Press Releases

NJ Center for Oral Surgery, Press Releases

October 25, 2013
Caldwell, NJ

Michael H Kirsch DDS has been selected for the 2013 Best of Caldwell Award in the Dentists’ Office category by the Caldwell Award Program. Dr. Kirsch is also listed as a NJ Top Dentist.

Each year, the Caldwell Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Caldwell area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2013 Caldwell Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Caldwell Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Caldwell Award Program

The Caldwell Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Caldwell area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Caldwell Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Caldwell Award Program


For Immediate Release September 22, 2010
Roseland, New Jersey

On September 16, 2010, Judge Paul J. Vichness of the Essex County Superior Court certified a class action brought by Michael H. Kirsch, D.D.S., a Caldwell oral surgeon, on behalf of 10,000 dental providers against Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon) — the largest managed care organization in the state — seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages for Horizon’s improper claims processing tactics designed to underpay dentists for the critical services they render to their patients. This is the second class action certified by the Superior Court that was brought by Dr. Kirsch against Horizon. In both class actions, Dr. Kirsch was designated as the sole Class Representative on behalf of each Class and found to be adequate and determined to represent the interests of each Class. In addition, in both class actions Eric D. Katz, a senior partner at Roseland’s Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, LLC was designated as Class Counsel.

In the newly certified class action, Kirsch v. Horizon, Essex County, Docket Number L-109-08 (Kirsch v. Horizon II), Dr. Kirsch exposes several illegal claims processing practices used by Horizon over the last six years or longer, including the carrier’s deliberate employment of nefarious tactics such as the bundling or combining of services in order to pay for only one service even when multiple services were required to treat the patient and the downcoding of services from the procedure that was actually rendered by the dentist to a procedure that was never provided.

In his first lawsuit filed against Horizon, Dr. Kirsch was appointed Class Representative in October 2005 in the 8,000 member certified class action lawsuit captioned Kirsch v. Horizon, Essex County, Docket Number L-4216-05 (Kirsch v. Horizon I). That case seeks more than $13 million dollars in damages for Horizon’s blatant and continuing violations of New Jersey’s prompt payment laws for more than a decade, and is scheduled for trial in 2011.

“Horizon and other managed care insurance companies continue to illegally manipulate and alter the American Dental Association’s procedural codes for the single objective of increasing their bottom line. This is accomplished at the expense of hard working dentists and the care they provide to their patients. Enough is enough. Dentists are sending a united message that we will no longer allow our profession to be bullied by entities solely motivated by profit,” said Dr. Kirsch.

Mr. Katz agrees: Dr. Kirsch should be commended for standing up against Horizon … and blowing the whistle on these carriers’ illegal conduct on behalf of tens of thousands of his colleagues — conduct that jeopardizes access to quality dental care.

Mr. Katz, a senior partner in the law firm of Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, in Roseland, New Jersey, is also Class Counsel in several other provider/managed care class actions seeking damages for claims processing abuses. In one recent case, John Ivan Sutter, M.D. v. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, ESX-3685-02, Stephen J. Bernstein, J.S.C. granted final approval on June 16, 2010 to a settlement on behalf of New Jersey physicians valued at over $50 million.

For further information and for interviews, please contact:

Eric D. Katz, Esq., Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, 103 Eisenhower Parkway, Roseland, New Jersey, tel. no. 973-228-9898 and e-mail ekatz@mskf.net.


September 4, 2008

Caldwell Doctor Goes High Tech and Green

Dr. Michael H. Kirsch is Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon who has been treating patients at 16 Smull Ave in Caldwell for over 8 years. He has continually made significant improvements within his office since taking over the practice in 2004. Most recently, Dr. Kirsch and his staff have decided to help the environment while simultaneously improving patient care. This past summer Dr. Kirsch and his staff took major steps in reducing electricity use, radiation exposure, paper waste, and harmful chemicals from the office.

A major step taken to help the environment and improve patient care was replacing their chemical processed film based x-ray unit with a Digital Panorex. This specialized x-ray machine emits significantly less radiation than traditional film based units, and uses no electricity or harmful chemicals to develop the film. As the x-ray is taken, the image immediately appears on a computer monitor in the treatment room. This technology has greatly improved the diagnostic capabilities by allowing Dr. Kirsch to zoom in on any area of interest while showing the patient on a large screen monitor. This diagnostic and screening x-ray can detect impacted teeth, cavities, infections, sinus problems, cysts, tumors and carotid artery disease even before they cause symptoms. The computer software allows Dr. Kirsch to accurately plan dental implant cases by making measurements and evaluating bone density on the x-ray image. In order to accomplish all this, new computers were installed in each treatment room so the images can be viewed anywhere and are stored electronically saving valuable space.

Dr. Kirsch has eliminated dental amalgam from his office. While amalgam is considered safe for dental restorations, it does contain mercury which is a known toxic substance and harmful to the environment, explained Dr. Kirsch. In effort to conserve energy, all traditional lights have been replaced with the compact fluorescent type that use 85% less electricity.

Another significant improvement has been the move towards a paperless medical record. As paper forms are received by the office they are scanned into the patients HIPPA compliant electronic medical record. The papers are then shredded and recycled. The electronic medical records are secured by several layers of password protection and encryption. Several data backup systems are in place both on premises and off site to insure the information is safe and readily available. Other efforts to save on paper waste include submitting insurance claims electronically.

With the help of my dedicated staff, we were able to improve patient care while helping to reduce our carbon footprints on the environment, says Dr. Kirsch. While this technology is not without financial cost, Dr. Kirsch believes it’s an investment worth making, and will keep treatment costs affordable to patients.


For Immediate Release January 7, 2008
Roseland, New Jersey

On January 7, 2008, Michael H. Kirsch, D.D.S. filed his second class action on behalf of thousands of New Jersey dental providers against Horizon Blue Cross Shield of New Jersey (Horizon) — the largest managed care organization in the state — seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages for Horizon’s improper claims processing tactics designed to underpay dentists for the critical services they render to their patients. The complaint was filed in Essex County Superior Court. In the lawsuit, Dr. Kirsch exposes several illegal claims processing practices used by Horizon over the last six years or longer, including the carrier’s deliberate failure to pay dentists in accordance with their fee schedules and the insurer’s intentional manipulation and alteration of dentists’ bills by employing nefarious tactics such as the bundling or combining of services in order to pay for only one service even when multiple services were required to treat the patient and/or the downcoding of services from the procedure that was actually rendered by the dentist to a procedure that were never provided.

In his first lawsuit filed against Horizon, Kirsch was appointed lead plaintiff in October 2005 in the 8,000 member certified class action lawsuit captioned Kirsch v. Horizon, Essex County, Docket Number L-4216-05 (Kirsch v. Horizon I). That case, also brought on behalf of New Jersey dentists, seeks tens of millions of dollars for Horizon’s blatant and continuing violations of New Jersey’s prompt payment laws, most notably the HINT Act, committed since 1999. The HINT Act requires Horizon to pay or deny claims pursuant to specific statutory timeframes and requirements, or waive the right to contest payment. Kirsch v. Horizon I is currently in discovery. Dr. Kirsch is also involved in class action litigation against one other major New Jersey dental carrier.

Unfortunately, organized dentistry has failed to protect the individual dentist by allowing insurance companies to set arbitrary rules to reduce payments for patient care. While the costs of delivering dental care steadily rise, insurance companies continue to deny fair compensation for what we do. Those participating providers’ willing to accept lesser fees for their services are then often faced with denials and reduced payments. Fighting the insurance company one claim at a time is an impossible task for dentists like me and our only option left is through our legal system. said Dr. Kirsch.

Dr. Kirsch’s attorney, Eric D. Katz, agrees: This second class action filed by Dr. Kirsch on behalf of New Jersey dental providers is not surprising as Horizon’s unequivocal mission statement is to unfairly treat providers in order to increase its own bottom line. Dr. Kirsch must be commended for stepping up to the plate on behalf of thousands of his professional colleagues over the last several years to battle these abuses that jeopardize access to quality dental care.

Mr. Katz, a partner in the law firm of Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, in Roseland, New Jersey, is also lead class counsel in Kirsch v. Horizon I and has been appointed lead class counsel in two other provider/managed care class actions. The first case, John Ivan Sutter, M.D. v. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, brought on behalf of some 60,000 physicians, settled in February 2007 for more than $39 million dollars worth of claims processing business reforms instituted by Horizon. The other, John Ivan Sutter, M.D. v. Oxford Health Plans, is currently proceeding in discovery as a class arbitration — one of the first of its kind in the country — brought on behalf of 20,000 physicians against Oxford Health Plans.

For further information and for interviews, please contact:
Eric D. Katz, Esq., Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, 103 Eisenhower Parkway, Roseland, New Jersey, tel. no. 973-228-9898 and e-mail ekatz@mskf.net.


PRESS ADVISORY

For Immediate Release November 14, 2005
Roseland, New Jersey

On October 21, 2005, Judge Stephen J. Bernstein of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Essex County, certified a major class action filed by Caldwell Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Michael H. Kirsch, D.D.S, on behalf of several thousands of New Jersey dental providers seeking tens of millions of dollars from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon), the largest managed care organization in the state, for its continuing improper and untimely claims processing practices in violation of New Jersey’s prompt payment laws, most notably the HINT Act, since 1999.

The certified class consists of all participating and non-participating dental providers and dental provider groups, regardless of specialty, who provided services to Horizon insureds and subscribers under any of Horizon’s dental and medical plans. Dr. Kirsch filed this class action to address the ever-widening healthcare crisis brought on by the continuing abusive claims processing practices of Horizon that have repeatedly violated the HINT Act since its enactment in 1999.

Pursuant to the HINT Act, Horizon must process claims and advise providers of its payment decisions within certain statutory timeframes, or it waives the right to contest payment for these claims. In addition, Horizon must pay statutory interest on claims that it pays outside of the statutory timeframes. The damages sought by the class will include not only statutory interest on late paid claims, but also payments for the countless claims which can no longer be contested by Horizon as a matter of law.

Horizon’s failure to pay claims timely in accordance with the New Jersey prompt payment laws jeopardizes the ability of New Jersey dental providers to offer quality dental care to the people of the State of New Jersey. The costs associated with the delivery of such care are substantial and include payment of overhead and salaries as well as payment for the purchase of supplies and equipment. These costs can only be met when Horizon makes prompt and appropriate payment of claims to the dental providers, noted lead class counsel, Eric D. Katz, a partner in the law firm of Nagel Rice & Mazie in Roseland, New Jersey.

“My costs for providing quality patient care have skyrocketed in the last several years. This is primarily due to salaries and benefits for additional staff required just to follow-up on unpaid and unanswered claims. By uniting New Jersey dentists together in this Class Action suit we can raise public awareness of the insurance companies’ delays and frustrating tactics, and change the way these managed care organizations abuse the very doctors who are treating their subscribers,” says lead plaintiff, Dr. Michael H. Kirsch.

This is the third significant provider class action certified against a managed care organization in New Jersey since 2004 to address improper claims processing. In July 2004, a 65,000-physician class was certified against Horizon asserting substantially similar claims as those asserted here by Dr. Kirsch. That case is scheduled to proceed to trial in March 2006. In January 2005, a 15,000-physician class was certified against Oxford Health Plans in arbitration, one of the first managed care class arbitrations in the country. The arbitration is currently in discovery. Mr. Katz is lead class counsel in those cases as well.

For further information and for interviews, please contact lead class counsel:
Eric D. Katz, Esq., Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, 103 Eisenhower Parkway, Roseland, New Jersey, tel. no. 973-228-9898 and e-mail ekatz@mskf.net.