The AAO’s federal lobbying team (Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (APKS)) has provided the AAO with a basic overview about the details of the new tax reform law.

Disclaimer: APKS does not represent individual orthodontists, and the information provided does not constitute tax or legal advice by APKS or the AAO to any recipient of the information.  It is recommended that all AAO members be in contact as soon as possible with their own accountant and legal counsel about the new tax law.  APKS indicates that some changes in the law may create conditions where individuals and partnerships/corporations have incentives to accelerate select financial decisions into the final days of 2017 (examples might include, but not be limited to, prepaying Q4 2017 state taxes before the end of the year, prepaying local 2018 property taxes if allowed, accelerating some planned charitable giving in 2018 to take advantage of the deduction versus 2017’s higher tax rate, and possibly pre-paying membership dues for 2018).  Again, you’ll need to check with your accountant for your specific situation, and nothing herein should be considered tax or legal advice.  As you may be aware, the short time frame for the passage of this law has created multiple questions, and it will take some time for all the answers to emerge.  For those reasons, it is recommended that you make time to talk with your tax preparer and attorney about the impact of the new tax law on your personal/practice situation. ​

To see APKS’s analysis, please view the file here:  AAO Tax Memo Final.pdf
Dec. 22, 2017

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Washington, D.C., the host city for the 2018 Annual Session, is well-known for its historic and iconic monuments and historical attractions, as well as for its wealth of free museums and fine dining. Visitors will now have a large new variety of entertainment options following the city’s recent debut of “District Wharf.
The $2.5 billion, 3.2 million square-foot waterfront neighborhood features trendy restaurants, local boutiques, indie music halls, upscale hotels and 10 acres of public waterfront parks along Washington’s historic Southwest Waterfront.
Billed as the largest waterfront development in the United States, District Wharf’s development was inspired by waterfronts around the world with promenades, piers, and docks designed by prominent architects. Located just south of the National Mall, District Wharf is thus a short distance from many better-known attractions on the mall including the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
With nearly 19 million visitors per year, according to Wikipedia, our nation’s capital offers a wealth of entertainment options to suit many tastes and interests. Other neighborhoods of interest to many visitors include Penn Quarter & Chinatown, known for diverse culture and dining experiences as well as for the International Spy Museum and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum.

The U Street Corridor in Northwest D.C., known as "Washington's Black Broadway," offers the Howard Theatre, Bohemian Caverns, and the Lincoln Theatre. The latter venue hosted music legends such as Washington-native Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis.

AAO Tours Registration is Open
In conjunction with the 2018 Annual Session, the AAO will offer tours of many popular Washington, D.C. attractions. The 14 tour options range from traditional monument visits to walking, biking and Potomac yacht tours.
Learn about AAO Tours
From a da Vinci Painting to Unique Dining Experiences, Washington Offers Something for Everyone
Dr. Nahid Maleki, president of the AAO, has spent most of her adult life studying and working in Washington. She completed her orthodontic residency at Georgetown University, then became a tenured associate professor at her alma mater and has been in private orthodontic practice in the heart of the city since 1982.

An art lover, Dr. Maleki recommends a variety of cultural experiences in Washington to many orthodontic friends and colleagues who share her interests.

“The National Gallery of Art has a wonderful collection and is a must-see,” says Dr. Maleki. ‘Many people do not know the gallery houses a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, the great Italian painter - a portrait of Ginevra de' Benci. When the National Gallery announced the acquisition of this painting in 1967, it made front-page news around the world because it is the only da Vinci painting outside Europe. You can visit Ginevra in Gallery 6 on the main floor of the West building. Like all museums in Washington, the National Gallery has free admission, so it won't cost you a penny.”

Many visitors to Washington, including AAO members, are eager to partake of the city’s many fine dining options. For a quick introduction to the top-rated restaurants, Dr. Maleki recommends reviewing the Washington Post 2017 Fall Dining Guide.
Topping the list of restaurants is the revered Inn at Little Washington. Located in Washington, Virginia about 90 miles from the nation’s capital, the restaurant features gourmet cuisine. Other restaurants on the Top 10 list are located in or near Washington, D.C., including some near the Convention Center. In addition, the Post offers a Top 10 List of “Cheap Eats” restaurants for those seeking fare that is simpler, but still of high quality.

Catch a Washington Nationals Game During Annual Session
The Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team will have home games (vs. Philadelphia Phillies) on May 4, 5 and 6 during the 2018 Annual Session. Annual Session registrants will have access to tickets at discounts of 17 to 20 percent, depending on the game. Watch the eBulletin in February for a link and code to purchase discounted tickets.

Dec. 20, 2017

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Invite your family to share your experience at the 2018 Annual Session, May 4-8 in Washington, D.C.. With high-quality childcare and myriad educational and sight-seeing opportunities for spouses, the meeting can be an enriching experience for non-orthodontists of all ages. There is no cost to register spouses and children.

AAO Tours Registration is Open
Many Annual Session attendee families enjoy taking advantage of local tours offered by the AAO. In conjunction with the 2018 Annual Session, the AAO will offer tours of many popular Washington, D.C. attractions. Tour options range from traditional monument visits to walking, biking and Potomac yacht tours.
Learn about AAO Tours

Educational Opportunities for the Non-Orthodontist
Dr. Sheldon Seidel, serving as 2018 Orthodontic Staff Program co-chair, encourages spouses who work in the orthodontic practice - or who have separate business or healthcare careers - to examine the many business topics scheduled within both the Doctors Scientific Program and the Orthodontic Staff Program.

“Technology series speakers will present during Tech Talk, two half-day lecture series,” says Dr. Seidel. “The Business of Orthodontics LIVE! series will feature two three lecture sessions. Both Tech Talk and the Business of Orthodontics LIVE! are included in the Doctors Scientific Program, but spouses are welcome to attend.”

In the Orthodontic Staff Program Administrative, Clinical, Marketing and All-Staff series, attendees will gain key knowledge of topics like pros and cons of cloud computing, social media marketing, printing and making clear aligners, overhead control, and leadership.
Dr. Seidel also recommends lectures from the Orthodontic Staff Program that will explore a variety of well-being topics that impact both personal well-being and effectiveness at work. Options include: 
▪ Nancy Rothstein, “Sleep is Essential: For You & Your Patients”;
▪ Dr. Eric Paster, “Patient Personality Assessment for Effective Communication”;
▪ Dr. Desiree Walker, “Pain, Fitness and Dentistry: My Story from Dental Student in Pain to American Ninja Warrior Athlete”;
▪ Dr. Jacqueline Huggins, organizational consultant and training developer, “Bridging the Divide,” (examining communication between Baby Boomers and members of the Millennial generation);
▪ Brad Montgomery (Featured Speaker), “Happiness as a Business Asset.”

▪ Kristy Menage Bernie RDH, MS, RYT, “Yoganomics: Postural Health & Ergonomic Considerations for the Dental Professional”’
▪ Pam M. Smith, RDN, “Energy for Life: An Insider’s Guide to Living Better Longer.” Part 2 of the presentation will be on Monday: “Forever Young: Eat Well, Live Well, Age Well!”
Camp AAO Offers Fun for Kids
“Camp AAO” returns to the 2018 Annual Session, offering high-quality childcare services on-site at the convention center for children from ages 6 months to 12 years. Children participate in age-appropriate activities including arts and crafts, active games and more in a safe, nurturing environment.
Young people who are age 6 and older have the option to participate in the Camp AAO youth tour program, accompanied by chaperones from ACCENT on Children’s Arrangements Inc., which manages Camp AAO. Youth tours will include afternoons at the Madame Tussaud Wax Museum, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the Smithsonian National Zoo and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Register Your Child for Camp AAO

Treat Your Family to Enjoyable Events
Spouses or older children/teens may enjoy many of the memorable Annual Session events planned for 2018. Tickets for all events may be purchased/reserved at Annual Session registration.
Access the Events Schedule

Learn More
The December issue of the Practice Management Bulletin offers additional details about the Orthodontic Staff Program, Mega Trends for doctors and staff and the Doctors Scientific Program, as well as Washington, D.C. entertainment options.
View the Practice Management Bulletin
Dec. 20, 2017

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Register your team for the 2018 Annual Session and provide an intensive education for them in many key skills and knowledge aspects of each position.

Note that your team may be eligible for Annual Session registration discounts. An Orthodontic Staff Club member may be eligible for both of the following:
• Each AAO Orthodontic Staff Club member will receive a $25 registration discount for the 2018 Annual Session.  Membership dues are $50 per practice, covering an unlimited number of employees.
• All orthodontic staff are eligible for a 20 percent registration discount when four or more employees of the same doctor register by the Early Registration Deadline (April 6, 2018).

Orthodontic Staff Hands-On Sessions Provide State-of-the-Art Training
With correct use of video technology, video records may be added to the orthodontist’s clinical observations to aid in assessment of the dynamic relationships affecting the patient’s overall function and aesthetics.1 Doctors wishing to have staff members trained to shoot video effectively for this purpose may enroll them in the 2018 Annual Session hands-on program by video expert Ian Ziatyk, “Video Records for the Orthodontic Office.”

The video records program will be one of five ticketed, half-day hands-on lectures for Orthodontic Staff on Friday, May 4 at the 2018 Annual Session.

Each hands-on session will be offered twice during the day. Tickets for these limited-attendance workshops should be purchased in advance via Annual Session registration.

Additional hands-on programs will be:

♦ “Advanced Processing of CBCT Images,” by Barbara Brinker of Dolphin;

♦ “Wire Bending for the Orthodontic Assistant,” by Dr. Douglas Depew;

“Patient Photography Made Easy,” with returning presenter Rita Bauer;

“Hands-on 3D Printing: From the Scanner to your Hand,” by Cali Kaltschmidt and Dr. Christopher Riolo.

Orthodontic Staff Program Lecturers Address Business, Personal Well-Being Topics
In the Staff Program Administrative, Clinical, Marketing and All-Staff series, your team will gain key knowledge of topics like pros and cons of cloud computing, printing and making clear aligners, overhead control, understanding patient choice, new ideas to strengthen patient compliance, and leadership.

Staff Program lectures will include “Pain, Fitness and Dentistry: My Story from Dental Student in Pain to American Ninja Warrior Athlete,” by Dr. Desiree Walker. Dr. Walker is a general dentist who overcame severe musculoskeletal pain that began when she was in dental school, going on to become an American Ninja Warrior athlete. She will share research about how poor positioning and lack of body movement/exercise can contribute to musculoskeletal ailments, offering key components of an effective fitness plan and how to integrate them into the dental workday.

Two highly anticipated Orthodontic Staff Program lecturers have provided short preview videos for their presentations:

♦ Jessica Rector, presenting: “Break Through Burnout: How to Turn Stress into Healthy Living”;

♦ Jessica Rector, presenting, “Communication to Build a Courageous Team”;

♦ Wendy O’Donovan Phillips, presenting, “KABOOM! Marketing Results!

♦ Ms. Philips will also present,How Independent Orthodontists can Edge out Corporate Competition.”
Learn More
The December issue of the Practice Management Bulletin offers additional details about the Orthodontic Staff Program, Mega Trends for doctors and staff and the Doctors Scientific Program..
View the Practice Management Bulletin

1. Graber, Vanarsdall, Vig, Huang. Orthodontics - E-Book: Current Principles and Techniques, Sixth Edition, Chapter 9. (Elsevier 2017).


Dec. 20, 2017

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The evening of Friday, December 15, Conference Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the negotiated tax reform bill, which both chambers are expected to vote on the week of December 18. The President will likely sign the legislation before Friday.
Thanks to the efforts of the AAO and its members, the AAO had several policy wins:

Higher Education and Student Borrower Benefits

Provisions in the House Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Sections 1201 and 1204) would have eliminated:
  • Tax benefits for orthodontists and orthodontic students (i.e., student loan interest deduction);
  • Qualified tuition reductions / waivers; and
  • Higher education tax credits such as the Lifetime Learning Credit).

Elimination of the above items was not included in the conference agreement. Therefore, those current benefits will remain unchanged. The AAO, having implemented an advocacy campaign on these issues, has experienced a great victory.

The AAO sent a letter to congressional conference leaders on these three issues and also initiated an advocacy campaign among its members to directly reach out to Members of Congress.

Healthcare: Medical Expense Deduction

The conference agreement adopts Sec. 11028 of the Senate Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which would lower the threshold for deducting medical expenses to 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income for two years (2018 and 2019 taxable years), after which it would return to 10 percent.

Sec. 1308 of the House TCJA would have repealed the deduction. Retaining the deduction, and expanding it temporarily, will benefit families with extremely high medical expenses, including those who are also paying for orthodontic treatment.
AAO leaders believe that these successes show that the AAO’s voice is being heard in Washington.  To those who helped with these advocacy efforts, thank you.
Dec. 18, 2017

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