Legislative updates from the American Student Dental Association

January 2014

Message from the Chair

Seth Brooks, Oklahoma '14, chair, Council on Advocacy


As we begin 2014, the Council on Advocacy welcomes the opportunity to serve you on the legislative front. We're committed to ensuring ASDA members are informed and represented on the issues that impact their profession.


With the exception of Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas, all state legislatures will be in session in 2014. Chapter legislative liaisons should expect active debates on a broad range of issues. We encourage you to talk to your faculty and classmates, connect with your state dental association and get informed.


In the last Message from the Chair, I challenged you to help mobilize your chapter on advocacy initiatives. Now that we're nearly halfway through the 2013-14 year, it's a good time to reflect on your progress. Is your chapter prepared for the 2014 legislative session? The Council on Advocacy is in place to help your chapter succeed. Talk to your legislative coordinators and let them know what challenges your chapter is facing. The council will make it a priority to help address your needs.


We wish you and your chapters all the best this year. We hope to see you in February for Annual Session and in April for National Dental Student Lobby Day.

From Washington

Federal Trade Commission submits comments to CODA     

On Dec. 2, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) submitted comments to the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) regarding CODA's proposed Accreditation Standards for Dental Therapy Education Programs. The comments state that the proposed accreditation standards may encourage the development of a nationwide dental therapy profession that could improve access to, and enhance competition for, dental care services, but unnecessary language on supervision and scope of practice could undermine that goal. The comment suggests that CODA consider omitting such language. The comments also encourage CODA to consider developing more expansive accreditation standards that would reach master's or graduate level programs, as well as the baccalaureate programs currently addressed. CODA is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the sole body to accredit dental and dental-related education programs at the post-secondary level. ASDA supports the CODA evaluation for accreditation of all programs that train dental providers to perform irreversible procedures.


Read more via the FTC press release.

Senator Sanders working to expand dental services for veterans
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is proposing a three-year pilot program that would offer dental coverage to 30,000 more veterans, regardless of whether their dental needs are related to their service. Currently, veterans above certain income levels and without serious disabilities stemming from their service do not receive care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Fewer than half of the 6.5 million veterans eligible for care at the VA also qualify for dental care. The proposal is part of a VA omnibus bill currently being discussed in the Senate. 
Millions could gain dental coverage through the Affordable Care Act

With the inclusion of pediatric oral health services as an essential benefit under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), millions of children are poised to gain dental coverage over the next five years. Some adults will also receive dental benefits as the law is implemented. The American Dental Association (ADA) estimates that 8.7 million children will receive dental coverage through the ACA, but according to a November article in  The Wall Street Journal, some experts place that number at 5 million.


December ADEA Washington Update

From the States 

Despite defeated legislation, push for MLPs in Maine continues     

In June 2013, several groups within organized dentistry worked to successfully defeat legislation that would have established the role of a dental hygiene therapist in Maine. In December 2013, Maine Speaker of the House and sponsor of the original legislation, Representative Mark Eves, authored an op-ed in the Bangor Daily News advocating for the expansion of the dental therapist model. ASDA policy states that only a dentist should perform functions such as examination, diagnosis and treatment planning; prescribing work authorizations; performing irreversible dental procedures; and prescribing drugs and/or other medications. ASDA is confident that the University of New England College of Dental Medicine (Maine's only dental school), will graduate trained dentists that will help combat barriers to care issues. ASDA will continue to monitor this issue throughout the 2014 legislative session.


Read more about barriers to care.
State licensure spotlight: Colorado   

Dr. Alex Barton, Virginia '13, 2012-13 ASDA vice president   


Thinking of making your way out west to colorful Colorado? Here is an overview of how to become a licensed dentist in this state from an ASDA alumni who recently went through it.


Each applicant must pay the $405 fee and have:

  • Completed the application for a license
    • The application requires you to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility, declare any other state dental licenses held, provide documentation of any name changes, and (if applicable) submit a National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) report of any pending or final disciplinary actions. The NPDB report would not be applicable for new grads applying for a license for the first time.
  • Graduated with a DDS or DMD degree from a CODA-accredited dental school
    • Must request and submit an official (sealed) transcript directly from your dental school as proof of graduation
  • Successfully passed NDBE Part I and Part II
    • You can either send a copy of your scores in yourself or have one sent directly from the ADA (You can request the scores from the ADA at 800-621-8099)
  • Successfully passedany state or regional testing exam and provided proof of passing the exam
    • SRTA, NERB, CITA (All ADEX) - the periodontal component of the exam is mandatory for licensure in Colorado
    • CRDTS (Colorado is a CRDTS member state)
    • WREB 
    • Any individual state exam (Delaware, Virgin Islands)
  • Pass the Jurisprudence exam with at least 70 percent and submit results to the state of Colorado
  • Provide proof of malpractice insurance (don't forget about your Med Pro discount with ASDA membership)
  • Complete an online health care professions profile for the state of Colorado  
Read more about these requirements and Dr. Barton's path to licensure in Colorado.

Final call for State Lobby Day Grant applications: 4 days left

The State Lobby Day Grant helps ASDA chapters participate in state lobby day events. The more students involved in a lobby day, the more likely legislators will listen to our concerns. The grant can provide a maximum of $500 per chapter, up to six chapters. The Council on Advocacy will judge applications based on information provided about the event's execution, funding sources and budgetary requirements. Applications are available online and are due by Jan. 6, 2014. Please contact Andrew Smith, governance and advocacy manager, with questions.  

Andrew Smith, governance and advocacy manager
ASmith@ASDAnet.org | 312-440-2795
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