Monday, May 23, 2022

Physician Indicted in $10 Million Telemedicine Health Care Fraud Scheme



 In the years since the Covid shutdown in the spring of 2020, healthcare has seen a steady increase in the use of telemedicine.  It's actually been a bit exciting to see how patients can be helped with the need to actually have doctor and patient in the same room together.

As many of you know, the has also been an increase in teledentistry.  The best part of that, in my opinion, is the ability of hygienists to go into nursing facilities and communicate their findings to a dentist who can then help these patients by either prescription, delegation of treatment, or being able to go on site and know the patient's needs ahead of time.  As more and more people age and end up in skilled nursing facilities, these types of healthcare will become critical.

Of course any system that is created can be hacked or scammed and so it is with telemedicine.  Here is a recent release from the U.S. Department of Justice...

An indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Elemer Raffai, an orthopedic surgeon, with health care fraud in connection with a $10 million scheme involving the submission of false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicare Part D plans. Raffai was arrested today and will make his initial court appearance this afternoon in United States District Court for the Northern District of New York.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General’s Office of Investigations (HHS-OIG); and Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Albany Field Office (FBI), announced the arrest and indictment.

“In exchange for kickbacks from telemedicine companies, Dr. Raffai allegedly submitted millions of dollars in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare on behalf of beneficiaries without even examining them or based on conversations on the phone that lasted less than three minutes,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “Dishonest doctors who think Medicare is a cash cow and connect with telemedicine companies to brazenly steal from this vital taxpayer-funded program, will find themselves arrested, prosecuted and their scheme disconnected.”

“These allegations describe a physician who is more motivated by personal enrichment than his duty to provide appropriate and necessary care to his patients,” stated HHS-OIG Special Agent in Charge Lampert. “Dr. Raffai is accused not only of disregarding proper patient care, but also of pilfering funds from a program upon which millions of citizens depend for health services. Our agency and law enforcement partners are dedicated to tracking down individuals who commit health care offenses, and their involvement in a fraud network does not insulate them from our pursuit.”

“Healthcare fraud is a serious crime that impacts every American. Dr. Raffai cheated the system for his own personal gain in the amount of $10 million. Like many others who commit healthcare fraud, Dr. Raffai’s crimes contribute to the rising cost of health care for everyone. The FBI, along with our partners, will continue to investigate healthcare fraud to ensure these individuals who willingly defraud the American people are brought to justice,” stated FBI Special Agent-in-Charge DiGuiseppi.

According to the indictment, Dr. Raffai purported to practice telemedicine with the AffordADoc Network and other telemedicine companies that paid the defendant for each consultation with a beneficiary. Between July 2016 and June 2017, Dr. Raffai allegedly participated in a health care fraud scheme in which he signed prescriptions and order forms via purported telemedicine services for durable medical equipment (DME), including orthotic braces, that were not medically necessary. Dr. Raffai caused the submission of these claims based solely on a short telephone conversation for beneficiaries he had not physically examined and evaluated, and that were induced, in part, by the payments of bribes and kickbacks. Dr. Raffai was paid by telemedicine companies approximately $25 or $30 per patient consultation. The indictment further alleges that Dr. Raffai, together with others, submitted or caused the submission of approximately $10 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for DME on behalf of beneficiaries who were residents of the Eastern District of New York, and Medicare paid more than $4 million on those claims.

The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Dr. Raffai faces up to 10 years in prison.

The FBI and HHS-OIG are investigating the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force under the supervision by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. Trial Attorneys Andrew Estes and Kelly M. Lyons of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are in charge of the prosecution.

The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for nearly $19 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.


Thursday, May 19, 2022

DENTSPLY SIRONA INC. INVESTIGATION ALERT: Bernstein Liebhard is Investigating DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc. For Violations of the Federal Securities Laws

 Dentsply Sirona has been in the news frequently as of late... and not for good reasons.  It seems that the behemoth company has potentially violated federal securities laws.  The CEO was terminated in a sudden and unanticipated move on April 19th, then the CFO Jorge Gomez left and was hired by vaccine maker Moderna.  One day after Moderna hired him, Gomez was terminated when the company learned that Dentsply Sirona had started an investigation that included him.  This is the kind of thing one expects in a novel, not in the real world.

Now comes a press release from a law firm that is looking to litigate over stock losses of Dentsply Sirona. Here is the press release:

Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationally acclaimed investor rights law firm, is investigating potential securities fraud claims on behalf of shareholders of DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc. ("Dentsply Sirona" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: XRAY) resulting from allegations that Dentsply Sirona might have issued misleading information to the investing public.

On April 19, 2022, the Company announced that Donald M. Casey Jr. ("Casey") had been terminated as the Company's Chief Executive Officer ("CEO") and had also ceased to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Company, effective that same day. Casey had served as the Company's CEO since joining the Company in February 2018. 

On May 10, 2022, the Company announced its preliminary financial results for the first quarter of 2022. Among other things, the Company reported first quarter net sales decreased 6.1% to $965 million, compared to $1,027 million in the first quarter of 2021. Additionally, net income for the first quarter of 2022 was $65 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, compared to $117 million, or $0.53 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2021. And adjusted earnings per diluted share decreased to $0.52 compared to $0.72 in the first quarter of 2021. 

On that same day, the Company also announced that it was unable to file its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2022.  The Company revealed that in March 2022, an internal investigation had commenced into allegations regarding certain financial reporting matters submitted by current and former employees of the Company.  The investigation was focused on the Company's use of incentives to sell products to distributors in the third and fourth quarters of 2021, whether those incentives were appropriately accounted for, and whether the impact of those sales was adequately disclosed in the Company's periodic reports filed with the SEC. Dentsply also revealed that the Company's Audit Committee was investigating allegations that certain former members of senior management directed the Company's use of these incentives and other actions to achieve executive compensation targets in 2021.  The Audit Committee retained independent outside counsel to assist in its investigation. The Company also announced that it had voluntarily contacted the SEC to advise it that an internal investigation was underway, and that it was unable to file the Form 10-Q on a timely basis.

On this news, the price of Dentsply Sirona stock declined over 7% to close at $36.38 per share on May 10, 2022.

If you purchased Dentsply Sirona securities, and/or would like to discuss your legal rights and options please visit DENTSPLY SIRONA Inc. Shareholder Investigation or contact Peter Allocco at (212) 951-2030 or pallocco@bernlieb.com.

Since 1993, Bernstein Liebhard LLP has recovered over $3.5 billion for its clients. In addition to representing individual investors, the Firm has been retained by some of the largest public and private pension funds in the country to monitor their assets and pursue litigation on their behalf. As a result of its success litigating hundreds of lawsuits and class actions, the Firm has been named to The National Law Journal's "Plaintiffs' Hot List" thirteen times and listed in The Legal 500 for ten consecutive years.

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. © 2022 Bernstein Liebhard LLP. The law firm responsible for this advertisement is Bernstein Liebhard LLP, 10 East 40th Street, New York, New York 10016, (212) 779-1414. Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter.

Contact Information:

Peter Allocco
Bernstein Liebhard LLP
https://www.bernlieb.com
(212) 951-2030
pallocco@bernlieb.com


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

LIGHTFORCE BRINGS ON FRANK QUINN AS CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER

 LightForce, makers of the world’s only fully customizable 3D

printed braces system, announced that Frank Quinn, former Vice President and General Manager of

US Commercial at Align Technology, has joined the LightForce team as their Chief Revenue Officer.

Frank brings over 13 years of experience in the orthodontics space, helping to drive growth,

revenue, and go-to-market strategies.


“Frank has been a trusted executive in the orthodontics space for over 13 years. He has a long

history of growing companies, and most importantly, scaling the customer-focused values that

make LightForce special,” said LightForce CEO and Co-Founder, Dr. Alfred Griffin, DMD, PhD,

MMSc.


Dr. Griffin continues, “Frank’s orthodontics knowledge, go-to-market expertise, and leadership

experience will be invaluable to both doctors and the LightForce team as the industry makes the

transition to fully digital treatment."

“The industry is shifting to being fully digital and LightForce, with their exponential growth and

buzz in the market, is clearly leading the movement. I’ve been especially impressed by their

community of doctors who are deeply invested and engaged with the LightForce team. There’s

a real shared desire to build something that improves practice efficiency and patient outcomes,”

said Mr. Quinn. “I’m excited to roll up my sleeves with this incredible team to help doctors

provide their patients with the very best orthodontic experience in the specialty.”


About LightForce Orthodontics

LightForce is a digital platform providing orthodontists with fully customized, 3D printed tooth-moving

tools. Founded in 2015 by Dr. Alfred Griffin, DMD, PhD, MMSc, along with Dr. Lou Shuman, DMD,

CAGS, LightForce is revolutionizing the specialty through advanced manufacturing and technology.

After five years of extensive research and development, LightForce launched its first product to the

Orthodontic market- the world’s only fully customized 3D printed bracket system and digital

treatment software. Learn more at www.lf.co.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Join Me Tonight for a Presentation on Advanced Digital Caries Detection

 





The good folks at Medidenta have been nice enough to allow me to present this evening.

If you are interested in learning more about devices that can make diagnosing caries easier,  join me for all the low down.

The best part?  It's FREE!

Follow this link to register.  

Monday, May 16, 2022

Keeping Personal and Practice Data Safe in the Wake of the American Dental Association Hack

 A very short post today because the real story is in the link.

A couple of weeks ago, the American Dental Association had their network compromised by cyber criminals.  The hack took the ADA offline for several days and caused a major disruption to not only ADA operations but also the operations of several state dental associations as well.

Even as I type this, their systems are still not back 100%.  This is a big deal and unfortunately it is a situation. that most individuals read or about or experience far too frequently.  It has almost gotten to the point where these situations happen so frequently that the public has become desensitized to them.  We think, 'Oh another data security incident.  Pass the salt." and we carry on our lives.

That's unfortunate, but it is also human nature.  What is *news* is what is not common.  Plane crashes are a big story because they are rare.  If there was 24 hour coverage of every auto fatality, that all the news we would hear, unfortunately.

To help doctors put this event in perspective and also to help them to be prepared, I turned to my friend Steve White.  He is the Senior Partner and Vice President of the cyber security firm DDS Rescue and also someone I've come to have a friendship with where we, once again unfortunately, have bonded over our interest in data security.

Steve's firm is one of my major vendors that helps with my cybersecurity, so when  he speaks, I listen.  I really feel that any doctor, or any individual, who wants to be more secure should listen to him as well.  He was kind enough to answer some questions for me which we've posted to Dental Products Report online.  

Also, if you'd like more info on the ADA incident, after reading the interview on DPR, simply scroll down the page for an article by my buddy Stan Goff dealing with this unfortunate situation.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Patrick Wardle - From the DPRK With Love

 


If you are a Mac user and you are not yet familiar with Patrick Wardle, I'd highly recommend you check out his blog and his work.  He is a security consultant and pretty much the creme de la creme of Mac experts.  His blog can be found at this link.  

Patrick has devoted himself to the study of Mac malware, even going so far as to finding vulnerabilities in both applications and the Mac Operating System itself.  He also runs a 501(c)(3) foundation devoted to the study of and solutions to Mac problems and malware.

Through his foundation "Objective See" he also releases tools/applications that help Mac users monitor vital functions, locate unwelcome processes, and become aware of potential "bad things" happening in places most of us would never look.  Oh, and did I mention that he provides these tools for FREE?  

Patrick has a long history of working in the security arena and he's one of those individuals who, when he speaks, the industry listens... and rightly so.

On a personal note, I've never met Patrick face to face, but we've corresponded a bit and I've come away impressed.  It's a given that a guy like this is smart.  However, it's rare these days to find someone who is doing the right thing simply because it's the right thing to do.  Because of that, I highly recommend supporting Patrick through Patreon.  That allows him to continue the good fight and to help provide the community with high quality and effective tools.


Now on to the heart of today's post.  If you follow the security industry and read what's been going on the past few months, you've seen that North Korea has put forth a lot of effort in attempting to compromise security researchers in an attempt to learn better ways to break into systems.  North Korea is under an incredible number of sanctions that limit their ability to earn money that the country wants to spend in its nuclear weapons program.

The North Korean economy is floundering and because of that, their government sponsored hackers have been working hard to break into banks and basically find any way possible to bring money into North Korean coffers.

The latest efforts they've put forth are in the areas of cryptocurrency and the blockchain.  Obviously their hope is to make off with cash from different sources.  These attempts to steal crypto and hack the blockchain were publicized by the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (often abbreviated as CISA).  Objective See has analyzed the Mac parts of this and Patrick has posted his analysis.

He recently put up a blog post about this situation which is a fascinating read.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Reward Offers for Information to Bring Conti Ransomware Variant Co-Conspirators to Justice

 


This is an interesting piece of news.  The US Department of State has decided to dial up the pressure on the Conti ransomware gang.  This group has been pretty prolific and in addition to making tons of money in ransom, they have also wrought havoc on a number of U.S. businesses and industries in general.  If you have any interest, just type "Conti" into Google and see the number of hits...


What follows is the Press Statement from the U.S. Department State:

The Department of State is offering a reward of up to $10,000,000 for information leading to the identification and/or location of any individual(s) who hold a key leadership position in the Conti ransomware variant transnational organized crime group.  In addition, the Department is also offering a reward of up to $5,000,000 for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of any individual in any country conspiring to participate in or attempting to participate in a Conti variant ransomware incident.

The Conti ransomware group has been responsible for hundreds of ransomware incidents over the past two years.  The FBI estimates that as of January 2022, there had been over 1,000 victims of attacks associated with Conti ransomware with victim payouts exceeding $150,000,000, making the Conti Ransomware variant the costliest strain of ransomware ever documented.  In April 2022, the group perpetrated a ransomware incident against the Government of Costa Rica that severely impacted the country’s foreign trade by disrupting its customs and taxes platforms.  In offering this reward, the United States demonstrates its commitment to protecting potential ransomware victims around the world from exploitation by cyber criminals.  We look to partner with nations willing to bring justice for those victims affected by ransomware.

This reward is offered under the Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program (TOCRP).

The Department manages the TOCRP in close coordination with our federal law enforcement partners as part of a whole of government effort to disrupt and dismantle transnational organized crime globally, including cybercrime.  More than 75 transnational criminals and major narcotics traffickers have been brought to justice under the TOCRP and the Narcotics Rewards Program (NRP) since 1986.  The Department has paid more than $135 million in rewards under these programs to date.

For more information on the group listed above and the TOCRP, please see Department of State INL Transnational Organized Crime Rewards.


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

VideaHealth Dental Artificial Intelligence Solution Receives FDA Clearance

  We are seeing a sudden influx of artificial intelligence platforms coming to dentistry.  Recently I posted about FDA Clearance for Pearl and their Second Opinion AI that can read radiographs.

Now comes news that VideaHealth, a dental artificial intelligence company has received FDA 510 (k) clearance for their AI powered caries detection algorithm called Videa Caries Assist.


Here is the press release:

VideaHealth, a dental AI pioneer, today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued 510(k) clearance for Videa Caries Assist, an AI-powered dental caries (cavity) detection algorithm. VideaHealth surpassed the FDA’s exacting efficacy requirements by significantly aiding the analysis of radiographs instantly from the dentist’s chair.

In the FDA trial, the number of missed caries was 43% lower for dentists using Videa’s AI. Notably, the dentists using Videa’s AI also experienced a 15% average reduction in erroneous detections of caries lesions. All dentists in the trial, regardless of experience level, encountered caries detection capability improvements. These detection performance improvements enable more accurate diagnoses, better preventative care and substantial cost savings for patients by reducing unnecessary invasive treatments. A joint study with VideaHealth partner Heartland Dental revealed similar impacts on diagnostic improvements and treatment planning.

VideaHealth is disrupting a market that has remained largely unchanged for the past 30 years, providing greater transparency to patients, and is actively working to reduce AI bias in dentistry. The company’s breakthrough solution is built upon the Videa Factory, which houses the industry’s most diverse dataset with over 100 million data points from leading dental service organizations (DSOs), insurance companies, clearinghouses and universities. This helps the VideaHealth algorithms remain impartial and more fully represent the diversity of the U.S. population.

Florian Hillen, leading industry AI researcher and founder and CEO of VideaHealth, said, “Our biggest priority as a team is ensuring that our solution is effective across diverse patient populations and helps dentists deliver the most accurate diagnoses. This paves the way for more appropriate dental treatment recommendations and the opportunity for dentists to foster deeper patient engagement.”

VideaHealth’s AI technology and seamless workflow integration radically accelerate and improve decision-making across the entire dental chain, unlocking the most economic and health value for providers, insurers and patients. With FDA clearance and funding from some of the world’s top-tier venture capital firms, VideaHealth is poised to support millions of patients through strategic partnerships with leading DSOs with the goal of ensuring every dental patient receives an accurate diagnosis and every provider captures efficiencies and faster reimbursements.

About VideaHealth

Founded in 2018 and born out of Harvard and MIT artificial intelligence (AI) research, VideaHealth is on the mission to improve dental patient health through the power of AI. VideaHealth’s platform drives the improved quality of care for patients by using AI to augment the diagnosis and treatment planning capabilities of providers. Partnering with leading DSOs across the country, VideaHealth is committed to helping usher in the age of preventative care in dentistry. Backed by leading venture capital firms Spark Capital, Zetta Venture Partners and Pillar VC, and angel investors, VideaHealth is headquartered in Boston. For more information, visit https://www.videa.ai. 

Monday, May 9, 2022

Roland DGA Opens New Atlanta Imagination Center

 

We have recently brought a new mill on board to supplement our entire line of digital dental offerings.  Our new DWX-42W has been online in our clinic for about 2 weeks now and things are progressing nicely as we ramp up using the device.  The restorations it is producing are *impressive*!


Now comes word from Roland that they have opened a new Imagination Center in Atlanta.  I cannot wait until I get a chance to see it in person!  Here is the latest:


Roland DGA Corporation, a leading provider of wide-format inkjet printers, vinyl cutters, 3D milling machines, and other innovative digital devices, has opened a new regional office in Atlanta, Georgia – the Atlanta Imagination Center – which will allow customers, prospects and partners to access Roland DGA’s latest technologies in this important and popular region of the country.

The Atlanta Imagination Center houses many of Roland DGA’s newest and best-selling products, including the recently launched third-generation TrueVIS Series printer/cutters, allowing visitors to see the impressive capabilities of these state-of-the-art devices firsthand through live product demonstrations. Staffed by experienced application specialists, the new 5,600 square-foot facility will also serve as a hub for both in-person and virtual training and events.

Roland DGA conducted a grand opening event for the new Imagination Center on May 3, in conjunction with the start of ISA International Sign Expo 2022 in Atlanta. The well-attended afternoon event allowed invited sign and graphics industry professionals, already in the area to attend the Expo, to be on hand for the festivities. The event included a welcome address by Roland DGA Vice President of Sales Amado Lara, an official ribbon-cutting ceremony and guided tours of the facility, plus a DJ, food and drinks.

“We are thrilled about the opening of our new Atlanta Imagination Center, and we were pleased that so many people could join us to mark the occasion and celebrate with us,” said Oransky. “In addition to this new Atlanta office, we have another in Boston that’s centrally located for those in the Northeast and one in the Toronto, Canada area as well, expanding Roland DGA’s reach beyond our California headquarters. These regional offices – alongside our network of world-class resellers, roadshow program, and strong online presence – ensure our customers and partners can engage with us and see Roland DGA products in any way that suits them best.”

For more information on the new Atlanta Roland DGA Imagination Center, visit rolanddga.com/company/contact. To learn more about Roland DGA Corporation, or the complete Roland DGA product line, visit https://www.rolanddga.com.

About Roland DGA Corporation

Roland DGA Corporation serves North and South America as the marketing, sales, distribution and service arm for Roland DG Corporation. Founded in 1981 and listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Roland DG of Hamamatsu, Japan is a worldwide leader in wide-format inkjet printers for the sign, apparel, textile, personalization and vehicle graphics markets; engravers for awards, giftware and ADA signage; photo impact printers for direct part marking; and 3D printers and CNC milling machines for the dental CAD/CAM, rapid prototyping, part manufacturing and medical industries.

 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Dentsply Sirona opens the gateway to a new digital universe with cloud-based solution DS Core

 



 Today in a virtual event, Dentsply Sirona has unveiled DS Core and other services and solutions, a new and open platform that integrates the whole workflow of digital dentistry – across its devices, services, and technologies. DS Core is developed in collaboration with Google Cloud and gives dentists the power to do more, so that they can focus on their patients and create easier ways to collaboratively work with labs, partners, and specialists.

Cord Staehler, Chief Technology Officer at Dentsply Sirona: "We are very proud that we are now ready to take the next step in our mission to make digital dentistry easy to integrate into dental offices. In line with our recently launched collaboration with Google Cloud, this enables seamless workflows and the highest level of connectivity with the ultimate goal in mind: the best treatment outcome for patients."

DS Core gives dentists the power to do more

DS Core, an open, cloud-based platform operated by Dentsply Sirona, is transforming digital dentistry. It is designed around the needs of dentists and modern dental practices and with a focus on security.   

The digital platform is efficient, cost-effective, and easy-to-use – with automatic software updates that give dentists access to the latest version and features. DS Core makes running a dental practice easier, because it seamlessly connects to Dentsply Sirona equipment and is accessible across multiple devices. For dentists it means they can maximize the productivity of their practice by simplifying workflows and easily adding and integrating new ones. Practitioners can use DS Core to store different types of patient files and making them accessible from multiple locations, while collaborating with partners and colleagues outside their practice. DS Core supports GDPR and HIPAA-compliant file sharing and cloud storage for patient case files.

DS is also introducing two services that help dentists to get the most out of digital dentistry: DS Core Create and DS Core Care.

DS Core Create – with a few clicks to high-quality expert designs

DS Core Create is an excellent tool for next-level dental design services. With just a few clicks, dental practitioners can gain access to high-quality expert designs that are tailored for each patient's needs across a broad range of indications without having to use the software themselves. The cloud-based platform makes it easy to delegate the design workflow, which saves valuable time in the dental practice. The service integrates smoothly with Dentsply Sirona's new Primeprint Solution and will grow in the future.

DS Core Care – seamless service and support solution

DS Core Care is a comprehensive, integrated, and easy-to-understand equipment service and support solution that harmonizes equipment with service offerings to provide a seamless customer experience. This helps to increase equipment uptime and give dentists peace of mind so that they can focus on their patients.

Cord Staehler said: "By launching this digital universe with DS Core at its center and services like DS Core Create and DS Core Care, as well as solutions like Primeprint, we are positioning Dentsply Sirona at the forefront of digital dentistry. Most importantly, we help dental practitioners to unlock the full potential of their work so that they can focus on what matters most: treating patients and giving them healthy smiles."

Primeprint Solution – A medical-grade 3D printing system

Primeprint Solution is a highly automated, end-to-end, medical-grade 3D printing system for dentists and dental technicians who want to expand their treatment and service offerings. It is a smart hardware and software solution that is optimized for dental applications and can run the entire printing process including post-processing. The high level of automation helps reduce handling times, allows delegation, and enables maximized productivity. Primeprint Solution enables practitioners to print biocompatible applications with reproducible and accurate results*. The printing process has been developed in line with FDA guidelines for Additive Manufacturing (AM) medical devices and outputs from the device are medical products.

Dr. Mike Skramstad, dentist from Orono (Minnesota, USA), said: "3D printing has just taken the next leap forward with Primeprint. With the combination of complete integration, enclosed automated workflow, and industry defining efficiency, Primeprint gives me and most importantly my staff confidence that we are delivering very good and safe 3D printed parts to our patients. Furthermore, the automation supports that every application we 3D print is processed, cleaned and cured to a very high standard."

Due to various certification and registration periods, not all products are immediately available in all countries. In order to ensure an excellent customer experience DS Core will be launched in a phased rollout.


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Align Technology Announces First Quarter 2022 Financial Results

 


When I started in dentistry, orthodontics required wires, years of treatment, sometimes extractions, AND a referral to a specialist.  my how times have changed.  Into that orthodontic process stepped Align Technologies and their product Invisalign.  The entire process rocked the tooth moving world and proved an incredible concept of healthcare.  Suddenly computer simulation could create a product that moved teeth and didn't involve wires.  Today the market for orthodontic services is higher than ever and more general dentists, like me, are treating a large percentage of patients.  And yet, orthodontists are busier than ever.  Align was a disrupter, but also an instigator or progress...

Now their numbers continue to prove every year just how successful the are...


Commemorates 25 years of smiles and innovation through doctor-directed care with major milestones including 217K Invisalign trained doctors, 12.8M Invisalign patients, 73K iTero scanners, and 49K exocad software licenses


  • Q1'22 total revenues of $973.2 million, compared to $894.8 million in Q1'21
  • Q1'22 Invisalign volume of 598.8 thousand cases, compared to 595.8 thousand cases in Q1'21
  • Q1'22 Invisalign cases for teenage patients of 175.2 thousand cases, 29.3% of total volumes, compared to 165.3 thousand cases, or 27.7% of total volumes in Q1'21
  • Q1'22 Clear Aligner revenues of $809.7 million, compared to $753.3 million in Q1'21
  • Q1'22 Imaging Systems and CAD/CAM Services revenues of $163.5 million, compared to $141.5 million in Q1'21
  • Q1'22 diluted net income per share of $1.70; Q1 non-GAAP diluted net income per share of $2.13
 Align Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALGN), a leading global medical device company that designs, manufactures, and sells the Invisalign system of clear aligners, iTero intraoral scanners, and exocad CAD/CAM software for digital orthodontics and restorative dentistry, today reported financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 ("Q1'22"). Q1'22 total revenues were $973.2 million, down 5.6% sequentially and up 8.8% year-over-year. Q1'22 Clear Aligner revenues were $809.7 million, down 0.7% sequentially and up 7.5% year-over-year. Q1'22 Imaging Systems and CAD/CAM Services revenues were $163.5 million, down 24.2% sequentially and up 15.6% year-over-year. Q1'22 Clear Aligner volume was down 5.1% sequentially and up 0.5% year-over-year. For the Americas, Q1'22 Clear Aligner case volume was down 4.3% sequentially and down 1.5% year-over-year. For our International region, Q1'22 Clear Aligner case volume was down 6.1% sequentially and up 3.0% year-over-year. Q1'22 Clear Aligner case volume for teens was down 3.6% sequentially and up 6.0% year-over-year. Q1'22 operating income was $198.1 million resulting in an operating margin of 20.4%. Q1'22 net income was $134.3 million, or $1.70 per diluted share. On a non-GAAP basis, Q1'22 net income was $168.7 million or $2.13 per diluted share.

Commenting on Align's first quarter results, Align Technology President and CEO Joe Hogan said, “Overall, the first quarter proved to be a tougher than expected operating environment globally and we believe our results primarily reflect three factors: the continued impact of COVID-19 waves in every region and especially in China with its restrictions and lockdowns under their zero-COVID policy; a weaker economic environment and waning consumer confidence driven by increasing inflationary pressures and supply chain disruptions; and the military conflict in Ukraine and fallout across Europe. In addition, with approximately half our business occurring outside of the U.S., unfavorable foreign exchange rates negatively impacted our revenues, margins, and EPS. Notwithstanding these headwinds, Q1’22 total revenues of $973.2 million were up 8.8% year-over-year. This is compared to Q1’21 revenues of $894.8 million which had year-over-year revenue growth rate of 62.4% from Q1'20 to Q1'21. Our Q1’22 operating income was $198.1 million and operating margin was 20.4%.”

Continued Hogan, “We know that COVID lockdowns, weaker consumer confidence, inflationary pressures, and the Russia/Ukraine conflict have created headwinds, but we remain excited and are committed to realizing the enormous opportunity in front of us to lead the evolution of digital orthodontics and comprehensive dentistry. With less than 10% share of the 21 million orthodontic case starts each year, and with over 500 million people globally who can benefit from a healthy beautiful smile, our market is as large as ever. No other company is as well positioned as us to take advantage of that potential as the environment improves and growth trends return. We will continue focusing on the relentless execution of our strategic growth drivers while managing investments in the near term to account for the headwinds and uncertainty and we remain confident in our long term revenue growth target of 20-30%.”

Financial Summary - First Quarter Fiscal 2022


  Q1'22 Q4'21 Q1'21 Q/Q Change Y/Y Change
Invisalign Case Shipments 598,835 631,145 595,820 (5.1)% +0.5%
GAAP  
Net Revenues $973.2M $1,031.1M $894.8M (5.6)% +8.8%
Clear Aligner $809.7M $815.3M $753.3M (0.7)% +7.5%
Imaging Systems and CAD/CAM Services $163.5M $215.8M $141.5M (24.2)% +15.6%
Net Income $134.3M $191.0M $200.4M (29.7)% (33.0)%
Diluted EPS $1.70 $2.40 $2.51 ($0.70) ($0.81)
Non-GAAP  
Net Income $168.7M $224.5M $198.4M (24.9)% (15.0)%
Diluted EPS $2.13 $2.83 $2.49 ($0.70) ($0.36)
As of March 31, 2022, we had $1.1 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term and long-term marketable securities, compared to $1.3 billion as of December 31, 2021. We also have $300.0 million available under a revolving line of credit. In February 2022, we purchased approximately 143.6 thousand shares of our common stock at an average price of $522.61 per share through open market repurchases, for a purchase price of $75.0 million. We have approximately $650.0 million remaining available for repurchase under our May 13, 2021, $1.0 Billion Repurchase Program.

Q1'22 Announcement Highlights

April 3, 2022 marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of Align Technology and 25 years of smiles and innovation in digital orthodontics and restorative dentistry. Align is commemorating this significant milestone of doctor-directed care with over 217 thousand Invisalign trained doctors, 12.8 million Invisalign patients, 73 thousand iTero scanners, and 49 thousand exocad software licenses.
On March 18, 2022, we announced the new Cone Beam Computed Tomography ("CBCT") integration feature for ClinCheck digital treatment planning software, a user-friendly tool that combines roots, bone, and crowns into a single three-dimensional model that enables doctors to visualize patients' roots as part of the digital treatment planning process. The CBCT integration feature helps doctors confidently expand diagnosis and treat a broader range of cases with Invisalign clear aligners by increasing visibility and control of a patient’s underlying anatomical structures during the digital treatment planning process.
On February 2, 2022, we announced Invisalign system innovations for the Align Digital Platform, a proprietary combination of software, systems, and services designed to provide a seamless experience and workflow that integrates and connects all users – doctors, labs, patients, and consumers. These Invisalign system innovations include ClinCheck Live Update for 3D controls, the Invisalign Practice App, Invisalign Personalized Plan ("IPP"), and Invisalign Smile Architect, and will revolutionize digital treatment planning for orthodontics and restorative dentistry by providing doctors with greater flexibility, consistency of treatment preferences, and real-time treatment plan access and modification capabilities. Each of these innovations is designed to enhance Invisalign treatment planning quality, efficiency, and scale, and contribute to a better doctor-patient engagement and treatment outcomes.
Q2'22 Stock Repurchase

During Q2'22, we expect to repurchase up to $200.0 million of our common stock through either, or a combination of, open market repurchases or an accelerated stock repurchase agreement.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Ultradent Unveils New Temporary Dental Cement

 


Ultradent Products, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of high-tech dental materials, is announcing UltraTempTM REZ II temporary dental cement for temporary crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, and small temporary fillings. 

UltraTemp REZ II temporary cement is a hydrophilic, resin-based chemistry that helps ensure low irritation and a quality seal. It was developed for longer retention needs (2-4 weeks) and comes in a dual-barrel syringe with mixing tips for easy delivery. The solution features a non-eugenol formula that will not interfere with resin bonding. 

With its innovative mixing-tip delivery system, UltraTemp REZ II temporary cement provides a highly convenient, time-saving application method that delivers an even cement mix for reliable strength. 

Once set, UltraTemp REZ II temporary dental cement provides optimal sealing capabilities. In addition to withstanding normal biting and chewing forces, it is radiopaque, fluoresces under a black light, and is easily removed. Available in Fast Set (1–2 minutes) and Regular Set (2–3 minutes). 


Monday, May 2, 2022

American Dental Association Cybersecurity Incident Update


Here is the latest communication from the ADA regarding the cyber security incident that occurred about 10 days ago.  My biggest piece of advice here is that if your ADA login password was used for anything else, change those NOW.  This may turn out to be a bigger problem than it appears currently.
  Needless to say, if and when I find out more, it will be available here... 


Dear Colleagues:

By now, you’re likely aware of the cybersecurity incident that impacted the American Dental Association last week. It has been a very challenging few days for our community, especially for those of you who have needed to access our online services and resources. I want to assure you that the ADA’s IT personnel, with additional guidance from third-party cybersecurity specialists, have been working tirelessly to restore our systems safely. We are making progress, and I thank you for your patience and understanding.

As valued members, your questions and concerns are important to us. It is also important that we provide timely and accurate updates as the situation evolves. However, because the incident is under an active investigation, we are limited in the information we can share at this time. Know that we hear you, and we will provide answers as we are able in the near future.

There is reasonable expectation that our system’s information is intact, but our investigation continues. In the meantime, if you’re looking for information on protecting your own computer systems, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA.gov) offers tips and resources.

As a precautionary measure, the ADA is reviewing service providers that can offer privacy protection and credit monitoring support for members. We will share more information as soon as it is available. In the meantime, please remain vigilant and know that the ADA will never contact you for your username and password information.

If there’s one thing I can say for certain, it’s that our ADA community is resilient. We have navigated the difficulties of a pandemic together, and I know that we will make it through the current situation as well.

If you have any questions, please send them to us at questionsada@gmail.com.  


Sincerely,


Cesar R. Sabates, D.D.S.

President, American Dental Association


Thursday, April 28, 2022

Media Launches New i700 Scanner - Wireless Comes to Affordable Scanners



 Medit has done a good job of filling a needed market in the clinical practice of dentistry.  As more and more dentists embrace the concept of "digital workflows" the market for chair side impression scanners continues to grow.  Current industry statistics put the number of in-office acquisition units at between 25-30%.

Like all things in life, there are different levels of financial commitment.  This is especially true for younger doctors going into private practice.  Many incurred debt loads of $300-400K and when looking at setting up an office, need to work within a strict budget.

Medit is a digital chair side acquisition unit for doctors looking to get a high quality product for a more affordable price point.  The company has done a tremendous job with i700 scanner.  Now the company has announced the availability of the i700 wireless.  

The new scanner is based on the i700 wired hardware and offers the same high quality scans that can be obtained by its wired little brother.  

One of the problems with any wired scanner is, of course, the cord.  Often the cord is thick and heavy which creates pull on the operator's hand.  Removing the wire allows for better access and more efficient scanning.

I am currently trying to get my hands on one from the company to perform an evaluation so that I can give you all an actual hands-on evaluation.  If that happens, I'll be sure to let you know.

In the meantime, if you are interested in owning one or simply want to know more, follow this link to the website.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

HHS Releases Information on Hive Ransomware to Healthcare Facilities

  Today is another post regarding cybersecurity.  Recently the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an alert on a ransomware threat called "Hive".

In the last year, healthcare systems have become either the number one or in the top five of businesses hit by ransomware (it depends on which survey you read).

Because of the Hive threat, HHS is advising that healthcare organizations upgrade their security efforts to include things like two factor authentication (2FA), long randomly generated passwords, and secure offsite backups.

HHS states that one report covering the third quarter of 2021 shows Hive as the fourth most active ransomware.  Another report noted that Hive hit 355 companies in its first 100 days of operation.

Obviously Hive a serious problem and one the healthcare sector needs to be aware of and trying hard to defend against.

HHS has produced an entire document pertaining to Hive, what it does, and some technical specs.  The report is 8 pages long, but unless you are someone who really wants the nuts and bolts, reading the first 2.5 pages gives a great overview.  Follow this link to read the HHS report.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Cyber Attack on American Dental Association - An Important Message from the ADA

 This is the latest on the ADA hack.  The American Dental Association was hacked on Friday April 22, 2022.  The information below was sent out to membership Monday evening April 25th.  Obviously this simply highlights how vulnerable we all are to potentially falling victim to cybercrime.

Stay tuned for further details...


The ADA recently fell victim to a cybersecurity incident that has resulted in technical difficulties impacting certain systems. We are working around the clock to restore our systems and limit the disruption this incident causes you.

During this time, we are committed to keeping you informed. Here is an update on the current situation.

  • On Friday, the ADA fell victim to a cybersecurity incident that caused a disruption to certain systems, including Aptify and ADA email, telephone and Web chat. Upon discovery, the ADA immediately responded by taking affected systems offline and commenced an investigation into the nature and scope of the disruption.
 
  • Safeguarding employee and member information and data is the ADA’s utmost priority. We are working diligently with third-party cybersecurity specialists to investigate the impact on ADA systems and restore full system functionality. At this time, there is no indication any member information or other data has been compromised, however our investigation is still underway.
 
  • Federal law enforcement has been notified and we are cooperating with them in this active investigation, so we ask for your understanding that we must limit the amount of detail that we can share at this time. 

Protecting the privacy of our members and employees and ensuring the security of information stored on our systems are among our highest priorities. We have an active and vigorous investigation into the nature and scope of the technical difficulties. If we determine personal information was impacted as a result of this incident, we will notify affected parties pursuant to applicable law. 

We understand you may have questions. The ADA is committed to providing accurate information regarding this incident and our response. 

Monday, April 25, 2022

Compex HD Composite Warming Gun is a Winner

 


As many of you know, I am a huge fan of warming composite.  When I first started out with using warm composite, the only choice anyone had was to use AC powered warming bases from AdDent.  The Calset, as it is called, is still available, still works well, and is still *Highly Recommended*!  The device is in the picture below:


As you can see, it comes in several models and can be used for a variety of applications.  I still have them and use them.  That in itself is a testament to how well they are made.  The devices I have are probably 10 years old and still work great.

The only drawback to counter top heaters is that you have to remove the composite from the heaters in order to use it for a restoration.  If only there was a way to take your cartridges out of the heater and keep them warm all the way to the preparation.  Wait!  There IS A WAY!  And that way is called the Compex HD manufactured by, you guessed it, AdDent.

The Compex HD is a composite dispensing gun that actually *heats* the composite cartridge.  Even if you don't have the Calset, you can still get the benefits of heated composite.  The Compex HD is a battery operated device that warms the composite in about one minute.  It keeps the composite warm for as long as it is on & allows the operator to actually inject warm composite of 155°F (68°C) directly into the preparation.

The device is efficient, easy to use, and makes composite placement a breeze.  Besides heating the material, the device also has a genius "ejector mechanism" that allows the user to "pop" out a cartridge and insert another one with minimal effort and quickly as well.

The device has a powerful lithium ion battery that will heat 100 cartridges before needing to be recharged.  We are charging it at the end of our workweek and it is ready to go every Monday morning.

It will heat any cartridge on the market today in as little as 60 seconds.

I've been testing the device in my clinic since February.  What I've determined is the best way to use it is to press the ON button as I am putting my final bevels on my preparation.  That way, by the time I have placed etch and bonding agent, or the matrix, the Compex HD has got the composite to 155°F and is ready to go.

I am still using the Calset warmers and place the warmed cartridges directly into the Compex HD.  My thoughts are that it doesn't hurt to have it pre-warmed.

In the time I've been testing, the device has performed incredibly well and has delivered *exactly* as advertised and expected.  If you have not used warmed composite before, I guarantee that you will be stunned and impressed with the experience.  The warm material is easier to dispense, easier to place, and easier to sculpt.  There is also myriad scientific articles that show benefits to using warm composite.  You aren't only making your restorations more efficient to place, you are also improving your clinical outcomes.

If you'd like even more info on the Compex HD you can follow this link.  I have been very impressed with the device and it is *highly recommended*!

Thursday, April 21, 2022

quip Acquires Teledentistry Company Toothpic

I found this press release interesting.  quip makes and sells an affordable powered toothbrush and an entire line of oral health products such as floss, toothpicks,  mouthwash, etc.  The brush is priced much lower than others and is powered by a AAA battery.  This is an interesting acquisition and I think plays well into a consumer based/focused company like quip.


quip, the modern oral health company with more than 8.5 million users, today announced that it has acquired Toothpic, a leading telehealth company offering teledental services and care to more than 36 million Americans through partnerships with premier dental insurers. The acquisition is part of quip's strategy to improve people's oral health by providing a first-of-its-kind, digital oral care companion that seamlessly manages a 360-degree suite of personal and professional oral care products and services, while guiding and incentivizing good oral health habits.

Access to quality dental care continues to be a challenge that persists within the United States. Teledentistry services can help increase access to quality care in both rural and urban communities, remove barriers to oral health care disparities, and ultimately support better oral health outcomes by taking a more preventative approach to professional care through more regular at-home virtual checkups.   

"By embedding Toothpic's teledentistry platform and nationwide network of online dental professionals into our app, we will centralize access to a full suite of connected oral care products and dental services that will drastically alter the way people experience and manage their oral health," said Simon Enever, Co-Founder and CEO of quip. "We are excited to welcome the extremely talented Toothpic team to the quip community to help us continue building this much needed platform for patients and providers."

quip's goal is to help people build and maintain good, long-lasting preventative oral care habits, which goes well beyond just the products they use. By adding virtual, on-demand access to dental professionals, quip has built a singular digital platform where users can track daily oral care habits, monitor oral health changes over time, schedule regular virtual visits to prevent or identify issues early on and book in-person, local dental appointments when required, all from the comfort of their own home.

Once fully integrated, current quip and Toothpic users and partners will have access to a free oral care companion app that guides and rewards good oral health habits such as brushing and having a dental checkup, and helps manage the following comprehensive suite of oral care products and services:

Personal & Professional Care Products including adult and kids electric toothbrushes. refillable floss pick and string, refillable mouthwash, gum, and their recently launched professional clear aligner service. quip also offers smart brushes that allow the user to automatically track how they are brushing in the app.

Digital Oral Health Monitoring to further support preventative care between in-person dental visits. Through asynchronous virtual dental professional screenings that analyze photos of users' mouths, users will be able to track their mouth health over time through in-depth reports that can be delivered in as little as 6 hours, as well as product, prescription and treatment recommendations.

Direct Connection to Local Dental Professionals & Immediate Care through a digital directory and instant booking. Users will be able to find and book in-person dental services from providers in their area or schedule live video consultations with a dentist for an immediate diagnosis and advice.

"We have made incredible strides in making oral health care accessible to individuals and businesses around the country through our web and mobile applications," said Shane Owens, CTO and Co-Founder of Toothpic. "We share a vision for shifting dentistry from a fee-for-service model to a preventative- focused, value-based care one. We can't imagine a better partner than quip as we seek to further our mission to provide innovative oral care solutions that not only improve the lives of patients, but also improve and modernize the delivery of care to our provider networks and lower the cost of care to our partners."

Through the acquisition, the combined platform will connect millions of patients with dentists nationwide through the integration of Toothpic's ecosystem and their partnerships with benefit providers such as Delta Dental of California and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts as well as quip's recently announced partnership with UnitedHealthcare Dental.

For the latest from quip, follow @quip on Instagram or visit getquip.com.


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Dentsply Sirona Terminates CEO & Appoints Interim CEO

Interesting news out of Dentsply Sirona.  No word yet on the "why" behind this move.  I will update if/when I find out more... 



-Dentsply Sirona (“Dentsply Sirona” or “the Company”) (Nasdaq: XRAY) today announced the appointment of John Groetelaars, who serves on Dentsply Sirona’s Board of Directors, as Interim Chief Executive Officer. He succeeds Don Casey, who has been terminated as CEO and will cease to serve as a member of the Company’s Board, effective immediately. The Board has initiated a search to identify the Company’s next CEO and has retained a leading executive search firm to support the process.

Eric Brandt, Non-Executive Chairman of the Board stated, “We are pleased to welcome John as Dentsply Sirona’s Interim CEO. John has a strong track record of driving innovative business strategies, and as a seasoned executive with more than 30 years of industry experience, he is uniquely positioned to lead our company during this transition period. John is the right leader to bring continuity and guide Dentsply Sirona’s execution of its key strategic initiatives to create sustainable value for our shareholders. As the Board conducts its search for a permanent CEO, we are focused on finding a candidate with a track record of world-class execution and operational expertise who can position the Company for the future.”

Mr. Groetelaars commented, “I look forward to serving as Interim CEO during this important time for the Company. I joined the Company’s Board because of my deep appreciation for our mission and unwavering commitment to innovation, operational excellence and providing positive outcomes for patients and customers. Dentsply Sirona is situated in attractive, growing dental categories and has a strong foundation in place, built on its portfolio of leading products and differentiated position across key markets. The Board is confident that renewing the Company’s focus on execution will stabilize the business and deliver strong performance despite ongoing macroeconomic challenges. This will be my focus from day one, and I am prepared to leverage my prior executive leadership experience as I work with the rest of the Board and management team to drive the Company’s strategy and advance its vision to transform dentistry and improve oral health globally.”

Mr. Brandt continued, “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Don for his many contributions to our company. Don has played a key role in strengthening our foundation and advancing our mission to create innovative solutions for healthy smiles. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Appointment of Interim CFO

Dentsply Sirona also today announced the appointment of Barbara Bodem as Interim Chief Financial Officer, effective upon Jorge Gomez’s previously announced departure on May 6, 2022. Ms. Bodem will join the Company on April 25, 2022, and work closely with Mr. Gomez to ensure a seamless transition.

Ms. Bodem is an accomplished executive with over two decades of financial leadership experience in the healthcare industry, most recently serving as Senior Vice President and CFO of Hillrom. Previously, Barbara served in senior leadership roles at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Hospira and Eli Lilly and Company.

Mr. Brandt said, “We are fortunate to welcome Barbara, a proven finance executive, as our interim CFO during this transition period. Barbara brings extensive expertise in healthcare with an international perspective, having served in multiple leadership roles across finance organizations at global companies. As we continue our search for a permanent CFO, we believe that Barbara and our talented financial team will continue to deliver value for our patients, business partners and shareholders.”

Select Preliminary Financial Results for the First Quarter of 2022

Dentsply Sirona today also provided an update on its anticipated financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2022.

On a preliminary basis, the Company expects that net sales will be approximately $965 million (representing an organic sales decline of approximately 1.4% versus prior year). Additionally, GAAP diluted earnings per share will be in the range of $0.26 - $0.30 and adjusted earnings per share will be in the range of $0.48 - $0.52. Relative to last year, these results reflect weaker sales performance in the U.S., global supply chain challenges, and foreign exchange headwinds. 

The Company will provide further information on its results and 2022 outlook when it releases its earnings as scheduled on May 5, 2022.

The amounts set forth above are preliminary estimates. The Company is in the process of finalizing its results of operations for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022 and therefore final results are not yet available. These preliminary estimates are based solely upon information available to management as of the date of this press release. The Company’s actual results may differ from these estimates due to the completion of its quarter-end closing procedures, final adjustments and developments that may arise or information that may become available between now and the time the Company’s financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022 are finalized. The Company’s unaudited consolidated financial statements for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022 should be consulted once they become available.

About John Groetelaars

John Groetelaars served as President, CEO and a Board member at Hillrom from May 2018 until the company’s acquisition by Baxter International, Inc., in December 2021. At Hillrom, Mr. Groetelaars led a transformation of the business, successfully articulating and launching a new connected-care strategy and vision, growing the portfolio through seven acquisitions and one divestiture, and driving record financial performance. Prior to Hillrom, Mr. Groetelaars served as Executive Vice President and President of the Interventional Segment at Becton, Dickinson and Company following its acquisition of C.R. Bard Inc. He previously served in a variety of progressive roles at C.R. Bard during his 10-year career there, including as a group president from 2015 to 2017. Prior to joining C.R. Bard, Mr. Groetelaars held various international leadership positions in Canada, Denmark and the United Kingdom at Boston Scientific Corporation from 2001 until 2008. Prior to joining Boston Scientific, Mr. Groetelaars held positions in general management, marketing, business development and sales with Guidant Corporation and with Eli Lilly.

Mr. Groetelaars earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

About Barbara Bodem

Barbara Bodem most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Hillrom, where she was responsible for both Financial and Information Technology and oversaw portfolio transformation and performance acceleration. She also served as Interim CIO during the pandemic. Prior to her positions at Hillrom, Ms. Bodem served as Senior Vice President of Finance for Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Vice President of Finance, Global Commercial Operations for Hospira, and at several positions of increasing responsibility at Eli Lilly and Company, culminating in Chief Financial Officer, Lilly Oncology. Ms. Bodem also has extensive Board experience, and currently serves as Audit Committee Chair for Turning Point Therapeutics, as a Director on Syneos’ Board, and as a Director on Enovis Corporation’s Board. She has also previously served as a board member for Invacare Corporation.

Ms. Bodem earned and a Bachelor of Science in Finance with honors and minors in Economics and East Asian Studies, as well as an MBA from Indiana University.


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Solmetex Acquires DryShield

 

As I've said before, one of the most difficult things to do when you are performing any type of adhesive dentistry is to control the field.  That's why products like DryShield are so valuable.  They allow the operator and assistant to have complete control of the operative field.  We use a fair number of DryShiled products in our practice.  Here's some news related to the company...


Solmetex, LLC, the dental industry's leading provider of amalgam separators and other waste compliance products, today announced that it has closed the acquisition of DryShield®, a dental innovator of in-treatment patient isolation products, combining high suction evacuation, bite block, tongue shield and oral pathway protector into one technology. DryShield enables dental practices to treat patients more efficiently, while bringing a new level of comfort to patients in procedure. With Solmetex's recently announced acquisition of Sterisil, a leading innovator of dental unit water line infection control products, the combined company will result in a diversified business and category leader in  dental water treatment and patient safety management for the U.S. and global dental markets. This includes a commitment to strengthen and expand partnerships based on assisting both individual dental practices and Dental Service Organizations in managing highly efficient businesses with patient safety at the forefront.

DryShield brings a history of innovation in the development of dental technologies designed to bring unmatched levels of ease, comfort and safety to dentists and their patients and, as part of the Solmetex offering, will expand its continued focus on developing and implementing treatment focused technologies.

Gene Dorff, Solmetex Chief Executive Officer, stated, "This is a transformational time for Solmetex and the addition of DryShield to our platform will ensure growth and expansion into other technology areas where we believe Solmetex will be successful. We will continue to deliver excellent customer service, and high-quality, reliable products to all of our business partners and the patient populations they serve. I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with the team to execute our future growth plans."

Dr. Lan Nguyen, DryShield founder, added, "We have worked diligently to stay close to our community of dentists when developing DryShield. We believe Solmetex is perfectly positioned to expand adoption and usage of this treatment changing technology, with the leadership, organization, and resources to help us achieve our next phase of growth."     

Thien Nguyen, DryShield co-founder/CEO, offered, "We are excited to work with the Solmetex team to accelerate and scale DryShield across the dental industry markets both domestically and internationally.  Solmetex brings a world-class organization and complementary set of capabilities, including commercial and financial resources to take DryShield to the next level."

Solmetex is a portfolio company of Avista Capital Partners ("Avista"), which together with other shareholders, is providing equity capital, operational oversight, and strategic counsel to help ensure the success of the newly combined company.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

ABOUT SOLMETEX, LLC

Solmetex provides waste management services through a series of specialized processes and systems that cost-effectively remove mercury from the waste stream and offers additional dental waste solutions. The company's NXT Hg5™ Series of Amalgam Separators and recycling program, which treat dental wastewater, is highly regarded as the best solution for regulatory compliance. Solmetex is widely recognized as the single trusted source for comprehensive environmental solutions for the dental waste needs. For further information, visit www.solmetex.com.

ABOUT DRYSHIELD

The flagship DryShield solution is a patented autoclavable isolation system that combines all the tasks of a high-suction evacuator, bite block, dry angles, cotton rolls, and gauze in one sleek device. This intelligent breakthrough in isolation was the result of years of R&D innovation, designed by a dentist for dentists. We then listened to our customer community and introduced the single-use mouthpiece option to serve the needs of certain hospitals, government organizations, and practices in need of the added convenience. DryShield represents a commitment to creating new products that dentists see value from every day. For more information, visit www.dryshield.com.

ABOUT AVISTA CAPITAL PARTNERS

Founded in 2005, Avista Capital is a leading New York-based private equity firm with nearly $8 billion invested in more than 40 growth-oriented healthcare businesses globally. Avista partners with businesses that feature strong management teams, stable cash flows and robust growth prospects – targeting product and technology businesses with clear scale potential across six sub-sectors experiencing strong tailwinds. The team is supported by a group of seasoned Strategic Executives enhancing the entire investment process through strategic insight, operational oversight, and senior counsel, which helps drive growth and performance, while fostering sustainable businesses and creating long-term value for all stakeholders. For more information, visit www.avistacap.com.


Monday, April 18, 2022

A Big Thank You to Practical Clinical Courses and to All of You!

 Saturday morning I was lucky enough to be able to present a lecture dedicated to my favorite technologies live from Provo, Utah.  It was part of Dr. Gordon Christensen's Practical Clinical Courses and I am truly honored to have able to provide the content.

Over the years I've been fortunate enough to have become friends with Dr. Christensen and I'm really grateful in his support for this course.  

However, I also want to let all of YOU know how appreciative I am of you who chose to login and join the fun!  We truly live in exciting times and technology  can really push things to greater and greater heights.

I remember in the early days of the Internet, a good friend of mine who lived in Phoenix and I spent most of an entire Saturday trying to hook up our webcams and be able to see and hear each other.  We were working with a Microsoft program called NetMeeting.  At the time it was one of the coolest things around... if you could get it to work.  Connection speeds at the time were dicey and the amount of bandwidth required was hard to support in those early days.  We finally did get things working to the point that we could "sort of" see and hear each other.  The video was jerky and the audio cut in and out, but we got it to work.

Fast forward to today and we think nothing of a Zoom or Microsoft Teams Meeting with high definition audio and 4K video.  Heck, we are doing this kind of stuff from our phones!

My point is, look at how far things have evolved!  We are in a digital world and the profession of dentistry has become a near digital profession.  There really isn't much that needs to be done in an analog fashion any more.  I'm grateful to those of you. who attend lectures I do and I'm also grateful for all of you who happen to make this blog so successful.  I'm honored to be able to help.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

The Dental Compliance Institute Publishes Free Guide “5 Ways to Survive a Ransomware Attack”

 


The Dental Compliance Institute (DCI), a leading provider of compliance training and certification programs for dental professionals, recently published “5 Ways to Survive a Ransomware Attack.” This “survival guide” is the second in a series that examines crucial regulatory topics such as OSHA, HIPAA, and dental risk management.

“The best way to survive a ransomware attack is to prevent one in the first place,” says DCI founder, Linda Harvey, MS, RDH. “That’s why our latest survival guide is focused on explaining how practice owners can effectively minimize the risk of a crippling ransomware attack.”

“5 Ways to Survive a Ransomware Attack” clearly explains why the dental industry needs to be extremely concerned about the state of ransomware as well as the liability of private practices and DSOs who become victims of ransomware attacks. The guide also provides best practices advice via outlining 5 steps to take to prevent ransomware attacks.

Did you know patient health information is worth more on the dark web than financial information? “The estimated cost of a patient record on the dark web varies from a low as $250 to as much as $1000 per record,” explains Harvey.

For multi-location group practices or DSOs, the risk and repercussions of a ransomware attack is exponentially magnified. For example, in the Spring of 2021 several breached email accounts with a multi-state dental administrative services provider impacted over 125,000 patients in ten states. 

Therefore, every individual practice and group owner should download “5 Ways to Survive a Ransomware Attack” at www.RansomwareSurvivalGuide.com.

About the Dental Compliance Institute:

Founded in 2014 and based in Jacksonville, Florida, the mission of the DCI has been to provide dental professionals, including dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, and office managers with the comprehensive, up to date train-the-trainer compliance training and certification regarding OSHA, HIPAA, and dental risk management. For more information, visit www.DentalComplianceInstitute.com


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Dentsply Sirona’s digital solutions powered by Google Cloud

As dentistry continues to embrace a totally digital future, the profession is going to need more online accessibility to move all of this digital data around.  Providing patients the best possible outcomes will depend on good information management strategies.  I'm excited to see this announcement from Dentsply Sirona as working with a digital leader like Google shows their commitment to helping to bring about easier data migration strategies. 


The collaboration with Google Cloud will help dentists and dental labs alike to unlock the full benefits of digital dentistry – whether they are continuing or just starting on their digital journey.

The new digital dentistry solutions will be based on six key principles:

Enabling high-value dental care by offering excellent digital products and solutions;

Next-generation digital workflows featuring secure and seamless sharing of data with labs and other dental practitioners;

Easy access to data when it is needed;

High-quality 3D visualization of dental imagery;

Stringent data protection and security standards; and

An innovative environment for software, data integrity and storage.

Christian Martin, Managing Director Alps Region at Google Cloud, said about this collaboration: “Dentsply Sirona is transforming the dental industry. At Google Cloud we believe that we have the right expertise, capabilities and services to strongly support Dentsply Sirona in its vision for the future of oral healthcare.”

Casey added: “This exciting collaboration will allow us to deliver on our promise: empowering millions of customers by proudly creating innovative solutions for healthy smiles. We will succeed in this by giving dentists an innovative platform to underpin the digital infrastructure of their practice and enabling a seamless workflow that helps dentists to focus on what matters most: treating their patients.”

Together, both companies will build upon a digital approach that gives dentists and labs the ownership, impact and independence that digital solutions from Dentsply Sirona can deliver.

Primeprint - an advance in automated, medical-grade 3D printing for practices and labs

Separate from the collaboration with Google Cloud, Dentsply Sirona will also launch Primeprint, a medical-grade 3D printing system for dental practices and dental labs.

With one of the highest levels of automation, Primeprint is a smart hardware and software solution that is optimized for dental applications. It runs the entire printing process, including post processing. Primeprint delivers reproducible and accurate results* with strictly biocompatible materials. The printing process meets high regulatory requirements for medical products.

"For us dentists, Primeprint turns 3D printing into an efficient application for everyday use, and that’s also great for my patients," said Dr. Mike Skramstad, dentist from Scottsdale, Arizona. "The workflow is fully automated, easy to use, as well as end-to-end, so I can both delegate and get the best possible results quickly.”

About Dentsply Sirona

Dentsply Sirona is the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, with over a century of innovation and service to the dental industry and patients worldwide. Dentsply Sirona develops, manufactures, and markets a comprehensive solution offering, including dental and oral health products as well as other consumable medical devices under a strong portfolio of world class brands. Dentsply Sirona’s products provide innovative, high-quality and effective solutions to advance patient care and deliver better and safer dental care. Dentsply Sirona’s headquarters are located in Charlotte, North Carolina. The company’s shares are listed in the United States on NASDAQ under the symbol XRAY. Visit www.dentsplysirona.com for more information about Dentsply Sirona and its products.