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The Week That Was Blog: January 30 to February 3

By Paul Roberts

February 3, 2023

The 2023 MDA Legislative Agenda in a Nutshell If you ever need proof that things are constantly changing under the Capitol Dome during the legislative session, look no further than the MDA’s Virtual Town Hall. Originally scheduled for this past Wednesday, it had to spin on a dime when our featured legislative guests all had last minute conflicts. Thankfully our flexible and resourceful legislative team quickly changed courses and recorded a quick 12-minute clip that you can now watch at your leisure. In this video overview, you’ll hear from the MDA leadership and advocacy team on issues we’re bringing to the legislature this year, including network leasing and virtual credit card reforms, removal of exemptions for certain insurance carriers, appropriations priorities and more. It’s all a warm up to the more important Dental Day at the Capitol on March 1 where we need our members to come out and explain as a dentist why these issues matter to you. Our lobbyist, Olivia Wilson, will work with your schedule to get you before your representative. A solid turnout does not go unnoticed by the legislators. It’s a fun and productive day. Click to both watch the Town Hall video and register for Dental Day. Missouri Spotlight in National Stories Show Me State Pride is all through the news this week. Here are two examples.
    • Give Kids A Smile® Kick Off – Today, February 3 The ADA Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile program will kick off on February 3 in St. Louis, Mo. To date, more than 7 million underserved children have received free oral health education, screenings, preventive and restorative services across the U.S. Programs and events occur throughout the year thanks to thousands of dental professional volunteers. For more information on GKAS go to: I’m also jazzed to attend the 200th Anniversary GKAS Gala tomorrow night in St Louis. Watch the blog next week for photos and stories.
    • ADA Third Party Payer Concierge™ Promotional Video Our thanks to the Missouri Dental Association for producing a video on the benefits of using the ADA Third Party Payer Concierge™. The concierge provides assistance to ADA member dentists and their staff who have questions or concerns with a patient’s dental insurance. Download materials to promote this member benefit, including a flyer, full-page ad, social ads, banner ads and this latest video. The concierge can be reached by phone at 800-621-8099 or by email at Kudos to MDA’s own, Melissa Albertson, for her hard work helping get this made and thanks to Dr. Andrea Eidson, a member in Branson, for letting us take over her office to tell her story on video!
New Dentists and Trauma There’s no denying the stress factors of life are more prevalent than ever. This article in the ADA New Dentist Blog caught my attention because we need to be real about the issues that affect us if we expect to be valuable to one another in the profession. I hope this article is helpful to at least one other person. Hang in there and know that we have specific state resources available through MDA’s Voluntary Wellness Program. Get Free Materials for Children’s Dental Health Month You can’t have lifelong good oral health unless you start as a child. February is Children’s Dental Health Month and many of you see children every day in your practice setting. Why not get the latest in good educational materials. Thousands of professionals, health care providers and educators will promote good oral health throughout February during the ADA’s National Children’s Dental Health Month. The National Children’s Dental Health Month website offers free posters in English and Spanish for download and has postcards available for purchase. Are These Your Top 3 in 2023? ADA’s Health Policy Institute recently published results from the Economic Outlook and Emerging Issues in Dentistry poll. I read these and wonder how true they resonate with MDA members. They seem to square with where the MDA time and resources are going. If you have other concerns, please let us know.
    • Top 3 Challenges: The top concerns dental practices are dealing with are staffing, rising operating costs, and stagnant insurance reimbursement levels. There will continue to be margin compression.
    • Top 3 Practice Preparations: The top actions dentists plan in 2023 are raising fees, hiring more staff and dropping out of some insurance networks. Nearly three out of four dentists plan to raise their fees, 2 out of 5 dentists want to hire more staff, and more than a third intend to drop out of some insurance networks.
The Week Ahead Looks like a full plate of meetings and calls that undergird the day to day work here. Most of the travel comes from our friends at MDIS. They will be in Hannibal to review group insurance offers with an office and then in Kansas City for a risk management event. If you don’t know MDIS or haven’t tried there products. They are worth a call. Exceptional service. Check them out here. Quote of the Week “Be true to your teeth and they won’t be false to you” – Soupy Sales ( a Boomer throwback)