The Week That Was: March 22-26

Advocacy – At the Witness Stand

We focus a lot on advocacy within the MDA because it’s crucial to protecting you as a practitioner. We survey members and develop strategies. We raise money for MODentPAC. We host events. We contract with talented people to monitor happenings at the Capitol. But perhaps the most salient effort occurs when a member takes the witness stand at a committee hearing to articulate the pros and cons of a particular dental issue to legislators. Such was the case this past Tuesday when MDA Legislative Director, Dr. Ron Wilkerson, volunteered time away from the office to testify before the House Insurance Committee on House Bill 1357, which is aimed to end the practice of downcoding. Dr. Wilkerson explained actual member-provided EOBs to show how approved treatments that were submitted to insurance had been downcoded by the carrier and paid at a lower rate. The committee appeared to understand the inherent unfairness of the practice. The rebuttal from the insurance side tried to direct attention away by discussing fraud. Time will tell how this plays out but there’s no substitute for being in the middle of the action with testimony from members. You can have the same important role by responding to VoterVoice appeals when they come your way. To follow all the latest advocacy news on all our agenda items, read your Capitol Connection every Monday.

Advocacy – A Shot in the Arm?

A dentist giving a shot? Whoever heard of such a thing? Well, despite being trained and quite efficient at a wide range of injections, the addition of dentists as approved COVID-19 vaccinators has been an interesting journey. The phone has been blowing up here at the office. Newly appointed State Dental Director, Dr. Guy Deyton, has jumped in the deep end and worked hard with the other parties to figure out the process and provide reliable information. I won’t rehash it here but this week the MDA sent an eNews about it and if you missed that, you can read the same news here.

Staff Talk at State and National Level

Good programs flow from good planning and accountability. We had a little of both this week with a good MDA staff meeting on current topics (see above) and upcoming events (stay in touch with The MDA App). Also this week, the ADA Membership Team provided a Q1 report with loads of insights, including some optimism for how membership is rebounding after the COVID year. Plus we heard a good presentation on results of dental student survey. It’s no secret that we must keep welcoming and mentoring these arriving members if they are to succeed. Remember when someone did that for you?

Delayed Trophy Presentation

Back in November we held a PAC fundraising competition among the metros and the Greater Missouri caucuses. The Greater Missouri Caucus won due to some late and large donations, and this week we finally has a representative in the office to present the inaugural trophy. You can see Dr. Ron Wilkerson was all smiles. I feel sure the metro caucuses won’t like the taste of defeat and will step up their game when November rolls around.

Feeling Click Happy?

You can renew your membership before the March 31 cutoff here. You can be a PAC 300 donor here. You can register for Connect4Success here. You can buy a Connect4Cash raffle ticket here.  If you hurry, you can even register for the MERIT virtual meeting scheduled for tomorrow, March 27 at 9am.

The Week Ahead

It’s a short week as the MDA office is closed for Good Friday, but I may just be on the road exploring sites for the eventual return of MOMOM. Remember that fun, massive, super-helpful event?

Quote of the Week

Our life is March weather, savage and serene in one hour.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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