The Legsislative Ledger

 March 2011

This e-newsletter is sent to members of ASDA.
Information published in this newsletter is credited to the ADA State Legislative Report (SLR).

From Washington, D.C.
Join Over 320 Students in DC for National Lobby Day 
On March 28 and 29, dental students from 51 dental schools across the country will travel to our nation's capital once again to advocate for issues that are important to the future of our profession at National Dental Student Lobby Day. Monday's session will feature presentations from dental advocates and provide students training on the two issues agreed upon by ASDA and ADEA: the Dental Emergency Responder Act and funding for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and National Institutes of Health (NIDCR/NIH). More details to follow.
From the States

Update on Dental Hygiene Legislation  

Connecticut, Montana, Arizona, and Florida have bills within their state legislatures to expand the scope of practice for dental hygienists. In Arkansas, the state received a poor oral health report card from the PEW Foundation. In response, Arkansas is creating a program targeted at high-risk children, which expands preventative oral health services. To participate in the program, collaborating dentists are required to apply to the state dental board and receive a permit for this type of outreach. Dental hygienists may also apply for a similar permit, but are required to work collaboratively with a licensed, permit-holding dentist (SLR, 1-4).

New York Changes Medicaid Reimbursement Process

New York state will begin implementing a process known as Ambulatory Payment Groups for Medicaid reimbursement for most out-patient services provided in hospitals and licensed clinics. This system replaces the fee per visit reimbursement currently in place (SLR, 4).
Dental Assistants Updates
Many states faced with large deficits are looking to cut back on state Medicaid funding. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to all state governors providing some ideas to modify benefits, with the letter mentioning dental care as an optional benefit. However, Secretary Sebelius does not specifically recommend eliminating dental benefits. Other suggestions include fraud detection, modifying prescription drug programs, and managing high-cost patients (SLR, 4-5).
"We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give."  Sir Winston Churchill   
In This Issue
-Lobby Day
-Dental Hygiene Legislation
-NY Changes Medicaid Reimbursement
-Dental Assistants Updates
-Quote of the Month

Congratulations to the University of Minnesota for winning the Ideal ASDA Award for Advocacy. Congrats also to the University of Pittsburgh for winning the Ideal ASDA Award for Involvement in Organized Dentistry.
Is Your Chapter the Ideal LGN Chapter? 

Apply for the Ideal LGN Award and be recognized for all your legislative and advocacy efforts for dental students. The award will be presented at National Lobby Day. The application deadline is Monday, March 21.
Legislative Grassroots Network

Brittany Bensch, Washington
Vice Chair
Natalia Sanchez, UConn
Regional Legislative Coordinators
Ehlie Bruno, Buffalo
Stephanie Vlahos, Virginia
Mark Hower, UCLA
District Trustees
Steve Boss, Columbia
Michael Backer, Midwestern
Jimmy Winterton, UCSF 
Staff Liaison
Meghan Keelean, CMP