as much (often more) than if they experienced problems elsewhere in their bodies. So why do we still treat care of the mouth differently than other types of medical care? Why will my health insurer reimburse the cost of my annual physical but not the price of an annual dental check-up?

The insanity has to stop.

I am ranting on this topic today in part because of a study in the United Kingdom that demonstrates the tight connection between oral health and more general health. This study was focused on people with diabetes who also suffered from periodontitis—for what us non-dentists call “gum disease.” The researchers randomized people to usual care versus intensive periodontal treatment. Those receiving the more intensive dental care not only had better oral health at the end of study, they also had better diabetes control, as measured by a blood test called the A1C; the higher your blood sugar, the greater your A1C. A year into the trial:

Control patients:                                            A1C = 8.3%
People receiving intensive dental care:        A1C = 7.8%

Good dental care is part of good medical care. Because of a historical accident involving power struggles between physicians and dentists, health care insurance in the United States has not typically included dental care. That is a mistake. People deserve robust coverage for all their basic medical needs, including oral health.

Right now, it is easy for a physician to increase the dose of diabetes medications for their patients and expect decent insurance coverage for those treatments. But we could reduce the need for those expensive medicines if we just gave people better dental care. It is insane to pay to treat people’s diabetes while refusing to pay for dental care that will reduce the severity of that illness.