Legislative Updates

General Assembly Considers IDA Legislative Package Proposals, Moves on Opioid Measures

01/19/2018 The Indiana General Assembly is off to a quick pace. Two IDA-supported bills have already received legislative committee hearings:

Rep Denny Zent and Doug Bush
State Representative (and IDA member) Dr. Denny Zent, IDA Executive Director Doug Bush and Director of Governmental Affairs Ed Popcheff testified in support of HB 1049 during a committee meeting held January 10. Dr. Zent and Doug Bush are pictured above.

HB 1049, authored by Rep. Denny Zent, would require dental insurance companies to annually report their claims loss ratios to the Indiana State Department of Insurance, and for the Department of Insurance to make the information available to the public. IDA testified that the requirement could be a helpful tool to employers, allowing them to assess if insurance companies were making efficient use of the employer’s premium dollars. The House Insurance Committee listened to testimony, but as of yet has taken no action on the bill.

HB 1116, authored by Reps. David Frizzell, Denny Zent and Robin Shakleford, unanimously passed out of the Public Health Committee on Wednesday. The bill, supported by both the IDA and the Indiana Dental Hygienists Association, would allow for dental hygienists to provide preventive hygiene services without the direct supervision of a dentist in non-private practice settings. The intent is to allow hygienists more flexibility in providing preventive services in public health settings. The measure passes to the floor next be considered by the full House.

SB 183, authored by Sen. Jim Merritt, would amend Indiana’s current definition of the practice of dentistry to reflect broader model language recommended by the ADA. IDA has been working to secure a hearing for this measure.

IDA is monitoring a number of other legislative initiatives affecting dentistry, many related to the opioid epidemic.

  • SB 225 would require all health care prescribers of narcotics to receive two hours of CE in opioid prescribing and opioid abuse.
  • SB 221 would phase in INSPECT participation requirements between July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2021. By 2021 all practitioners would be required to consult INSPECT prior to prescribing an opioid.
  • HB 1131 would mandate specified patient education before a health care provider could prescribe an opioid drug.

Both SB 221 and SB 225 have passed committee.

While supportive of well-intended efforts to address the opioid crisis, IDA is concerned that over regulation could have unintended consequences. We will be closely monitoring these bills and amendments. Watch for future updates.


Ready to Make an Impact?

Register Now for Dental Day at the Capitol. Indiana legislators will be making decisions on these issues and others that impact your practice. Dental Day gives you the opportunity to meet these legislators face-to-face, introduce yourself to their staff members, and share information on what matters to dentistry. This is the single most effective way for you to have an impact on the political process and advocate for Hoosier oral health.


IDA Legislative Preview 2018

The Indiana General Assembly reconvened January 3rd for the 2018 short session. Although no bills have been given numbers at this writing, the IDA will be pursuing three legislative initiatives.

Hygiene Access Agreements

Representative David Frizzell will introduce legislation creating access agreements for hygienists. If passed, this legislation will allow dentists to enter into written access agreements enabling hygienists to provide preventive services in settings other than a private dental practice. The IDA and the Indiana Dental Hygienists Association have been working collaboratively to craft this proposal.


Dental Insurance Loss Ratios

We are also pursuing legislation that will require dental insurers to report the loss ratio of insurance plans. This will make the amount of premiums vs. the clinical care paid out to patients transparent.


Definition of Dentistry

Senator Victoria Spartz will introduce legislation that will adopt the ADA standard definition of dentistry. This will be the IDA’s second attempt to adopt this language.


We will be monitoring any legislation that will impact your practice as it pertains to controlled substances prescribing. In addition, we expect an attempt to raise the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Thanks to all of you who responded to the ADA alerts on the recent tax legislation that passed in Congress. Your voice mattered. If you would like to become a contact for your state legislator or member of congress, please email Ed Popcheff at ed@indental.org.