30 Apr 2021 Legislative Session Wrap Up
The Indiana General Assembly recessed last week after introducing 1,011 bills and enacting 220 (22 percent). The legislature sent a $37.4 billion two-year balanced budget ($900M for future infrastructure projects, $500M for regional grants, $250M for broadband, $60M for small business restart grants, $32.7M for 21st Century Research and Technology Fund), expansion of telehealth, police reforms, and civil immunity related to COVID-19 to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk.
Congratulations to Dr. Steve Holm and the IDA Governmental Affairs Committee on the successful passage of IDA-backed bill House Enrolled Act 1079. The bill updates the definition of dentistry, allows dentists the option to administer vaccines, and requires third party payers to disclose any transaction fees associated with a virtual credit card reimbursement and offer an alternative method if requested.
The General Assembly’s work is not yet complete! As census data from the U.S. Census Bureau begins to pour in, legislators will soon be called back to the Statehouse to redraw state and federal legislative districts. This “redrawing of the maps” takes place every 10 years following a census.
This legislative session was certainly a strange one. The COVID-19 pandemic made us all re-imagine how public policy is crafted. In the end, the legislature finished their official business early while successfully avoiding a “super spreader” catastrophe.
Thank you to all of our membership who took the time to contact their legislators to help ensure smooth passage of HEA1079!
Notable IDA-Supported Legislation
House Enrolled Act 1079: Definition of Dentistry/Vaccines/Virtual Claims
Signed by the Governor (4/8/2021)
HEA1079 allows Indiana dentists the option to administer a wide variety of vaccines to patients 11 and older for a variety of conditions, including COVID-19. The bill also modernizes Indiana’s definition of dentistry, limiting liability risk by lessening the chance a dentist practicing within standards of care could be charged with providing treatment outside of his or her legal scope of practice.
Lastly, HEA1079 requires third parties to disclose of any transaction fees associated with a virtual credit card reimbursement and offer an alternative method if requested.
Senate Enrolled Act 1: Civil Immunity Related to COVID-19
Signed by the Governor (2/18/2021)
SEA 1 provides retroactive civil immunity to businesses, schools, churches, not-for-profit organizations and individuals for damages if someone is exposed to COVID-19 on their property or during an activity they organized.
Providing liability protection was a priority of Governor Holcomb as businesses — especially local small businesses — fight to remain open and keep people employed during this pandemic.
The law is retroactive to March 1, 2020, and helps protect Hoosier businesses against frivolous lawsuits.
Senate Enrolled Act 3: Telehealth Matters
Signed by the Governor (4/20/2021)
SB 3 codified many of the expansions in telehealth implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure all Hoosiers have access to the health care they need regardless of where they live.
This legislation puts legal safeguards in place for Hoosiers receiving virtual care and requires telehealth medical records to be created and maintained under the same standards of practice for patients in an in-person setting. The bill also expands the application of the telehealth statute to include more licensed practitioners and specify the various activities that would qualify as health care services under telehealth law.
Legislation Opposed by the IDA
Senate Bill 330: Dental Therapists
Status: Author pulled bill at the request of the IDA
The IDA was able to work with SB 330 bill author Sen. Ron Grooms to have this bill pulled during session. Experimental dental therapy programs in the U.S. have failed to significantly improve access to care. Though well-intentioned, it is a flawed concept that puts an extra step between the underserved populations and a dentist by creating a two-tiered, class-based system of care.
All Hoosiers, regardless of socioeconomic status, deserve quality dental care from the highest trained professionals. We look forward to working with Sen. Grooms and other members of the Indiana General Assembly to improve access to care for all.
Always your eyes and ears at the statehouse, the IDA will always advocate on behalf of dentistry in Indiana.
If you are not already a Contact Dentist, we can use your help, especially if you have an existing relationship with your legislator, or are willing to establish one.
If you have questions or concerns, contact IDA Director of Government Affairs Shane Springer at the email link below or by phone at 317-634-2610.
Contact IDA Director of Government Affairs Shane Springer