Protecting Dentists and Patients

Drs.Zach_Kouri_and_RepTom_Jeneary_and_Steven_Ready

Drs. Zach Kouri (left) and Steven Ready (right) meet with Representative Tom Jeneary (center), a retired dentist serving in the Iowa House of Representatives since 2018.

You can’t afford to be a silent partner in decisions that affect your business, your practice, or your profession. Legislative proposals directly impact dentistry in Iowa, and we need to have meaningful input. Membership in the Iowa Dental Association helps us work for legislation that helps you.

Working in the legislative arena is often like the practice of preventative dentistry. It requires regular work and attention to many small details. When done well, the majority of potential problems can be remedied or prevented before they have a chance to take root and grow.

Legislative efforts also rely strongly on educational efforts – working to assure that legislators and regulators truly understand the issues, the potentials, the cause and effect relationships of those items they consider.

The IDA continues to build and enhance relationships with legislators and regulators who are in position to drive the state’s legislation and policy as it affects the delivery of quality oral health care.

The 2020 legislative session was like one we have never seen before. The IDA advocacy efforts were successful in advancing issues that affect the practice of dentistry in Iowa:

  • Hawki funding increased by $16,500,558 over FY2020. With federal government reducing funds to states for FY2021, this increase in state funding allowed for reimbursement rates to remain the same as FY2020. In addition, DWP reimbursement rates remained the same. Given the state is anticipating a $360.1 million decrease in revenue in FY2021, reimbursement rates remaining steady is a victory.
  • Dentists and other health care providers who do not act in a “reckless” manner or intentionally cause harm to a patient are protected under the COVID liability relief bill (SF2338). The legislation also protects anyone who donated PPE and other supplies in response to COVID-19.
  • On March 12 the governor signed HF2267, aka the Dental Board Bill, into law. This bill permits the Iowa Dental Board to impose alternative forms of disciplinary action, including administrative penalties, and allows dental assistants with proper training to place sealants.The bill also expands the locations in which a dental hygienist may perform services. 

IDA is already working on legislative priorities for the 2021 legislative session based on your input. Should you have any questions about the 2020 session or policy ideas for future consideration, please contact the IDA office at info@iowadental.org.

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