Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Your Time Is Up! Checkmate!

Cliff’s Notes for July 8, 2015

Cliff Marsh, Henry Schein ……Cell: 201-321-7494……Fax: 201-262-2210



The reason we do what we do, is so that we can to do what we want to do, when we want to do it!

It’s a tongue twister, but working as a team and making informed decisions, will get us there.


Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you. The insurance world was sent into a frenzy last week when it was announced that Aetna Inc. is buying Humana Inc. for $37B. Aetna-Humana will be the 2nd largest healthcare insurer. Now for most of us this is just a Wall Street business move to pump up stocks, reduce expenses (economies of scale) and gain market share. All true, however, there is so much more in the master plan it will make your head spin. You have been watching and waiting as the healthcare game was being played out and now the pieces are moving into position for a game changing move, it’s Checkmate!

Last month I attended the Henry Schein National Meeting in Orlando. I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Charles Blair for about 20 minutes. Dr. Blair is the countries foremost expert on dental insurance coding and the author of many books and guides on how to deal with dental insurers. His finger is on the pulse of the industry and what is going to be required by healthcare professionals and how the insurers will be looking at dentistry.

Except for Delta, dental insurance companies have a much larger medical component. Over the last several years it has been documented that dentistry is the for front of preventive medicine. Technology driven diagnostics is giving dentistry the ability to spot abnormalities throughout the body. The responsibility of the systemic health of a patient is shifting to the dental office. To put it simply, the medical community is reactive where as the dental community can be proactive in initial early diagnostics.

A small company out of Philadelphia (Peri-Rx) developed a salivary test that detects Oral Cancer before the UV lights can. It was discovered that markers within the saliva will also show the probability of all sorts of systemic issues long before symptoms appear. Couple that with CBT technology and 6 month systemic screenings and the medical side of the insurance industry can save big $$ over the next 25-50 years. Some of the research is being funded by United Health & Delta, and the FDA has it on the fast-track, what does that tell you?

Now here is why you are out of time. In a short while there will be medical codes for new diagnostic procedures for dentistry. You will need to engage the new procedures to off-set the insurance reimbursement reductions. Due to high deductibles, the population is avoiding medical bills and unless needed, symptoms will be ignored as long as possible requiring more expensive and prolonged treatment. Insurers are exploring ways to reward healthcare professionals for preventive medicine. That reward will involve systemic diagnostic procedures. However, the electronic transfer of digital information will be a requirement as will the diagnostic tools. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns, and you should have them.

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July 8, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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