Healthcare Industry Strengthens Ties with Financial Sector

The utilization of dental care increased significantly during the early part of the 2000s and held strong until 2011. This increase in usage among children was mainly driven by gains from the lower income groups. Among the elderly, dental care utilization increased steadily from 2000 and this may be associated with an increase in the number of the elderly who have private dental benefits. However, among the group of non-elderly adults utilization of dental care declined. One of the reasons for this decline seems to be a decrease in private dental coverage among those in this age group.

You may be wondering what all of this means to you. When it comes down to it, dental health care is extremely important and these increases in care for the elderly and children combined with a decrease among young and middle aged adults simply shows the cost of dental health care is a concern among the masses.

There are some trends in the dental industry to consider when looking at the financial aspect of quality dental care.

In a Patient’s’ Path to Dental Care Purchases study that was conducted, there were several trends found among dental patients. Some of the findings to consider include:

  • 67% of dental patients researched and asked about the cost of dental procedures and different financing options. This percentage is more than the number who researched the procedures for themselves, which was 58%.
  • 52% of dental patients did not know that there was a financing payment option available.
  • 47% of respondents stated they would consider financing through a health care type credit card if it would allow them to receive the care that they needed right away.
  • 29% of the respondents stated they were likely to apply for a healthcare credit card if the fees were low enough.
  • 39% of the respondents stated that without financing they would not be able to have dentist services completed at all.

Other Trends in the Dental Industry to Consider

When it comes to finances in the dental industry, not only the patients are affected. There are several trends that are being seen throughout the industry as well and these trends affect the cost of dental care as well.

One trend is an increase in the number of group and corporate dental practices. This means that more and more often patients are going to find that seeking out a solo dental practice is becoming increasingly more difficult.

One of the benefits of a larger practice for consumers is that more treatment options are available in house such as oral maxillofacial surgery, endodontics, orthodontics, etc. In the past these procedures would have to be referred to a specialist.

A larger practice has more money to front larger business expenses including equipment, real estate, and the expenses associated with having a specialist available in the practice. This can benefit the patient as they only have to go to one place to have all of their oral health care needs met.

When it comes down to it, the trends of the dental healthcare industry are showing signs of making quality dental care more affordable. Larger practices can lower costs as they can see more patients. In addition, dentists are teaming up with financial institutes in order to offer patients a way to finance their dental health care needs.

Birkbeck Dentistry in Kent has done just that. The practice offers their patients a number of different financing options for paying for their dental services. These plans include interest free credit for all of their patients.

Keystone pipeline US

The Keystone XL oil pipeline won’t use American steel in its construction, despite what President Donald Trump says.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that’s due to language in a presidential directive President Trump issued in January. Sanders says the directive applies to new pipelines or those being repaired. She says it would be hard to do an about face on Keystone because it’s already under construction and the steel has been acquired.

President Trump said as recently as last week that Keystone and another pipeline must use American steel “or we’re not building one.”

Shortly after taking office, President Trump used his executive powers to greenlight the two pipeline projects that had been blocked by President Barack Obama.

The Keystone pipeline would run from Canada to refineries in the Gulf Coast.

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Steel Supplier News

Total tonnage for April grew by 23 percent, with 4 million tons crossing the Port of Houston Authority’s docks, Executive Director Roger Guenther reported at today’s Port Commission meeting. The strong cargo activity for the month was reflected in loaded container units growing by 46 percent over 2014 and steel imports growing 40 percent versus April a year ago.

Year to date, the Port Authority has handled more than 13 million tons of cargo, an increase of 11 percent for the year. Each category of general cargos has shown solid growth – containers, steel, autos and other breakbulk commodities.

While import steel continues to exceed projections, up by more than 56 percent for the year through April, the Port Authority expects some leveling in May.

Loaded container units at the Bayport and Barbours Cut terminals are up for the year by 22 percent.
“This illustrates the efficiency of our operations as well as the importance of capital reinvestment in these facilities to strengthen the Port Authority’s position and our region,” Guenther said.
Proving that the Port Authority is indeed ready for bigger and better things to come, four Super Post-Panamax cranes, the largest ship-to-shore cranes ever built by Konecranes, arrived at Barbours Cut Container Terminal earlier this month.

After detailed planning, the meticulous operation of moving the cranes from the vessel to the wharf was successfully completed today, marking the beginning of a new era for the Barbours Cut terminal. In the coming weeks, these cranes will be tested and readied for operation.
“These new Super Post-Panamax cranes, an important part of a $700 million modernization project at Barbours Cut Terminal, will accommodate the significantly larger vessels that will be calling on our container terminals after the expansion of the Panama Canal,” Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria said. “As international trade, primarily containerized cargo, continues to expand rapidly at Port Authority facilities, that means more jobs and economic activity for the region and state in support of PHA’s mission.”
The Port Authority also reported a record month in revenue. For the year, the Port Authority has generated $103 million in revenue, a 30 percent increase over this time last year. The Port Authority has added $51 million in cash flow, which will be put to work in enhancing facilities.