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February 2020 Newsletter

What´s New at Savon

Quote Of The Month:   “ This Valentine´s Day, I wish to take you to the secret place of our love — that private abode that is only known to your heart and mine — and leave you there while I go out and watch a basketball game.”  (Author Unknown)


Congratulations To:

(K. Parry of Sun City West, Arizona and C. Stober of Phoenix, Arizona  Winners of our January early payment drawings for 1 free additional year of membership.

Congratulations to our winners and thank you to everyone that entered the drawing.


To Your Health With Jourdin Hendershot:

Ptosis

Jourdin
Have you noticed that your eyesight seems to be getting worse or are you having pain or discomfort around your eyes?  Do you always appear more tired than you already are?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may be suffering from Ptosis commonly known as drooping eyelids!

This condition is interesting because ptosis can affect just one eye (unilateral ptosis) or both eyes (bilateral ptosis).

An interesting fact about drooping of the eyelid(s) is that it may come and go. Ptosis may be present at birth or develop during the natural aging process.

Like me, you may wonder what causes drooping eyelid(s). Well…  there are several different causes.
  1. Stretched tendon or weakened muscle in the eyelid(s).

  2. As we age, our eyelids(s) being to stretch, muscles weaken, and fat gathers over and under the eyelid(s) = under eye bags.

  3. The condition can be hereditary.

  4. Other serious medical conditions.
Before any treatment options can be discussed, your doctor should perform a few different tests to determine the severity of the drooping eyelid(s) and what is the best treatment type for you.  Surgery is the most common treatment but if you have any underlying medical conditions, they should be treated first.

If you are a candidate for surgery, there are two common types of surgical treatments:
  1. Blepharoplasty — This is surgery is performed to remove excess eyelid tissue from the upper or lower eyelid(s).  Surgery is done on an outpatient basis and usually takes about an hour but can take longer depending on the extent of surgery.

  2. Ptosis Repair — This Involves the tightening or shortening the eyelid(s) muscle so the eyelid can function like normal again.  This procedure is done on an outpatient basis.
Another popular treatment, if you are not into having eyelid surgery. is called a “Ptosis crutch”.  This involves attaching a “crutch” onto the frame of your glasses and is used to help hold the eyelid(s) in place.

If you have this condition, it´s important to see your doctor and have a medical assessment done.  If drooping eyelid(s) are interfering with your vision, (medical reason), your insurance may pay for the procedure.  Most insurance will not pay when your surgery is done strictly for cosmetic (non-medical) reasons.

If you have questions you would like to discuss with Jourdin, feel free to drop her an email by clicking here.

The above health material is provided as an information service.  It should not be used for diagnostic purposes nor is it intended to take the place of the important relationship between you and your doctor.


Grandma´s Kitchen With Grandma C.:

Crabby Cheesy Spinach And Egg Muffins

Grandma C.
Ingredients
  1. 12 eggs

  2. ½ to ¾ cup lump crabmeat, either fresh or canned

  3. ½ cup cooked crumbled bacon

  4. 1 cup chopped fresh spinach

  5. 1 TBSP dried basil

  6. 1 tsp Garlic powder

  7. ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

  8. Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line muffin tin with silicone muffin cups, or grease well with olive oil.

Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl until blended.  Add salt, pepper and spices.  Stir.

Add crab meat, bacon, spinach and parmesan cheese and mix until everything is coated.

Pour into muffin tin and fill each about halfway.  Bake 20 minutes or until eggs rise and are slightly golden on top.

Recipe makes 12 to 16 egg muffins.  They will keep in a refrigerator for approximately 4-5 days, so they´re an easy morning meal if you just pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm them up!

Enjoy!  And remember, if it looks and smells good, eat it!!

If you have a recipe that you would like to share with Grandma C., drop her an email by clicking here.


spotlight
 

Copper Star Dentistry

Dental Center
Our spotlight for February goes to the city of Peoria, Arizona and shines on Copper Star Dentistry

Dr. Paul Owens and the excellent staff at Copper Star Dentistry has been providing excellent care to our members since 2003.  The office is warm and inviting and the staff does it best to make sure that every patient's vist exceed their expectations.

The practice is located at 11001 N. 99th Ave Suite 113, Peoria Arizona.  The phone number is 623-583-7075.

Say thank you to your dental office for the excellent manner in which you are treated by nominating your dentist!


Fun Facts:

Crazy, Zany Facts About Leap Year We Bet You Didn´t Know

confused
  • Leap days are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth´s revolutions around the Sun.

  • It takes the Earth approximately 365.242189 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds – to circle once around the Sun.  This called a tropical year.

  • Without an extra day on February 29 nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours every year.  After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days.

  • People born on February 29 are called "leaplings" or "leapers".

  • One in five engaged couples in Greece will plan to avoid getting married in a leap year.  They believe it is bad luck.

  • Astrologers believe people born on February 29 have unusual talents, such as the ability to burp the alphabet or paint like Picasso.

  • The only notable person known to have both been born and died on February 29 was Sir James Wilson (1812–1880), Premier of Tasmania.

  • Karin Henriksen of Norway gave birth to three children on consecutive February 29ths – a daughter in 1960 and two sons in 1964 and 1968.

  • Leap years events in history:  During leap years, George Armstrong Custer fought the Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876), the Titanic sank (1912), Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity (1752) and gold was discovered in California (1848).
Come back for more in next months issue!


Dental Talk - A Member Blog Forum:

Blogging
Come blog with us!  Dental Talk with Savon is a fun forum to post your interesting topics!  Your comments are welcome, it´s free to use and no membership is required.

Some of the topics include;

These are just a few of the topics.  Our blog site contains many other interesting topics.  Please join us!!


Here´s Your Answer

Questions From Our Members

D. Davis of Newport Beach, California asks: 

“I am an obese man with sleep apnea.  My doctor has suggested that trimming my tongue fat may help with my sleep apena.  Is there any truth to this?”

Savon’s Answer

Yes, it does appear that reducing tongue fat may help clear up obstructive sleep apena.  In a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers used a M.R.I. to measure the effect of weight loss on the upper airway in obese patients. They found that a reduction in tongue fat lessened the severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) symptoms.

About 22 million Americans have sleep apnea, which can be a potentially fatal health condition.  Not only does it disrupt your sleep, it can increase your risk for high blood pressure and stroke.

Obesity is the primary risk factor for developing sleep apnea, but a recessed jaw or large tonsils can also be the cause.


Tooth Talk With Tommy The Wisdom Tooth

Dentist Who Pulled Teeth While On Hoverboard Is Convicted

A direct reprint from an article written January 21, 2020 By Melissa Busch, DrBicuspid.com assistant editor
Tommy
An Alaska dentist who was filmed pulling a sedated woman´s teeth while riding a hoverboard has been convicted of reckless endangerment and Medicaid fraud, according to a press release issued by the Alaska Department of Law.

Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton found Seth Lookhart, DMD, guilty on January 17 of 46 counts of medical assistance fraud, scheme to defraud, illegal practice of dentistry, and reckless endangerment following a five-week bench trial.  Dr. Lookhart is scheduled to be sentenced on April 30.

Dr. Lookhart and his office manager Shauna Cranford devised a scheme to push patients into choosing IV sedation over less costly anesthetic methods to maximize reimbursements from the state´s Medicaid program.  They also cut out Dr. Lookhart´s former business partners by having the reimbursements sent to his home, according to charging documents.
Dr. Lookhart faces up to 11 years in jail and may have to pay up to $127,000 in fines plus restitution to his former partners and the state Medicaid program.  Several factors, including allegations that Dr. Lookhart preyed on vulnerable patients, will affect his sentence.

“Lookhart believed that he could get away with his fraud indefinitely, and that he believed his scheme was foolproof,” Wolverton wrote in an order accompanying his verdict.

Calling the state´s evidence in the case “simply overwhelming,” the judge also found the dentist´s practice, Lookhart Dental, doing business as Clear Creek Dental, guilty of all 40 counts alleged against it.  His practice faces potential fines of about $3 million.

The large cache of evidence submitted at trial that “was often supported, and often in excruciating detail, by Lookhart´s own texts, photos, and videos,” the judge wrote.  Prosecutors also believe patient testimony, specifically that from patient Veronica Wilhelm, led to Dr. Lookhart´s conviction.

In July 2016, the dentist was filmed riding a hoverboard while working on Wilhelm.  He sent the video to several people and joked that it was the “new standard of care,” according to charging documents.  Wilhelm only learned of the video when authorities contacted her.

Wilhelm testified that she didn´t consent to being filmed while sedated or having her teeth removed while Dr. Lookhart was on a hoverboard.  If he had asked, she testified that she wouldn´t have given her consent.

How it began

After graduating from dental school in 2014, Dr. Lookhart began working as an independent contractor at Alaska Dental Arts in Anchorage, which was owned by Broc Brimhall, DMD, and Shane Rhoton, DDS.

Shortly after arriving, Dr. Lookhart also obtained a business license for his own business, Lookhart Dental.  In 2014, Dr. Lookhart became the solo dentist at Alaska Dental Arts, and he was expected to build the practice with little assistance from the clinic owners.  Dr. Lookhart was to be paid the greater of $240,000 a year or 30% of the money he was able to generate at the practice, according to the Alaska Department of Law.

He struggled to do this on his own, so he hired Cranford as his office manager in March 2015.  Most of his patients were covered by Medicaid.

Cranford encouraged Dr. Lookhart to begin offering IV sedation to Medicaid patients as an alternative to more common and less costly anesthetizing methods.  Typically, the cost for IV sedation is not included in a Medicaid patient´s $1,150 annual limit for nonemergency procedures, so this became a highly profitable but illegal way for Dr. Lookhart to build up his practice, according to the press release.

Dr. Lookhart billed Medicaid under a different provider ID and sent the money directly to his home to cut his partners out of up to $350,000 in reimbursements.

Since private dental insurance often doesn´t cover IV sedation, Dr. Lookhart also began offering private-pay clients the option of paying a $450 flat fee.  However, he was billing Medicaid as much as $2,049 for the same service.  Medicaid regulations specifically prohibit providers from billing Medicaid more than the general public.

In 2016, the owners told Dr. Lookhart that he needed to purchase the business from them or be terminated.  He opted to buy it for $2 million and changed its name to Clear Creek Dental, according to charging documents.

He continued to push patients to choose IV sedation.  In 2016, his practice alone was responsible for 31% of the total Alaska Medicaid payments made for IV sedation, according to the release.

Medicaid has paid Dr. Lookhart approximately $1.9 million for IV sedation services since he obtained his IV sedation license in 2015.  However, he had submitted bills for approximately $2.5 million to the state program, the Alaska Department of Law noted.

“Lookhart specifically intended to steal from the Alaska Medicaid program, that Lookhart did so by means of illegally practicing dentistry, and that Lookhart placed his patients in substantial risk of serious physical injury while doing so,” the judge wrote.

Cranford entered into a plea agreement for her role in the scheme.  She is scheduled for sentencing on February 3, according to the release.

Until next time; brush, floss and keep smiling!

The above material is provided as an information service and is not intended as medical advice.


News You Need To Know

New Schedule Of Benefits Goes Into Effect 3/01/2020 And Will Be Available For Download Soon

We have completed the process of examining the Schedule of Benefits and the new Schedule of Benefits will be available on our website by February 20th.

The last update to the Schedule of Benefits was June of 2018.  We worked very hard to keep the fees that you pay dental care as low as possible and we are confident that plan has stayed true to our mission statement; “To provide quality and timely dental care at a price that is fair and reasonable to the member and the dentist.”

You may download the new Schedule Of Benefits for your state by following this link or by visiting the members page at WWW.MYSdp.com.

The next examination of the Schedule of Benefits will be in the fall of 2021.

Thank you for your continued trust in Savon Dental Plan and rest assured that we will continue to work hard to protect that trust.

Savon Dental Plan Is Not Available For Purchase In The State Of Florida
 
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