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.
Pain Management Webinar
As a member benefit, the MDS is now offering the complimentary on-demand webinar Pharmacologic Management of Acute Dental Pain & the Prescription Opioid Epidemic, which fulfills Board of Registration in Dentistry (BORID) requirements for pain management. In this webinar, Drs. Richard Harold and David Keith will review the history of pain management and dentistry's responsibility in combating the prescription drug epidemic.
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.
Join your colleagues for a night of cooking and socializing on Friday, March 26! This virtual cooking class will be led by Shazia Rizvi, who will teach you how to make chicken or vegetarian biryani with mint yogurt. Presented by the MDS Dentist Health and Wellness Committee and the MDS Membership Committee.
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.
Volunteer Vaccinator Sites
The MDS is pleased to announce that there are several opportunities for dental professionals to volunteer at COVID-19 vaccination drives. We have compiled a list of these, as well as training resources, on our COVID-19 vaccine webpage. The list will be updated as new volunteer and training opportunities are identified.
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.
MDS Book Club
The MDS Dentist Health and Wellness Committee invites members to join its recently launched MDS Book Club! Turn off the TV, put down the phone, dust off your reading glasses, and pick up a good book. Meetings are held via Zoom to discuss the selection and allow some socializing 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.
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.
The MDS and Yankee Virtual 2021 made the LiveHelpNow Challenge list of top companies providing exceptional customer service for the month of January. During Yankee Virtual 2021, which was held virtually from January 28-30, MDS staff manning the web chat were available for 9,000 visitors and successfully completed more than 700 live web chats.
Speakers discussed the Commonwealth’s reopening guidelines and how dentists are implementing requirements, safety measures, and physical distancing protocols across practice settings.
10 Under Ten Awards
Congratulations to this year's 10 Under Ten Award honorees! Each of the recipients was recognized for their contributions to the profession, their community, and/or organized dentistry.
PFML Law Now in Effect
The Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law that requires employers to provide eligible employees with up to 26 weeks of paid, job-protected family and medical leave in a single benefit year went into effect on October 1, 2019.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, several dental insurers have updated their policies to include coverage of teledentistry.
CDT Resource 2021
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.
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.
COVID Recovery Fund Program
Dr. Janis Moriarty Urges You to Take Part in the MDS Foundation COVID-19 Recovery Fund Program.
MDS President 2020-2021
The MDS is pleased to welcome our new President, Dr. MaryJane Hanlon, who is associate dean for clinical affairs and assistant professor in the department of comprehensive care at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Hanlon is the fourth woman President in the Society’s history.
The MDS made the LiveHelpNow Challenge list of top companies providing exceptional customer service for the month of May.
More Phase 2 Resources
Phase 2 requires dentists to create an addendum to their Phase 1 attestation form that documents the practice’s prioritization policy for providing Phase 2 care. The prioritization plan should identify patients and services that, based on the provider’s clinical judgment, are most critical. The addendum should be kept with the attestation form and updated as needed.
Return to Practice
Governor Charlie Baker announced on July 6, 2020 that Massachusetts is entering Phase 3—the Vigilant Phase—of the state’s four-phase reopening plan. Phase 3 offers no change for dental practices, which can continue to see patients for all procedures.
Phase 2 Reopening Guidance
On June 6, 2020, Governor Baker announced Phase 2 reopening details. Phase 2 allows dental providers to cautiously and incrementally resume all elective, non-urgent procedures and services, including routine hygiene appointments. Elective cosmetic procedures were allowed starting June 24, 2020.
ADA Return to Work Toolkit
Get Updated Toolkit
The ADA has recently updated its Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit, a resource that recommends measures to take to help protect patients, staff, and dentists from COVID-19 as practices reopen and begin to provide more than emergency and urgent care.
SBA Resumes PPP Processing
The SBA has resumed accepting Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan applications as of Monday, April 27, at 10:30 a.m. EDT from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower. Contact your lender now!
Interim Mask Guidelines
The ADA has released Interim Mask and Face Shield Guidelines on the PPE recommended in order to practice during the COVID-19 pandemic and to minimize the risk of virus transmission.
Treating Patients Reminder
While dentists should only be treating patients requiring emergency care, the MDS reminds practitioners that they should not treat patients who are diagnosed or suspected of having COVID-19 because OSHA categorizes dental providers as having a very high exposure risk.
Monitor Emergency Patients
Even when dental providers take precautions and screen emergency patients for COVID-19 symptoms, the CDC recommends that dental providers contact all patients who received emergency dental care 48 hours after treatment and ask patients if they are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19.
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.
Small Business Relief
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Massachusetts small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19.
Business Interruption Action Alert
Legislation has been filed on Beacon Hill to require insurance companies to provide business interruption coverage in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact your representatives to ask for their support!
Teledentistry Note Template
To help dentists adhere to BORID record-keeping requirements, the MDS has developed a Telehealth Clinical or Progress Note Template that providers can use to track remote patient visits.
Donate Your PPE
To help offset the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) available to frontline health care providers, MEMA is coordinating donations of PPE from dental offices.
DPH and BORID Endorse Guidance
The Massachusetts DPH and BORID released a recommendation on March 18 that fully endorses the MDS’s March 15 guidance
for dental offices to close to patients seeking elective and non-urgent care.
Temporary Office Closures
If you’re unsure of how to notify your patients of your temporary office closing during this public health crisis, the MDS has created a sample letter that you can personalize and post on your website or social media channels.
New Unemployment Options
Self-employed workers and independent contractors are now eligible for unemployment benefits through the state’s new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits.
Emergency Practice Guidance
Following the MDS’s strong recommendation that dental offices close to patients seeking elective or non-urgent care, the MDS has released interim guidelines to help dentists determine which procedures are considered emergencies and which are considered non-urgent.
BORID Scam Alert
Several dentists have reported receiving a call threatening them with dental license suspension if they did not immediately pay a fine by wiring money to an unnamed account, often overseas. If you receive such a call, the MDS and BORID warn you to not engage with the caller. Instead, contact BORID.
MDS Connection HOD Special Edition
The special edition of the MDS Connection features a recap of the 2020 House of Delegates, including speeches from President Dr. Janis Moriarty, President-Elect Dr. MaryJane Hanlon, and MDS Executive Director Dr. Robert Boose, who is retiring this spring.
Overtime Law--January 2020
Did you know that in September, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule to make 1.3 million U.S. workers newly eligible for overtime pay effective January 1, 2020? Learn more about who qualifies, and make sure you are prepared to comply with this new regulation!
ADA Files Lawsuit
State Dental Society Leaders were informed that the American Dental Association (ADA) filed an antitrust class action lawsuit against Delta Dental Plans and the Delta Dental Plan Association. The lawsuit alleges that independent Delta Dental carriers across the country violated federal antitrust laws.
MDS President Testifies
MDS President Dr. Janis Moriarty and Guest Board Member Dr. Alec Eidelman testified on November 19 before the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health in favor of a bill to eliminate the live patient component of dental licensing exams.
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.
On October 19, 2019, all Massachusetts dentists mistakenly received a message from the state's Department of Public Health (DPH) regarding MassHealth and licensure. The DPH asks that you please disregard this message. If you are a licensed dentist who was identified as non-compliant by MassHealth, you should have received a separate message indicating such by Wednesday, October 23, 2019.
New ePrescribe Partner
Veradigm ePrescribe (delivered by Henry Schein One) enables dentists to electronically prescribe all medications, including controlled substances. MDS members are now eligible for a discounted members-only monthly rate and registration fee. This will help members comply with the new e-prescription regulation.
MDS Statement on Vaping Ban
In response to Gov. Baker's declaration of a public health emergency and temporary ban on the sale of all vaping products in the state, the MDS issued a statement applauding the action as a positive step toward protecting youth from tobacco and nicotine addiction.
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!
Need HR Help?
HR2fit is a human resources partner delivering Fortune 500 quality service to the Massachusetts dental profession. It offers a complete array of HR services, with an emphasis on excellent onsite service, scaled to fit your dental practice.
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.
Delta Audit Practices
The MDS has recently been contacted by numerous member dentists who are being audited by Delta Dental of Massachusetts and who feel that this is an inappropriate intrusion into the relationship between dentists and their patients. The MDS reviewed these members’ complaints and believes these complaints merit further investigation.
New Labor Law Posters
With the new Paid Family and Medical Leave law going into effect on July 1, you must update your state labor law posters. MDS Member Savings Program partner J.J. Keller & Associates provides federal/state employment law poster sets, as well as a poster update service.
OnPay Payroll Service
Save Time & Money on Payroll. OnPay makes payroll easy, so dentists can focus on what they do best. Get full-service payroll and award-winning support.
Periodontal Code Changes
There will be new code/benefit frequency and limitation regulatory changes for certain periodontal codes for the MassHealth and Health Safety Net dental programs that will take effect April 22. It was previously announced the changes would take effect March 22.
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.
2019-2020 MDS Officers
The 2019 House of Delegates has elected the following officers for the 2019-2020 term:
Dr. Janis Moriarty
Dr. MaryJane Hanlon
- Vice President:
Dr. Meredith Bailey
Save with Schein
The Henry Schein Preferred Pricing Program helps active MDS members save money and reduce their overhead expenses, creating a more effective and efficient practice. Get 10% off your first Connections order as a new member of the program!
Discouraging DIY Dentistry
The ADA discourages the use of DIY dental treatments, such as teeth straightening kits, veneers, and bruxism devices. DIY treatments can have long-term and possibly irreparable effects.
Take the Fear Out of Debt
This Journal of the Massachusetts Dental Society article looks at how you can increase income and improve cash flow by purchasing a business and paying practice debt first.
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.