What is on the VDA’s agenda this year? At our request, a bill is being introduced that would define teledentistry HB165 (Delegate Patrick Hope) and SB122 (Senator George Barker). We are asking legislators to support marketplace innovation, better access and, most importantly, secure patient privacy and safety.
The VDA Board of Directors approved the Council on Government Affairs’ recommendation to pursue legislation to be introduced in the 2020 VA General Assembly that will address the fact that Virginia currently has no statutory definition of teledentistry.
The Virginia Board of Dentistry (BoD) does refer to teledentistry in a guidance document to mean teledentistry services “pertains to the delivery of dental services, means the use of electronic technology or media, including interactive audio or video for the purpose of diagnosing or treating a patient or consulting with other healthcare providers regarding a patients diagnosis or treatment (Virginia BoD guidance document 60-23 adopted 12/11/2015). The legislation that we are recommending tracks the definition of telemedicine – VA Code: 38.2-314.
The pace of innovation in oral health care has hastened over the last several years and there is currently no teledentistry statute. This bill mirrors the 2010 telemedicine legislation in terms of encouraging technological innovation while protecting the welfare of patients.
This legislation is designed to establish patient protection. Some dentists working under a teledentistry platform seem to have been granted statutory relief since Virginia lacks regulations governing teledentistry. The results:
- A patient never meets the dentist providing treatment in-person and, therefore, a dentist-patient relationship is never established.
- The patient never receives an in-person oral exam, oral cancer screening or radiographs.
- There are no detailed record keeping requirements, electronic privacy safeguards, diagnosis or informed consent protocol for teledentistry.
- Patient seems to agree to arbitration and may waive some of their traditional consumer remedies.
You can make an impact!
- REGISTER to attend the VDA Lobby Day and Legislation Reception January 16-17!
- Use our Action Center tool to Email, tweet or call your legislators. It's EASY!
More Information on Advocating in Virginia
A helpful "Citizens Guide" can be found online at https://www.vpap.org/general-assembly/citizens-guide/
We look forward to seeing and hearing from you as we work together towards a positive result through the 60-day General Assembly session. Thank you for being a part of this important effort!
Questions? Contact Laura Givens at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-523-2185.