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2017 General Assembly Session Update

The General Assembly began their 2017 session on January 11th.  For information on the Virginia General Assembly, please click here.

Below are the specific items for which the VDA is advocating.  This is by no means an exhaustive list but some of the key items on which we will be working.  Thank you for your support!

HB1474 (Orrock) Remote Supervision for Dental Hygienists: under a new expanded definition of remote supervision, dental hygienists will be allowed to see patients in a wide variety of locations including health centers, free clinics, long-term care facilities, schools, Head Start programs and many other programs. This legislation will help increase access to dental care, particularly for patients in rural and remote locations – many who have Medicaid benefits.
ACTION ITEM: Please Vote YES on HB1474– 2017 legislation makes a modification to the original legislation to broaden the types of facilities in which a hygienist can practice under remote supervision and gives some additional protocols for a hygienist to treat medically compromised patients and those with periodontal disease. *HB1474 passed unanimously in the Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee.

Medicaid Deferred Compensation Plan: To incentivize dentists to participate in the
Medicaid program, the General Assembly passed legislation that would enable participating Medicaid dentists to deposit a portion of their reimbursed payments into tax-deferred VRS accounts. Due to budget constraints, DMAS has yet to implement the program. 
ACTION ITEM: Remind legislators that this bill passed into law and the program has yet to be implemented by DMAS.

➢ General Fund Dollars for Mission of Mission (MOM) Project:
The 2016 General Assembly approved $100,000 in each year of the biennium to make much needed capital improvements, while funding streams are less and less reliable.
ACTION ITEM: Keep $100,000 in General Funds for MOM in 2017.

Medicaid Smiles for Children Program: The General Assembly has consistently
funded this nationally recognized program that serves the children of Virginia. The dental program is an autonomous fee-for-service program that has had a tremendous impact – 62% of eligible children now receive oral health care vs. 29% when the program started.
ACTION ITEM: Do NOT cut budget funding for this program.



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