DrBicuspid.com Practice Management Insider

Dear Practice Management Insider,

Faced with the retirement of its only dentist last December, the small farming community of Fayette, IA, decided to meet the challenge head on with a unique solution to a growing problem in rural America.

Through a collaboration with Upper Iowa University, the state, and Delta Dental of Iowa, the town is utilizing the Fulfilling Iowa's Need for Dentists (FIND) loan repayment program, which offers $100,000 to new dentists who sign on to practice in underserved communities.

Read more in this latest Practice Management Insider Exclusive.

In other Practice Management Community news, New Hampshire lawmakers are considering a measure to authorize a pilot program to expand midlevel oral health services to underserved areas of the state. Click here to read about the proposals, which would create a new oral health professional and expand the scope of practice of public health dental hygienists.

In a related story, legislation that would have allowed midlevel providers to do irreversible procedures was defeated this month in Washington state, while a bill that would allow California to study the benefits of alternative dental care providers is still being considered by state lawmakers. Read what the measures had proposed and why state dental groups oppose the idea.

Meanwhile, the number of young children with early childhood caries who sought treatment at emergency departments and ambulatory surgery facilities in New York state rose sharply between 2004 and 2008, and the costs of treating them nearly doubled, according to a new study. Read about what most of the cases involved and who's paying for the treatment.

In related news, Louisiana also is spending more money now for emergency room care for patients seeking relief from dental issues. Click here to read how the state is dealing with the problem.

And a new model for delivering dental care to poor California children that was supposed to control costs and improve children's ability to see a dentist has fallen far short of expectations. Click here to read why.

On the educational front, the Florida dental board has voted to switch to a regional testing system, joining the majority of states with reciprocal agreements that allow out-of-state dentists to practice there. Read what prompted the decision and which test the state will use.

And a new study outlines how accountability, data collection, and new ways of delivering care are critical if the U.S. is going to improve the quality of its oral healthcare. Click here to see what five elements could make the difference.

In other news, an HIV-positive man who worked in a Great Expressions Dental Center in Michigan says he was harassed by co-workers and unfairly fired. Click here to read about the job discrimination lawsuit that his lawyer is preparing to bring against the chain.

Finally, the death of an 82-year-old woman in Italy who contracted Legionnaires' disease days after receiving dental treatment is being blamed on bacteria in a water line at a dental office. Read how health officials traced her death to the dental unit.

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