Massachusetts Passes First In-Nation Insurance Reform
On November 8th, voters in Massachusetts overwhelmingly approved an ADSO-supported ballot initiative that would establish a dental medical loss ratio (MLR) in the state. In short, an MLR medical loss ratio (MLR) is the share of total healthcare premiums spent on medical claims and efforts to improve the quality of care. Currently, Massachusetts has an 88% MLR for medical plans. However, unlike medical insurance, the affordable care act did not set a medical loss ratio for dental plans.
The ballot initiative will do the following:
- It will require dental insurance companies to spend at least 83% of premium dollars on patient care rather than administrative costs, profits, and executive compensation.
- Dental insurance companies that do not meet the minimum requirement of spending at least 83% of a patient’s premium dollars on patient care would have to refund the difference to covered individuals and groups.
- It will also increase transparency and accountability in dental insurance by requiring dental insurance companies to disclose administrative costs and other financial information annually to the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, which they are currently NOT required to do.
- Prevents dental insurance premium increases above CPI without approval by the state.
- The Massachusetts Division of Insurance would be authorized to approve or disapprove dental plan rates and be required to block premium increases deemed excessive or unreasonable.
This win is significant and will benefit both dentists and consumers. Our government relations team will continue its efforts, in collaboration with the ADA and state dental associations, to advocate for dental MLR measures across the country. We also will work to ensure that the implementation of the MLR in Massachusetts mirrors the intent of the ballot initiative.
Corporate Social Responsibility During 2022 ADSO Summit
Early bird registration for the 2023 ADSO Summit, Uniting Dentistry will open next month and among the many offerings for attendees will be a Corporate Social Responsibility, hosted by Henry Schein Cares and Heart to Heart International. During the ADSO 2022 Summit in Austin, Texas, ADSO members and attendees packed hygiene kits to provide to homeless persons in Austin and civilians affected by the Ukraine humanitarian crisis. 255 Hygiene Kits were distributed in Austin and San Antonio, Texas to non-profit organizations Caritas and Fisher House, who are dedicated to combatting housing insecurities among our veteran population. On a global level, 825 Hygiene Kits were distributed in Ukraine and bordering countries accepting refugees by Heart to Heart International.
“The hygiene kits assembled by ADSO participants and Henry Schein in April improved the health, hygiene, and physical comfort of over a thousand people combined in the Austin metropolitan area and in Ukraine. In distributing the kits, recipients were connected to other resources like food, shelter, medical care, and transportation. What an awesome project! We are grateful for our partnership with ADSO and Henry Schein.”
Heart to Heart International continued their worked to improve healthcare access in the U.S. and around the world by ensuring quality care is provided equitably in medically under-resourced communities and in disaster situations. To date, they have shipped $88M in medicines and medical supplies to the people of Ukraine including 128K hygiene kits, feminine hygiene products and 4,000 blankets. They are also placing portable medical suites in the country to address the compromised medical infrastructure. This complements the work they have been doing in responding to Hurricanes Fiona and Ian while shipping medicines and medical supplies around the world to those in need.
Henry Schein Cares engaged a community of hundreds of customers and Team Schein Members across five countries to purchase and assemble 27,000+ hygiene kits. These kits were then delivered to displaced Ukrainians in need, through the help of longstanding non-profit partners, MedShare and International Medical Corps.
Medical-Dental Integration Emphasizes Mouth-Body Connection
ADA | October 21, 2022
Andrew M. Smith, Executive Director of the Association of Dental Support Organizations, said DSOs are well-positioned to push for enhanced collaboration between medical and dental providers. Oral care, he said, is “essential. It’s fundamental to the body.” It is simple why PDS is such a big believer in the mouth-body connection, Mr. Thorne said. “It’s science,” he said. “The world has finally figured out that the mouth is connected to the rest of the body.” Sundeep Rawal, D.M.D., senior vice president with dental support organization Aspen Dental, said that medical/dental integration “is part of our DNA.” Doctors across the Aspen Dental network prioritize educating patients on the ties between dental care and overall health and perform tests that support integration, such as doing oral cancer screenings, checking on basic health markers such as blood pressure and conducting comprehensive medical reviews before any major procedures, Dr. Rawal said.“Communication and collaboration between dentists and physicians are key, especially when we’re talking about life-threatening conditions like oral cancer,” he said. “Historically, those communications have been fragmented and inconsistent — if not nonexistent — but DSOs can help to close those gaps. Doctors and their teams at the local level should be focused on providing great patient care. As a DSO, it’s our job to empower and support.”
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