Patients First Act
On January 1, 2022, specific provisions of An Act Promoting a Resilient Health Care System That Puts Patients First went into effect. Recently, the Massachusetts legislature passed an amendment that will delay enforcement of the Patients First Act until January 1, 2025.
New MDS Board Members
The 2022-2023 Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) Governance Year began July 1, 2022. The MDS would like to welcome the new members who took office on that date and filled Regional Trustee and Guest Board Member positions.
Save the date! You won't want to miss these speakers at Yankee Dental Congress January 26-28, 2023!
Midlevel Dental Providers
After years of monitoring the issue and months of considering the impact of the policy, the MDS Board of Trustees has voted to oppose the creation of midlevel dental providers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Thank You From Yankee
Thank you to all who attended Yankee 2022! Without you, the Yankee Dental Congress could not have been such a success. Save the date now for next year's Yankee Dental Congress, January 26-28, 2023.
Update Labor Law Posters
On January 1, 2022, the Massachusetts minimum wage increased to $14.25, and the MDS reminds you to update the MA Labor Law poster displayed on your office wall to include this change. We’ve made it easy for you: MDS Member Savings Program partner J.J. Keller is offering signs with easy ordering. Place your order today to ensure that you are in compliance.
DA Shortage Webinar
Many dental practices are having great difficulty filling open positions, which is why the MDS Dental Practice and Benefits Committee produced the webinar “Tackling the Dental Assistants Shortage Challenge.” Watch the recording of the webinar now to learn different strategies for recruiting dental assistants and what the Committee is doing to help address this challenge.
New From CareCredit
Dentists and dental practice staff know that one of the biggest challenges in providing care is talking to the patient about the financial aspect of delivery of care. MDS Member Savings Program partner CareCredit produced Your Guide to Great Financial Conversations, a handy e-book that conveys how your office can standardize and optimize fee and payment arrangement conversations.
Twelve Days of Giveaways
Be sure to like Yankee on Facebook or Instagram if you haven't already and keep an eye out for Yankee's 12 Days of Giveaways running from December 1-12. Register to become eligible to participate and win prizes!
Join us on June 15 for the MDS webinar Dental Implants. This webinar, presented by Dr. Erin Breen, will discuss implant therapy, a common treatment for the replacement of teeth.
Celebrate Fall With Us
Join us for a day of apple picking and fun on Saturday, October 1, from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Enjoy a fall afternoon at Tougas Farm in Northborough, MA, with other member dentists, dental students, family and friends.
DEA Take Back Day
This Saturday, October 23, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is sponsoring a "Take Back Day" to offer a chance to clean out medicine cabinets and turn in any unused prescription drugs safely and anonymously. Visit the DEA website to access the DEA's online collection site locator and share this information with your patients.
Yankee Study Club
The Yankee Study Club, a powerful and intimate digital learning experience reimagining the way dental professionals connect, grow, and thrive in today's new dental landscape. Register now for Module 2, Elevated: Powerful Solutions to Everyday Dentistry and Beyond.
The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) recently sent a letter to all industry wastewater permittees—including dental offices that are D1 policy holders—referencing an amendment that now has a requirement for submittals to be emailed in addition to post mailed. (D1 permits are required for all dental offices with amalgam waste.) The MDS has been informed that there is no action that D1 dental permit holders need to take with this amendment now unless the office is selling or transferring ownership. The next compliance report is due April 30, 2022.
ADA Toolkit for Vaccines
The American Dental Association (ADA) is helping its members adhere to state or employer COVID-19 vaccine mandates with tips for documenting and protecting employee inoculation records. The ADA’s “Guidance for Documenting Employee COVID-19 Vaccinations”
stresses that the employer should provide clear instructions on the acceptable forms of proof of vaccination and instruct employees not to provide any additional information beyond what is requested.
2022 CDT Resource
This coding resource from the ADA will help you ensure that you are coding accurately for fewer claims rejections and faster reimbursement. ADA members can even purchase the kit for a special reduced price.
Delta Variant Fact Sheet
The American Dental Association (ADA) released a fact sheet on August 6, 2021, containing information about the Delta variant of COVID-19 and why vaccination and masks continue to be recommended by the ADA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Updated Office Procedures
The ADA released an Update to Office Procedures During COVID-19 for dentists to consider as they assess COVID-19 workplace hazards and make decisions that are best for their practices.
The document provides information on the best practices for assessing and managing the hazards in a workplace and recommends an integrative approach, incorporating evidence-based scientific data in conjunction with psychosocial, state, and community factors.
Member Spotlight at Yankee
The Yankee 2022 Program Committee is seeking five MDS member dentists to each offer a one hour continuing education course for the MDS Member Spotlight at Yankee Dental Congress, January 27-29, 2022. A variety of speaker topics addressing clinical dentistry and practice management will be accepted for review.
Buy, sell, or lease your practice, office, equipment, services, or vacation properties with the MDS Classifieds online portal. Our portal features consolidated, searchable ad listings, a clean, easy-to-use online interface, and increased visibility for your ad. As a member benefit, MDS members receive a 50% discount on all ad placements.
eLicensing System Update
The Bureau of Health Professions Licensure will be upgrading its eLicensing system from Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at 5:00 pm through Wednesday, June 2, 2021, at 8:00 am. During this time, dental professionals will not be able to apply for, renew, or make modifications to your license or the Massachusetts Controlled Substances Registration system. The MDS advises members to plan accordingly.
CDC Updated Guidance
On April 27, 2021, the CDC released updated guidance, including Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People, illustrating what social activities can be performed safely now that more Americans are receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, the CDC released its Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination, which includes minor changes affecting health care professionals.
Could your dental practice pass a HIPAA audit? Reduce time spent and stop worrying about HIPAA by using the experts at Compliancy Group. Using software and one-on-one Compliance Coach guidance, they help dental practices of all shapes and sizes avoid HIPAA fines. MDS members receive 15% off a HIPAA compliance program.
Fulfill BORID Requirements
Dentalpalooza is offering continuing education courses to fulfill your BORID requirements for infection control and pain management. You will also have the opportunity to fulfill your requirement for BLS (CPR) for Healthcare Providers Certification throughout the day. Check out the wide variety of courses that are available for one low price for Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) members and their staff.
MDS Member Stories
By sharing his story, MDS member Dr. Eric Block hopes to create a community where like-minded dentists can share their stories, struggles, and strategies for coping with burnout and depression, and ultimately be able to reduce stress and anxiety. Dr. Block is a practicing dentist in Acton and an author, speaker, podcaster, and blogger on a mission to help the dentists of Massachusetts and across the country overcome burnout and anxiety. Join your colleagues for this event on Monday, April 26.
PPP Tax Benefits
On April 1, 2021, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Massachusetts unemployment bill that allows small businesses to exclude forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from their gross taxable income while still claiming deductions for expenses covered by the PPP funds. The new law also suspends a planned increase in unemployment insurance rates through 2022, providing further relief for employers.
A Message from MDS President
A message from MDS President Dr. MaryJane Hanlon addressing the March 16, 2021, violent attacks against Asian Americans in Atlanta. Dr. Hanlon encourages MDS members to spend some time reflecting on how we can collectively do better to make everyone feel welcome, respected, and heard. The MDS does not tolerate discrimination, of any kind, period.
Patients and Vaccines
The ADA has created a practical toolkit that members can use when faced with questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. "Patient Return: Talking with Your Patients About COVID-19 Vaccines" is available to member dentists to instill confidence in the vaccine, which will address this public health crisis and help eliminate COVID-19.
Guest Board Program
Would you like the opportunity to influence the direction of the Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) in this unprecedented time? The Guest Board Member Program allows four MDS members to serve as non-voting members of the Board of Trustees. The application deadline is Tuesday, April 6, 2021.
All patient-facing dental personnel became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as part of Phase 1 on January 21. The MDS urges dental professionals and their and patients and families to use the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's vaccine location map to find available sites and appointment times.
BORID Responds to the MDS
At its March 3 meeting, BORID discussed the letter from the MDS advocating against penalties for dentists who employ dental staff with an expired license or without a license. BORID agreed not to enhance penalties at this time and the MDS agreed to work with BORID to launch a communications campaign to educate members on licensing requirements.
MDS Sends Letter to BORID
MDS President Dr. MaryJane Hanlon has sent a letter on behalf of all members to the Board of Registration in Dentistry (BORID) advocating against enhanced penalties for dentists who employ dental staff practicing with an expired license or without a license. The MDS has always strongly urged our members and their staff to comply with all rules and regulations set forth by BORID.
MDS Foundation Awards Grants
The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) Foundation has awarded a total of more than $66,000 in “Expanding Access to Dental Care” grants to five organizations in Massachusetts. The goal of the grants is to improve the oral health of residents of the Commonwealth by supporting sustainable programs that improve access to dental care.
MassHealth Adult Benefits
The MassHealth Dental Program restored adult dental benefits effective January 1, 2021, due to the work of advocates and the legislature in Massachusetts. MassHealth members over the age of 21 are now able to access a greater number of dental services, including root canals and crowns, in addition to other important services such as preventive and partial/complete dentures, which were previously covered.
Yankee Study Club-spring
Register now for session five "Total Digital: from Diagnostics to Surgical/Restorative on June 22.
MDS Book Club
The MDS Dentist Health and Wellness Committee invites MDS members to take part in its next MDS Book Club meeting! The next book covered will be The Whisper Man by Alex North. Join your colleagues on Thursday, December 9, at 6:30 pm, to discuss the novel and socialize with colleagues.
The MDS Newsroom
The MDS newsroom includes recent media coverage on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout to dental teams, dentists and hygienists becoming vaccinators, and commentary from MDS President Dr. MaryJane Hanlon and member dentists.
Dental Hygienist License
The expiration date of all professional licenses, including dental hygienist licenses, set to expire during the Massachusetts state of emergency has been extended to June 30, 2021. Continuing education credits still need to be completed before renewing.
As announced on January 13, 2021, the MDS is partnering with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to help with the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out to dental professionals. Effective January 21, all patient-facing dental personnel are eligible for the vaccine as part of Phase 1.
Governor Baker announced in December that the state should receive approximately 300,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in December and 2 million doses by the end of March 2021, with additional doses arriving in June. We have compiled vaccine resources, such as answers to members' questions.
Message from MDS President
Dr. MaryJane Hanlon, President of the Massachusetts Dental Society, addresses the surge of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts and the importance of keeping dental offices open and safe during the second wave of infections.
BORID Courses at Yankee
MDS member dentists can fulfill your Board of Registration in Dentistry (BORID) and statutory required courses for your biennial dental licensure at Yankee Dental Congress 2022 when you take a pain management CE course, which is free for members, or an infection control CE course.
COVID-19 Travel Questions
To help MDS members and their staff better understand the COVID-19 precautions to take when traveling during the pandemic, the MDS and MDS Member Savings Partner HR2Fit have produced a resource to answer questions regarding testing, quarantining, and other issues.
Notifying Patients of PPE Fees
If your office is utilizing PPE fee code D1999 or charging a PPE fee, you must notify patients of the new charge before their appointment. It is recommended that you do this at the time of scheduling or prior to the appointment to ensure they are not surprised by the additional charge.
The MDS Responds to WHO
The MDS wants to clarify that the recent WHO interim guidance is NOT applicable to Massachusetts. Residents in cities and towns across Massachusetts, in line with recommendations from state and local officials, remain able to safely receive routine, emergency, or likely to become emergent oral health services.
Resources for Patients
The ADA’s new Patient Return Resource Center features communication tools to help dental professionals educate patients about what they will experience when returning to the dental office and how you are looking out for their health and safety.
Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis
If a dental patient or staff member develops COVID-19, you must notify all patients who were treated within 48 hours after the person was in the office. Additional CDC guidance provides what to do if it has been less than or more than seven days since the diagnosis.
The House of Delegates elected a new slate of Officers for 2021-2022, including Dr. Abe Abdulwaheed as Vice President, a general dentist in Quincy and former South Shore District Trustee, at its January 27 meeting, and passed three resolutions, including one approving a full-time dental school faculty dues discount.
Diversity and Inclusion
The MDS stands with members of our communities, including our dentists and patients, who face injustice and racism in their day-to-day lives. Leadership is needed on this issue from all walks of life, including dentistry, if we as a society are going to achieve the change that we need.
The MDS made the LiveHelpNow Challenge list of top companies providing exceptional customer service for the month of May.
These webinars focus on important topics pertaining to the dental profession and are designed to be viewed from the convenience of a member’s office or home. The webinars are complimentary and exclusive to MDS members. Advance registration is required.
The MDS has produced a video featuring MDS President Dr. Janis Moriarty and Dr. Andrew Tonelli, who discuss potential risks posed by do-it-yourself (DIY) orthodontic products and the value of seeing a dentist. The video can be shared with patients on social media or embedded on your practice website.
MDS Publications Recognized
Through innovative website design and marketing solutions, ProSites has helped more than 7,500 dental professionals accelerate growth and attract new patients. As an MDS member, you'll get up to 70% off the initial website set-up fee!
Membership for Your Staff
Did you know that your MDS membership includes complimentary membership for your staff? If you haven’t taken advantage of this member benefit already, encourage your staff to enroll today and share the perks of membership, including continuing education and more.
New Member Savings Partner
PureLife's mission is to make a positive difference in human and environmental health. They offer an affordable mail-back program for sharps, amalgam, medical, and X-ray waste, saving MDS members hundreds of dollars over traditional pick-up services.
A new legislative session has kicked off on Beacon Hill, and the MDS is advocating for several bills that would impact you, your dental practice, and the oral health of the Commonwealth.
Dental Health for Kids
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. The Massachusetts Dental Society offers parents, caregivers, and teachers five ways to help children establish good oral health habits at an early age.
10 Under Ten 2022
Do you know a MDS member dentist who has graduated since 2011 and is making an impact on the dental profession or in their community? Nominate them for a 10 Under Ten award!
Results of laboratory studies and clinical trials have suggested that SDF is more effective than other fluoride agents to halt the caries process. This webinar provides an overview of the use of SDF.