President's Update: Strategic Planning

American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
Monday, September 29, 2014

As president of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), it is my privilege to keep you informed of the direction of the organization following our recent quarterly meeting of the board of directors, which was preceded by an extended strategic planning meeting.

Last fall the board of directors began a strategic planning process to develop a blueprint for the future that will effectively identify current challenges, maximize our strengths, and capitalize on emerging opportunities. This process included a review and revision of the organization’s Bylaws, which were posted for comment and approved by a vote of the membership in July.

The AADSM also engaged the membership in an independent, comprehensive survey to gain a better understanding of the current needs and expectations of our members.  During our meeting the board of directors extensively reviewed and discussed the survey results, which yielded numerous, valuable insights that informed our strategic planning.  I greatly appreciate the input provided by all of the members who took the time to complete the survey.  An executive summary of the findings is being prepared and will be published in a future issue of the AADSM’s Journal of Dental Sleep Medicine (JDSM).

Following the strategic planning session, the board held a business meeting during which we considered a number of important issues facing our organization.  As part of the AADSM’s ongoing efforts to strengthen ties with our sleep medicine physician colleagues and apprise them of advances in dental sleep medicine, we submitted a session proposal for Sleep Medicine Trends 2015, an American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) course that will be attended by 400 physicians in February.  I am pleased to report that the proposed session, Current Trends in Oral Appliance Therapy, was approved and will be presented by Drs. Leslie Dort and Sheri Katz.
Another important issue in dental sleep medicine is the overly restrictive criteria of the national Pricing, Data Analysis and Coding (PDAC) contractor, which currently prevents several effective oral appliances from being eligible for Medicare reimbursement.  In response the board of directors agreed to present to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) the empiric definition of an effective oral appliance and companion report that were published by the AADSM earlier this year.  The AADSM will advocate for the adoption of this definition for Medicare verification of custom-fabricated oral appliances. 

The AADSM is committed to equipping members with relevant practice management resources such as our Treatment Protocol.  Recognizing that members need more guidance to delineate the role of the dentist in the collaborative treatment and long-term management of sleep-disordered breathing, the board of directors approved the organization of a consensus conference to develop a comprehensive standard of care paper for dental sleep medicine.  I believe that this paper will be a definitive resource for our field.

To raise awareness of oral appliance therapy as an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, the AADSM is continuing our national public relations initiative. This fall we are building on the campaign’s past success by conveying to the public the advantages of living with oral appliance therapy. During this phase of the public relations program, we are participating in broadcast TV appearances across the country and meeting with several influential editors at top magazines in New York City.  More detailed PR campaign updates are available on the AADSM website.

Finally, in response to feedback from AADSM members about the Find-a-Dentist directory on the AADSM website, the board of directors has approved an upgrade that will enable members to list up to three professional addresses in the directory.  I know that this change will be beneficial to many of our members. 

Stay tuned for additional updates from the AADSM as we continue to make progress on all of these initiatives.


Kathleen Bennett, DDS

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