By the time this Focus issue publishes, we will have had our annual Legislative Day at the Capitol in Jefferson City. This is a very important event for the MDA, as it gives us the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with our legislators to advocate for the needs of Missouri dentists. Our Legislative and Regulatory Director, Shantel Smith has worked hard to put this event together. This includes matching dentists with their legislators (many of them new), pairing dentists with students attending and getting meeting times arranged, which is no small task.

As of this writing, our dentist participation in this event is below what it was in 2018, as are contributions for MODentPAC, our political action committee. I understand it is hard to take a Wednesday out of our busy practices to come to Jefferson City, but if you have ever come to this event you see firsthand how welcoming our legislators are and that they are truly interested in what you have to say to them. The MDA has a sterling reputation in Jefferson City and at the Capitol, and our new Governor is a friend to Missouri dentists. Please consider contributing to MODentPAC if you have not done so—call Shantel and tell her you want to help your profession succeed.

Our budget-related legislative priorities this year are funding for increased provide reimbursements and continuation for Adult Dental Medicaid services; for the salary of the State Dental Director; for Donated Dental Services; and for the Elks Mobile Dental Program. We have legislation filed and sponsored that prohibits insurance companies from requiring electronic payments and to let the provider choose how they want to be paid. I, frankly, am tired of companies using the virtual credit card method which adds a fee on to an already poor reimbursement for ser- vices! We also are working to get a bill filed to prohibit insurance companies from denying payment on claims that already have been pre-authorized. If these types of things are happening to you, then is it worth a day out of your office to try to fight these insurance practices? Is it worth the price of a few composite fillings paid to MODentPAC to help us with this effort? Please consider it.

Finally, I want to touch on the great year the MDA had in regard to our overall membership numbers which have increased active membership to 68.1 percent of market share and new dentist membership to 78.6 percent. This is all thanks to some hard work from our excellent MDA and component staff. Compared to many other states I spoke to last summer at the ADA President-Elect Conference, our market share was some of the highest, and the ADA national figure is 62.9 percent.

Looking ahead this year, make sure you’re making plans to attend the Connect4Success event at Lake of the Ozarks, which is a great set up and loca- tion. Especially don’t miss the MDA Foundation Connect4Cash raffle, which Paul executes so well. Also, if you aren’t a client of MDIS, now is the time to look at their full line of products and services. Your support of MDIS not only gets you great ser- vice and savings on vital insurance plans and retirement programs, but that support equates to returns to the MDA in form of sponsorships and non-dues revenue—a benefit for all members.

With all of our success, we can still do better. We can increase our membership and I would like to see participation in MDA events increase. Seeing members become more active in the local, state and national associations—and to consider taking a leadership role—is what I want to encourage. Yes, it takes some time, but isn’t the advancement and improvement of your chosen profession worth it? I have found that it is. f

Contact Dr. Kessler at

MDA Board of Trustees

January Meeting News MDIS Gives $96,539 Dividend


he MDA Board of Trustees met January 22, 2019. The following are highlights from the

meeting. We’ll send an email summary once the minutes are completed and available for viewing.

Greg Russell, MDIS Executive Vice President, reported that MDIS will be giving to the MDA a dividend in the amount of $96,539. “It is our pleasure to remit this dividend knowing that we are helping MDA and its members meet financial obligations, and expand and adopt new programs that contribute to the professional education and success of dentists in Missouri, Mr. Russell stated. “We’re grateful to those dentists who are MDIS cli- ents and who we are privileged to serve.” Dr. Ron Wilkerson, MDA Treasurer, expressed his thanks to the MDIS team and board members for their continued efforts to provide non-dues revenue to the MDA, for the benefit of members.

The Board approved two proposals that will cre- ate new offerings for members. The first is the creation of an Association mobile app, which MDIS will sponsor. The app, developed by the Arizona Dental Association, will serve as another communication tool for MDA members, to make important, timely information readily and easily available. Look for the app to roll out this spring. The second is entering into a state affiliation agreement with The Dentists Supply Company (TDSC) to provide discounts on supplies for MDA members. This agreement will replace the relation- ship with Association Gloves and Supplies (which has been purchased by TDSC), and it is expected to provide MDA members with greater savings and selection. The program will roll out to Missouri dentists on May 1, 2019.

Various guests attended to provide updates. Dr. Randall Williams, the director for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and Dr. John Dane, State Dental Director gave depart- ment and oral health office updates. Dr. Williams expressed his interest to hear ideas and sugges- tions from the MDA Board, especially regarding improving Medicaid. Delta Dental of Missouri leadership attended to provide an company update and answer questions. Those attending were Rob Goren, President/CEO and Dr. Ron Inge, Chief Dental Officer/COO.

ISSUE 1 | JAN/FEB 2019 | focus 11

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