ADVOCACY

Standing Up For Our Patient's Health

 Our advocacy efforts focus on safely increasing access to care for our patients. 

NATIONAL LEGISLATION OF INTEREST: 

  • HR 2417- Heads Up Act: This would designate people who have special healthcare needs as a medically underserved population.  This would increase access to care for this population. Currently Dr. Brooke does NOT qualify for the National Health Service Corps because this population is not designated as an MUP and our practice focuses on this population. Dr. Brooke loses $10,000 per year in loan repayment because she chooses to focus on this population. This act would change that and enable providers like Dr. Brooke to qualify for loan repayment in programs like the National Health Service Corps.  Click HERE to read this Act.

 IDAHO LEGISLATION OF INTEREST:

  • Teledentistry Virtual Care Access Act  (SB1126).

    • This updates terminology to include other telecommunications. Clarifies that we can establish relationships using teledentistry, but also upholds the community standard of care. It also helps clarify jurisdiction of teledental services rendered for Idahoans. Another great thing it does is establish a telehealth advisory board to help increase the utilization of teledentistry. 

  • Teledentistry Bill ( SB1295.):

    • This passed in both the house and the senate, however was vetoed.  This bill would have put more transparency on teledentistry in our state. We supported this bill.

  • Improving Preventative Coverage for Adults who have Disabilities:

    • We have made multiple attempts to bring our Medicaid Coverage up to the standard of care for adults who have disabilities. We have made traction with multiple organizations, but have not seen any results at this point. For a detailed list of things we have supported see the ISDA's white paper  on risk based care.  Some of the major things we would like to change are: coverage of fluoride varnish for adults,  increasing number of allowable cleanings for high risk patients, coverage of topical application of caries arresting medicaments, coverage of scaling in the presence of gingival inflammation, and coverage of Behavior Management codes for desensitization programs. Changing the Medicaid program is very difficult, but we are trying and we do have support from multiple parties. 

  • Dental Therapy:

    • Dental therapy was added into the Idaho Dental Practice Act and Administrative Rules. While dental therapists can help in many ways, it is important to understand the level of education for this type of provider is NOT standardized across the country.  A person can become a dental therapist with as little as  two years of training post high school. This means their education level lies somewhere between a dental assistant and a dental hygienist.  There are also dental therapy programs that require a hygiene degree as a pre-requisite before beginning training. In these circumstances, the dental therapist would have an education level between a hygienist and a dentist. Look for the RDH after their name to differentiate. Some states differentiate what dental therapists do based on their education level.   In Idaho we accept the minimal level of training and do not differentiate between the different educational levels.  With this wide variety of education level, the Special Care Dentists of Idaho tried to ensure that medical history review would be done by a dentist before any invasive treatment rendered.  We were unsuccessful and this was not added to the rules. Though this probably occurs in all practices, probably isn't good enough for us. We advise you, if you or your loved one has a complex medical history, to ensure that a dentist has reviewed  your medical history before accepting invasive dental treatment.  We support a more transparent multi-tiered system for dental therapy providers with increased emphasis on supervision based on medical complexity of the patient as opposed to supervision based on procedures to be performed. 

Documents WE Contributed to and  Support

Special care dentist of idaho logo green.jpg
ISDA.png