Legislative Liasion Issues

Water fluoridation
The U.S Department of Health and Human services updated its recommendation of optimal fluoride this year to 0.7 mg per liter of water. The previous recommendation was 0.7-1.2 mg per liter of water. This change will allow Americans increase access to other sources of fluoride such as toothpaste, and mouth rinses.

The Alabama and Connecticut Court ruled teeth-whitening procedures in the state may ONLY be performed by a licensed dentist.

The Supreme Court rules in favor of the Affordable Care Act. This will allow more Americans to have access to affordable health insurance. This also means Americans will have more access to affordable dental insurance allowing them to have free teeth cleanings, etc.

Missouri plans to reinstate Medicaid adult dental benefits in the fall. Adult dental service budgets were cut in 2005. This year about $14 million was included in the state budget. This will allow about 250,000 low-income adults on Medicaid to be reimbursed for about 45 procedures.

Medical Device Tax
The House of Representatives voted to repeal the Medical Device Tax on June 18. This is a 2.3% tax charged on makers and importers of all medical devices. This affects us in Dentistry because it would increase the cost of dental treatment on our patients. (This bill is currently being monitored)

New York Bill aims to improve access to Dental Care
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that allows dental offices to serve as provider locations for telehealth services. Telehealth services allows patients to receive care from their health care provider from a distant location. This legislation allows medicaid to reimburse dentists for their services.

Licensure
ASDA is currently working on a bill which will allow students to obtain their Dental Licensure by using their hybrid portfolio. Instead of getting licensed by CITA, a one shot exam with a live patient, students can obtain licensure by documenting the patients they treat during their fourth year. This form of licensure will hopefully be a universal licensure exam so future Dentists can practice in different states without having to take a new exam. ASDA House of Delegates will vote on this bill on March 2016

Improving the Oral Health of Families and Children in Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago received a $5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The money will be used to develop an outreach program aimed at reducing cavities of low-income children in Chicago. Pediatric dentists in the UIC College of Dentistry will develop the training curriculum for community health workers to educate families about oral hygiene at health clinics and in their homes.

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