Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dental Therapist Trying to Fill the Gap

There is an oral health care crisis in many states throughout the U.S. In rural areas many are underserved and therefore develop many oral health issues. There is a lack of dentists and the dentists that are already licensed frequently do not want to move to extremely rural areas where there is the most need. To fill in this need some states have turned to licensing dental therapists. These therapists are similar to physicians’ assistants in the medical field. They go through two years of intensive training and then they are able to do routine check-ups, cleanings, extractions, fillings, and pediatric steel crowns. The states that have already licensing these therapists include Minnesota, Alaska, and Maine. States that are working on the legislation to allow dental therapists include Vermont, New Mexico, and Kansas.

The advantages of licensing dental therapist include servicing the many people who live in rural areas and never get to see a dentist. Those who live in these areas are more likely to develop dental problems because they don’t have regular check-ups and cleanings. Also, if there is a serious dental issue, it usually goes unresolved until it is too late and they end up in the emergency room, rather than having it dealt with earlier by a dental professional. In 2009 the Pew Research Center reported that over 830,000 emergency room visits were due to preventable dental conditions.

Even though dental therapists are filling a great void in the dental care industry, dentists and the American Dental Association are taking a firm stand against states allowing the licensing of dental therapists. They have been lobbying hard against it in every state that the issue comes up. In a statement the ADA said that they do, “not consider the one-size-fits-all mid-level dental provider model to be a viable solution to the diverse set of barriers that impede million from getting dental care.” Although the ADA is trying to protect the dentists that are their members, it has been shown that dental therapists that work for dentists in their private practices actually boost income just like hiring dental hygienists. In reality, the more people that are trained to help others with their dental health needs, the healthier our country will be.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Black Keys Release Turn Blue

The popular rock duo, the Black Keys have introduced their new album, Turn Blue. The pair, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have been pretty consistently successful since they started in the 2000s even after other bands of their generations have faded away. The secret to their survival was making it through the financial crisis. When people stopped buying records and sought a totally different sound, the Black Keys were there with something fresh that still reminded listeners of something older that they may have listened to before. They offer a sort of nostalgia with rock beats, some disco elements, sixty stoner haze, but in a contemporary package and new lyrics. In Turn Blue they take the album as an opportunity to dive into themselves and work through their own issues emotionally and musically. Much of the album has the same flavor as far as feel. It is as if you have been transported to the back room of a disco club where everything exists in a haze of smoke perfumed with marijuana.

What makes it contemporary are the feelings and depth that Auerbach has poured into the lyrics. He has been going through some of his own issues and you hear that in the song “Year in Review” he sings “Why you always wanna love the ones who hurt you/ Then break down when they go and deserve you.” Through much of the album there is a very established atmosphere and motifs that often come back in the strings sections without deviating. In fact, the Black Keys, overall, have not been known for deviation. They usually stick to the status quo and stay with what works. Innovation is not their style. That being said, there are a few moments in Turn Blue where they step outside of their comfort zone and explore something new. These moments are the only redeeming parts of the album and they are worth listening to.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fines for Morgan Stanley Over IPO Rules

morganStanley-glass Morgan Stanley Wealth Management has been charged $5 million by Finra for violating IPO rules. The financial regulator, found that Morgan Stanley lacked clear policies on how to communicate with customers about their intention to buy shares in initial public stock offerings. This procedural error comes from the company needing to distinguish for customers when they have a firm commitment to buy stock, or just a nonbinding indication of interest. This fine is the third-largest Finra has given out over the past two years. Finra stands as the industry self-regulator for investment brokers and securities firms. They stepped in, in this case to protect the clients, although this charge was not started because of a client’s complaint. Finra representative Mr. Bennett said the issue is whether investors were able to review information before making a decision for themselves. “The blocking and tackling [when selling IPOs] must be done correctly, so that if in the event you have IPOs with disappointed purchaser, that those purchasers made the decision with the benefit of timely and accurate information. The securities laws don’t guarantee you’ll make money, but that you’ll have the information in a timely fashion.” The fine for Morgan Stanley comes down to being transparent with their clients about whether they are buying into a stock, so that the client is aware of what the bias is of the company that they are getting their financial and investment advise from. Most of the confusing in the company’s policy comes from Morgan Stanley merging with Citigroup’s Smith Barney. When these company’s came together no one distinguished and combined the policies and training from each side to inform employees of the important difference between the language “indications of interest” that was used by brokers at Morgan Stanley and “conditional offers” spoken by brokers at Citigroup Smith Barney.

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