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'Breaking New Ground' In Standards Development

American Dental Association helps create guide related to periodontal claim attachment in secure messaging

CHICAGO, Illinois — A guide that spells out a standard and interoperable way to send periodontal claims electronically is now in circulation due in large part to the American Dental Association's involvement in its development.

The Health Level Seven International Periodontal Claim Attachment Implementation Guide was developed using an American Dental Association (ADA) Standards Committee on Dental Informatics' standards document as a foundation, Standard No. 1079, Standard Content of Electronic Attachments for Dental Claims, said Dr. Gregory Zeller, chair of the ADA Standards Committee on Dental Informatics. The ADA also took the lead in bringing dental professionals, insurance companies, standards experts and other stakeholders together to develop the document, said Dr. Zeller.

For most dentists, the development of the guide means that when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services eventually publishes Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Claim Attachments regulation, there will be a tested and proven way to report dentist-defined periodontal examination data in a standardized, structured, electronic document, said Dr. Zeller.

The guide was accepted early this year by Health Level Seven International, or HL7, a nonprofit, American National Standards Institute-approved standards developing organization dedicated to providing a framework for the exchange of electronic health information.

An effort that requires specialized knowledge, the document's development is an example of an important behind-the-scenes ADA member benefit, said Dr. Zeller.

"Dentistry is leading the way in putting meaningful attachments with electronic claims," he said, adding that the ADA's involvement ensures that the dental perspective is considered in its production.

"We're breaking new ground here," Dr. Zeller said of the ADA's work.

For more information about the periodontal claim attachment, email ADA standards staff at standards@ADA.org.

For more information about the ADA's development of dental standards, visit ADA.org/dentalstandards.

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