The number of messages physicians at ambulatory care clinics receive rose between March 2020 and June 2021, with physicians in surgical specialties experiencing the steepest rise, potentially due to a backlog of elective procedures to be cleared, according to a research letter in JAMA Network Open. The average number of patient requests for medical advice rose for primary care, medical and surgical physicians, while the number of patient calls also rose, and researchers warned about the growing burden on physicians.
Norwalk Hospital significantly reduced the number of repeat visits to its emergency department after staff began holding weekly meetings for case reviews, developed tailored care plans and implemented a system to connect repeat patients with community resources, according to clinical social worker Eileen Kardos. Meetings are brief and target a specific patient population, social determinants of health are discussed, teams of nursing and social work students from a local university are involved, and handoffs to community resources are "warm," Kardos says.
ADA Treasurer Ted Sherwin, D.D.S., of Orange, Va., was reelected to a second three-year term by the 2021 House of Delegates, ADA News reported. The ADA allows the treasurer to serve for two consecutive terms, and Dr. Sherwin, a past president and treasurer of the Virginia Dental Association, ran unopposed. Dr. Sherwin said the ADA "did a stellar job of managing assets and funding core activities" during the COVID-19 pandemic and is seeing a strong recovery this year. The ADA will hold elections for president-elect and second vice president on Saturday.
The ADA's new brand campaign, A New Day for Dentistry, honors dentists who help keep the Association strong and moving forward, and President-elect Cesar R. Sabates, D.D.S., told SmileCon's closing session Wednesday he wants the ADA to be a "welcoming and loving community for all of its members." The campaign launched with a video showcasing the diverse community of ADA members and the contributions they make to their communities and dentistry, ADA News reported. "Everyone's voices, contributions and perspectives matter," Dr. Sabates said. "When we unite on the common ground of our passion and purpose, we are primed to build our profession's future together."
The more than 26 million seniors who have dental benefits through their Medicare Advantage plans could end up paying more for inferior coverage if proposed legislation that would add dental coverage to Medicare passes, according to the Washington Examiner. The legislation would put politicians in charge of a one-size-fits-all dental benefit program, and the result could be lower reimbursement for dentists, reduced access to care for patients and greater costs for patients. "Congress should build on existing success with regulatory reform that gives private plans even more flexibility to keep designing attractive options seniors want," wrote Edmund Haislmaier of the Heritage Foundation.
Malavika Tampi, manager of the ADA Science and Research Institute's Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, won the International Association for Dental Research's University of Manchester Evidence-Based Dentistry Award, ADA News reported. Ms. Tampi earned the award for her research poster "Minimal Important Difference for Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in Dental Guidelines." Alonso Carrasco-Labra, D.D.S., Ph.D., senior director of ADASRI Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research and co-author of the IADR poster, said patient-reported outcome measures can be difficult to interpret so the minimal important difference "offers a solution to this problem by providing a threshold or an estimate that represents the smallest change in a patient-reported outcome measure -- that is, an improvement or deterioration -- that a patient would consider important."
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This free report from Weave outlines some of the key management issues that dental practices should consider as patient volume continues to recover from COVID-19. This resource addresses core management questions, including:
- Which communication tools have become commonplace?
- Which types of technology make life easier for office managers and receptionists?
- How can dental practices improve the patient experience in 2021 and beyond?
A total of 227 cosponsors are now supporting the Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act, which aims to standardize and ease the prior authorization process used by Medicare Advantage plans. The ACR said in an update Thursday that it is supporting the bill and "continues to urge passage of the bill into law."
A study presented at the 34th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress found standard drug treatment for Parkinson's disease coupled with art therapy may help slow disease progression, when compared with drug therapy alone. Patients who received the combined intervention had improvements in Parkinson's symptoms, including reduced tremors and daytime sleepiness, and cognitive scores.
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