Wisconsin Dental Association: Business Forum to Focus on Critical Role of Oral Health in Selecting Employee Benefit Plans that Help Decrease Absenteeism, Increase Productivity

CONTACT: Carol S. Weber, APR, Director of Public Relations
PHONE: 414-276-4520, ext. 538 or 800-364-7646
E-MAIL: [email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MILWAUKEE, May 20, 2005 – Larry Sobal, president of Appleton Cardiology Associates and past-president of Jabas Group, will lead a panel of business and dental industry experts in discussing, “The Future of Employee Benefits: Cost Effective, Patient Driven, Technology Based” on June 9, 2005 from 8 -11:30 a.m. at the Country Springs Hotel in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

This forum is co-sponsored by TEC, a networking group for chief executives, and the Wisconsin Dental Association (WDA). It is designed to help employers, human resource managers and other business decision makers throughout the state lower their organizations’ health care costs by providing guidelines for identifying and selecting quality benefit plans that enhance choice and value.

Sobal’s keynote address, “A View from the Provider Side: The Revolution in How Medical Care will be Delivered and How Employers Need to Respond,” will explore new strategies for tapping into a changing medical care delivery system to reduce cost pressures. Other speakers scheduled to participate in the forum include:

· Ronald Inge, DDS, associate executive director in the Division of Dental Practice at the American Dental Association (ADA), will address dental plan benefit options and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

· John Lochner, Associated Financial Group consultant who specializes in innovative health care plan designs, will explain how redesigning dental plans can help employers and employees benefit from the many changes in dentistry that have occurred over the past 25 years.
· Tim Rose, DDS, past-president of the ADA who has a periodontal practice in Appleton, will provide a brief look at evidence-based dentistry and explain how dental and medical services compliment each other.
· Phillip Florek, DDS, a general dentist in Neenah, Wisconsin, will draw on his 30 years as a private practitioner to explain how technological advancements drive patient values.

This statewide business forum is based on a model in use in the Neenah and Menasha area since 1997. It was initiated by two local WDA components, the Winnebago Dental Association and Outagamie County Dental Society, to encourage business leaders and dentists to discuss developments in oral health care and explore
employee benefit plan options. Despite dentistry’s significant technological advances, recognition by the U. S. Surgeon General of oral health’s vital role in individuals’ overall well-being and general economic inflation, most dental benefit plans have changed little over the last 35 years.

“Businesses that recognize the importance of oral health and prioritize it accordingly have a greater number of employees who practice good personal oral hygiene, seek out routine dental exams and obtain early restorative care, all of which create important barriers to the development of dental disease,” notes WDA President Dr. Fred Jaeger. “While these preventive efforts cannot eliminate dental disease, they do improve the overall oral health status of the average dental patient, thus helping reduce the demand for, and cost of, more expensive and advanced dental and related medical treatments.”

There is a $20 cost to attend the forum which has a June 2 registration deadline. Contact the WDA at 888-538-8932 or send e-mail to [email protected] for more information.

Established in 1870, the Wisconsin Dental Association (WDA) is headquartered in Milwaukee. With more than 2,900 members statewide, the WDA represents the vast majority of practicing dentists in Wisconsin. Its members are committed to promoting professional excellence and quality oral health care. The WDA is one of 53 constituent (state-territorial) dental societies of the American Dental Association – the largest and oldest national dental association in the world. For more information on the WDA, call 800-364-7646 or 414-276-4520 or visit www.wda.org.