By Catherine French
The AAE’s biennial meeting with dental directors from many of the major dental benefit plans took place May 3 in Scottsdale, Ariz. The dental directors are recent or currently practicing dentists who serve on a payer’s senior management team, with responsibilities include claims adjudication, payment policy and provider relations.
AAE President Dr Stefan I. Zweig welcomed the attendees and thanked them for what has become an important opportunity to share information, working together to preserve natural teeth.
AAE Past President Dr Alan Gluskin provided an in-depth tutorial on several key procedures that endodontists perform, and District I Director Dr. Elizabeth Perry led a robust discussion on AAE member concerns regarding current payment policies. She challenged those in attendance to review and update individual policies to ensure services like regenerative endodontics are no longer considered experimental or denied as a “disallowed” benefit.
Important resources, including the executive summary of the AAE position on Endodontic Competency and Treatment Standards as well as the Case Difficulty Assessment Form (CDAF) were shared as well. Several attendees commented on the resources, noting they have found them extremely helpful when developing policy.
The dental directors were interested in AAE’s thoughts on how to ensure the new Orifice Barrier code D3911 is reported in only those cases where follow-up care is provided at a secondary visit. Additionally, all agreed it may be time to review the definition of obturation, as written in the CDT guidelines. And finally, the dental directors note that outcomes research highlighting the long-term benefits of new procedure would be beneficial for yearly discussions with the actuaries/statisticians at their companies when policy changes are introduced.
Although the next official meeting will not occur until 2023, AAE and the dental directors all agreed to stay in contact as new concerns arise.
Catherine French is the AAE’s assistant executive director for advocacy and professional relations. She can be reached at [email protected].