Week in Review: Unvaccinated dentist ordered to stop working | Ala. dental board settlement | Teen with rare jaw tumor

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

The director of the State of Rhode Island Department of Health has ordered a dentist to stop treating patients until he gets vaccinated for COVID-19. Our top story of the week provided the details.

Rhode Island required all healthcare workers treating patients to get vaccinated by October 1. However, Dr. Stephen Skoly Jr. publicly stated he would not comply with the mandate and continued to treat patients after the deadline.

The notice of violation and compliance record stated that Skoly is required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The dentist has 10 days to submit a request for a hearing. He may also face disciplinary action.

In other legal news this week, the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama has agreed to settle charges filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC accused the dental board of violating federal antitrust law by excluding cheaper teledentistry providers, such as SmileDirectClub, from competition.

Teen with rare jaw tumor

A 17-year-old visited a pediatric emergency department after experiencing worsening jaw pain and swelling. While the symptoms can be associated with numerous conditions, the teen's final diagnosis was a type of benign tumor that has an incident rate of just 0.0001%.

To figure out the case, the emergency physicians consulted with the oral surgery team. A biopsy sample and computed tomography scan showing a lesion centered on the roots of the right premolars and first molar were both key to the diagnosis.

Medicaid reimbursement up for adults

The average Medicaid reimbursement as a percentage of private insurance reimbursement in states that provide adult dental services increased 4 percentage points from 2017 to 2020, according to data presented at an ADA webinar this week. The increase means not only more money in dentists' pockets but also a boost in dentist participation, one presenter said.

Despite the rise, Medicaid reimbursement for adult dental services is still only about half of private insurance reimbursement. For children, Medicaid pays approximately 61% of what private insurance does.

How to handle the unhappy patient

Last but not least, everyone is familiar with the patient who approaches the front desk with a complaint. Dr. Roger P. Levin gave his advice for the right way to handle unhappy patients in this week's Dental Practice Made Simple video.

Levin said not to ignore complaints. Instead, acknowledge patients' concerns and let them know how the office will resolve the situation.

Page 1 of 78
Next Page