Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2015 05 Medicare Cover Thumbnail

Newly-published dentalcodeology eBook explains the complexity of new Medicare rules and their impact on dentistry

May 20, 2015
“What Dentists Need to Know about Medicare NOW” is now available in digital format

Patti DiGangi, RDH, BS, a prominent dental hygiene thought leader, recently published the 4th installment of her continuing DentalCodeology mini-book series entitled “What Dentists Need to Know about Medicare NOW.”

For this edition of the popular mini-book series, Patti partnered again with insurance coding authority Christi
ne Taxin and with another qualified coding and Medicare expert Jan Palmer to provide dentists with an easy-to-follow primer on how to make informed Medicare decisions that will benefit their patients and practices alike.

“The time is now for dentists to get smart about Medicare,” says DiGangi. She further states that the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ruling that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2016, will impact many older patients if their dentists prescribe medication, perform biopsies that require pathology tests, or simply refer their Medicare-eligible patients to a specialist.

DiGangi warns that the Medicaid opt-out clause can be particularly confusing and may have a devastating financial impact if not fully-understood. For example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published a final rule in May 2014 that requires all physicians and eligible professionals—including dentists—who prescribe Part D covered drugs to be enrolled in Medicare or opt-out for those prescriptions to be covered under Part D.

Here’s the tricky part. By signing an affidavit to opt-out of the program, dentists are out of the Medicare system for two years — not one year. This means that they cannot receive any direct orindirect Medicare payments for services provided to Medicare patients during that time.

“Two years is a long time to sit on the Medicare bench,” states DiGangi. “With the aging of our baby boomers, opting-out of Medicare may cause many of their patients to abandon dentists that didn’t [make] any choice at all. The dentists will leave a lot of money on the table that could be going right to the bottom lines of the practices.”

RELATED | Medicare – enroll or opt out? What is the answer for your dental practice?

Early reviews of the mini-book have been extremely favorable. For example, practice-building thought leader Linda Miles had this to say, “Every member of your team should not only read this, but have their own copy for easy referencing. It would cost thousands of dollars and many hours of a team’s time to discover all this information and these resources on their own.”

For more information about “What Dentists Need to Know about Medicare NOW’ including how to order, visit Follow DentalCodeology on Facebook. To inquire about bulk discount pricing for manufacturers, schools, and associations, contact [email protected].

About the Authors:

Patti DiGangi, RDH, BS
Patti DiGangi is a vision-driven clinician helping people see their future of choice and ways to make it profitable. Patti holds a publishing and speaking license with the American Dental Association for Current Dental Terminology and SNODENT diagnostic coding. She is an American Dental Association Evidence Based Champion.

Christine Taxin
Christine Taxin has extensive training and experience in both dental and medical coding based on her roles as the administrator of a critical care department at Mt. Sinai Hospital and management of a comprehensive multi-specialty dental practice.

Jan Palmer
Jan Palmer trains dental offices in the administrative aspects and requirements of treating the medical condition obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy in the dental office. Covering medical coding and billing, she teaches to better understand the necessary office protocols to maintain Medical records and how to follow the mandated policies set forth by Medic