ADAVB Chief Executive Officer's Comments
February 2019 Hide Comments
Medicare audits

Just before Christmas, many members would have received a letter from Medicare checking on compliance with the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. We understand that around 1000 letters were sent out to dentists across Australia. ADAVB has been extremely proactive in working with Guild Insurance to develop a strategy to assist members who have received these letters. 
 
If you have received one of the letters and you are insured with Guild, contact our Community Relations Officers for assistance. If you have professional indemnity insurance with another provider, you should notify them.
 
Members may have also seen an article in The Australian on 8 January 2019 reporting that the Department of Health is working with the Federal Police on a test case to seize assets of Medicare rorters. New legislations that comes into effect in July allows the Department to demand repayment from employers and other third parties, not just the practitioner whose provider number was used for billing. This has important implications for all dentists. 
 
It is incumbent on all providers to ensure they understand the rules governing the Medicare Child Dental Benefits Schedule, and that they claim appropriately. It is also important to ensure that dental records are detailed enough to support Medicare claims. 
 
It seems clear that Medicare will continue to audit all health practitioners, including dentists, for compliance with the relevant scheme.

Advocacy

2018 was a big year in advocacy work for the ADAVB, and it looks like that will continue in 2019. 

Although we had hoped to finalise the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) for all public sector employees before Christmas, most community health agencies have refused to sign-on, citing concerns with the funding agreement from the Department of Health and Human Services. As a result, we expect to see members across these sites take strike action on Monday 4 February. 

We have a meeting with the new Health Minister Jenny Mikakos on 14 February where we hope to discuss the EBA, as well as the Government’s new school dental program and the issues of public dental waiting lists. 

We will also continue to advocate for policies to prevent dental disease, including expanding water fluoridation into smaller rural communities and tackling sugary drinks.
 
New year, new beginnings

Around 140 new dentistry students will be commencing their studies this month, and we are happy to welcome them into the profession. The ADAVB and Guild Insurance work closely with the Melbourne Dental Students Society and Bendigo Oral Health and Dentistry Society to support these students throughout their studies. 
 
We also welcome around 140 new graduates into the workforce this year. Our Recent Graduates and Students Committee (see page 12) ensures we are there to meet the needs of these dental students and to assist with the transition into dental practice. 
 
Congratulations also to all the dentists who are commencing postgraduate specialist training and research programs this year.
 
A/Prof Matt Hopcraft
ceo@adavb.org


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Clinical A/Prof Matthew Hopcraft
BDSc MDSc BA PhD FICD
Chief Executive Officer
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