Dentists to receive compensation for diabetes screenings: 5 things to know

Beginning next year, New Jersey dentists will receive additional compensation for performing chair-side diabetes screenings for at-risk patients, according to the NJ Spotlight.

Here are five things to know:

1. Earlier in March, the American Dental Association approved code DO411 that enables dentists to charge for test equipment and their time. Each state then defines what tests fall within the scope of practice.

2. Delta Dental launched the program in 2014, offering to pay for any extra costs that included dentists' time and materials for the finger prick diabetes test. The dental insurance provider also assisted dentists with obtaining any permits and regulatory permission.

3. After Delta Dental advocated to pilot the initial diabetes screening tests, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs ruled the diabetes tests were permissible. Dentists still need to obtain a permit to obtain small amounts of blood.

4. Various studies have suggested diabetics are more likely to develop gum disease, and people with periodontal concerns are more susceptible to diabetes. Delta Dental hopes these screenings will enable dentists to provide better oral healthcare.

5. Within the state of N.J., nearly 12 percent of the population are unaware they have diabetes, according to 2014 data from the American Diabetes Association.

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