Dental politics: Do you know the scoop?

PoliticsEvery year our state dental association hosts a “Day at the Statehouse” where dentists are invited to spend a day learning the top legislative issues in dentistry – and then to share these topics with their state senator and representative. The dental association staff provides written materials to the dentists that clearly explain the 2-3 hot topics for that year. These talking points guide the individual meeting between the dentist and his/her legislators. When a dentist registers for this Statehouse Day, the association staff determine who their legislators are and arrange the meetings for the dentist. This makes it easy for the dentist to make the most of their time.

Benefits for you to attend:

  • You find out and clearly understand the top issues in dentistry facing your state
  • You have an opportunity to influence state law
  • You will be helping your colleagues, and perhaps make it easier to practice dentistry
  • You develop a relationship with your state senator and representative (you never know when this could come in handy)
  • You develop relationships with your state dental association staff

Hot topics for 2013 (in Ohio)

Maintain adult dental Medicaid – Legislators looking for budget cutting opportunities often look hard at adult dental Medicaid, but sending adults with dental pain to the ER ends up spending even more state money, and the ER physician cannot solve the problem.

Avoid mid-level providers – With only 2 years post high school training, these providers would be allowed to drill and fill and extract teeth. Ostensibly to increase access to care, this approach is just plain dangerous!

Prohibit insurance from setting fees on non-covered services – Ohio is hoping to follow 29 states that already prohibit this practice. Some insurance plans set fees on procedures such as implants or IV anesthesia that they will not pay for. This leaves the dentist stuck providing services at an unfair fee and leaves the patient paying the entire amount.

What are the major issues in your state?

By taking one day/year, you can discover and understand the major dental issues facing your practice. Contact your state dental association to find out more.

Understanding dental politics is just one way you can run a successful dental practice. If you’re interested in new ideas on running a dental practice, please subscribe to my weekly blog:

One of the biggest challenges to managing a dental practice is managing dental insurance. With dental insurance handled, then dental marketing for new patients becomes a primary focus. In today’s day of online reviews, handling patient complaints well is essential. As your practice grows, hiring dental staff becomes more important. With 16+ years of dental practice management experience, I’m open to your questions to help you run a successful dental office.

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AUTHOR: Jill Nesbitt
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