Each year a multitude of policy issues that affect dentistry are considered and debated by the United States Congress and General Assembly of Virginia. These are issues that affect your livelihood in the dental profession as well as the patients that you serve. The Association’s legislative strength is proportional to the number of members involved. Strength lies in numbers! We encourage you to become involved in the Association’s legislative activities on a national and state level to ensure that legislators make decisions that are in the best interest of the profession and dental patients.
2014 Virginia General Assembly
The 2014 Regular Session convened Wednesday, January 8, 2014.
Senate Member Listing
2014 House of Delegates
House Member Listing
If you are would like to know who your legislators are, you can find out by CLICKING HERE.
The VDA is Closely Monitoring the Following Bills and Budget Items
Incentivize Dentists to Continue Participation in Smiles for Children Dental Medicaid Program
- The Issue: Medicaid Deferred Compensation Plan
Delegate John O’Bannon introduced HB147 and Senator Emmett Hanger introduced its companion SB412. These bills authorize the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) to establish a plan enabling dentists to deposit a portion of reimbursed Medicaid payments into tax-deferred VRS accounts. Providers will pay all administrative costs and investment fees. Dentists participating in Smiles for Children program are considered independent contractors by DMAS (Department of Medical Assistance Services), the state agency supervising Medicaid.
UPDATE: HB147 passed and is now awaiting approval from the Governor. SB412 (identical to HB147) will most likely have the same fate.
Harness Technology to Improve Children’s Oral Health
Senator Dick Black introduced a bill to authorize a teledentistry pilot project for Medicaid-eligible children. This is in part due to a recent Join Commission on Healthcare study noted that noted the impact on children of untreated dental disease. The legislation stipulates that the pilot program protocol be memorialized in a Memorandum of Understanding involving the VDA and an experienced telemedicine vendor. The pilot program is limited to children in school districts where more than 50% of elementary aged children have no recent history of dental care. Dentists participating in the pilot program shall provide supervision to hygienists under an existing protocol. A report to the General Assembly and VDH is to be provided on July 1, 2016.
- The Issue: Authorizing a Teledentistry Pilot Project for Medicaid-eligible children.
UPDATE : SB647 was reviewed by the House Committee on Appropriations this past Friday and a statement was made that this is the perfect example of something that could make the system more efficient and effective. Having said that, the decision was to carry this bill over to the 2015 session. In a lot of respects, the bill got caught up in the Medicaid Expansion debate and that was a major reason why they decided to carry it over. Before the Appropriations committee met on Friday, VDA lobbyists discussed the bill with the Chairman and staff and all felt it was a good idea to have the Medicaid Reform Commission review it. The Commission will review the bill by this summer and we feel good about a positive outcome in 2015. We will look forward to this bill being on our agenda next year.
Preserve Dental Clinics Transition Safety Net
- Issue: In 2012 and 2013, the General Assembly appropriated funds to enable the Virginia Department of Health to transition its local dental clinics from a treatment model to a preventive care model. The VDA advocated for these appropriations and has worked with the Department and stakeholder groups to facilitate the transition. The budget introduced by the Governor contains funds for each year of the biennium to facilitate local dental clinic transitions.
The VDA asks that legislators insist that those funds specifically earmarked for dental services be used only for these purposes. The Department’s transition plans are critical for the oral health of thousands of Virginians who otherwise will have no access to oral health care.
VDA Outreach- Compassion and Commitment