After more than 200 dentists and dental students joined together in Richmond to advocate for these changes, three key VDA-supported pieces of legislation have advanced in the General Assembly.
Safe Haven for Dentists and Dental Hygienists to Seek Treatment for Mental Health Challenges
Senate Bill 629, sponsored by Senator Todd Pillion DDS, adds dentists and dental hygienists to the list of providers who are immune from civil liability for any act done or made in performance of his duties while serving as a member of or consultant to an entity that functions primarily to review, evaluate, or make recommendations on a professional program to address issues related to career fatigue and wellness in health care professionals. It passed in the Health Professions subcommittee Friday, Jan. 19 and is expected to be heard soon before the full committee.
Dental Insurance Transparency
Senate Bill 257, sponsored by Senator Scott Surovell, requires dental insurance carriers in Virginia to report the ratio of premium dollars they take in to dollars spent on actual patient care. The bill also requires the Commission to convene a work group of interested stakeholders to determine if any revisions are necessary to the Code of Virginia regarding ethics and fairness in dental carrier business practices and of health care providers of dental services. The bill was heard and passed in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee Monday, Jan. 22.
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Dental and Dental Hygienist Interstate Licensure Compact
Senate Bill 22, sponsored by Senator Mamie Locke, authorizes Virginia to become a signatory to the Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact. The bill would establish a process for Virginia to join an interstate compact allowing for dentists and dental hygienists to have one additional predictable pathway to practice across state lines by applying for a compact privilege. It passed in the Health Professions subcommittee Friday, Jan. 19 and is expected to be heard soon before the full committee. Learn more: FAQs on the compact