10 Jan 2020 Legislative Updates, Week 1
HB 1067: Dental Hygienists, Nitrous Oxide, Prescriptive Supervision
HB 1067 sponsored by Representatives Dr. Denny Zent, Robin Shackleford, and cosponsored by Ed Clere and Dr. Rita Fleming, passed unanimously through the Public Health Committee last Wednesday, a great step in our collaborative approach to improving the dental team. Representative Dr. Brad Barrett commented on the IDA-IDHA joint effort, stating, “I think it’s refreshing that both entities have come together and worked this out prior to it coming to committee… its very refreshing that the stakeholders have agreed on this and brought it to us in such a nice fashion.” HB 1067 will proceed on to a House vote before making its way over to the Senate. View video of testimony
SB 41: Definition of Dentistry
The IDA is currently petitioning the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee to hear SB 41, our proposed “Definition of Dentistry” bill. Carried by Senator Merritt, the bill seeks to modify existing language with wording suggested by the ADA. Specifically, the new language would dictate that a person “practices dentistry if the person offers to diagnose, professes to diagnose, treats, or professes to treat any lesion or disease of the oral and maxillofacial region or associated and adjacent structures.” Want to help? Reach out to your Senator with this link and encourage them to hear the bill.
HB 1110: Health Workforce Student Loan Repayment Program
Representative Ethan Manning’s (R-Peru) HB 1110 would create (1) the health workforce student loan repayment program, (2) the health workforce council, and (3) the health workforce student loan repayment program fund. This initiative would be funded by increased license fees—as determined by each licensure period—and sets forth strict eligibility requirements for members of the healthcare profession. The professional licensing agency would be charged with administering the program, and the bill would simultaneously repeal the primary care physician loan forgiveness program, the mental health services development program, and the dental underserved area and minority recruitment program.
To reach out and encourage your representative to hear this bill, click here.
HB 1008: Licensure Reciprocity
Representative Martin Carbaugh has introduced a bill that would streamline the licensing process for individuals with a professional license in another locality who wish to relocate to Indiana. While generally supportive of measures that ease license portability, IDA is concerned the measure fails to address important issues for dentistry, including applicants licensed in states or countries that have lower educational or accrediting standards. The proposal is being reviewed by IDA’s Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday.
HB 1149: Dental Screenings and Services in Schools
Rep. Woody Burton has introduced a measure would require school corporations to enter into agreements with dentists who would come to each school and provide free screenings to all K-12 students. Comprehensive services would also be made available with parents responsible for cost. While the bill in well-intentioned, there is potential for a significant burden on public schools. IDA is also concerned about potential for disrupting existing dentist-patient relationships. The proposal is being reviewed by IDA’s Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday.
SB 98: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
Prior to the legislative session, a preliminary draft was released that included a proposal to allow dentists to supervise Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA). This measure has been introduced in the past and the IDA has historically asked to be removed. This bill is being heard during the 2020 Indiana Session; the IDA was successful in keeping dentists out of this controversial public policy. In a recent Senate Committee meeting, the Indiana Society of Anesthesiology objected to this bill as a major expansion of the scope of practice for a CRNA and has vehemently opposed this action.
HB 1006, SB 1, and Others
The federal government recently signed in a new law official raising the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 years of age. The State of Indiana seeks to replicate this, ensuring that Indiana citizens are protected, regardless of federal law. There have been a number of bills introduced that cover this topic, which include: increased penalties for retailers selling to underage buyers, increased charges and penalties for possession, and many other repercussions. HB 1006 sponsored by Representative Cindy Kirchhofer, Chair of the Public Health Committee, passed out of the Health Committee just yesterday. Several other bills are scheduled to be heard on this topic, and the IDA will monitor these closely—sending updates as needed. Keep an eye out for an IDA communication urging you to contact your representative about this issue in the following week.
Thank you for being an advocate for both your profession and your patients. We look forward to serving you during the 2020 session.