California bill to regulate teledentistry companies
On Jan. 27, Assembly member Evan Low introduced the Dental Practice Act. The bill would require patients to see a dentist before purchasing aligners or other dental products online. California has already taken steps to regulate teledentistry practices. In September 2019, it became the first state to require x-rays to be taken before patients could undergo treatment from direct to consumer companies.
Why is this important? As listed in ASDA's H-9 policy, the association, in accordance with ADA policy, strongly discourages the practice of Direct to Consumer Dental Laboratory services because of the potential for irreversible harm to patients. Requiring a patient to be seen in-person by a dentist prior to purchasing products online could reduce the potential risks to patients.
Washington bills aim to reduce barriers to care for children
The Access to Baby and Child Dentistry Program (ABCD) works with the
University of Washington School of Dentistry to offer increased fees to providers that give care to Medicaid eligible children under the age of six.
HB 2905 would direct the program to create a formula to increase children under two receiving care and reduce ethic and racial disparities in the children currently receiving care in the program.
SB 5976 aims to expand the program to include coverage for children with disabilities up to 13 years old. While a similar bill was adopted in 2018, the way it was written made it challenging to receive approval from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This bill hopes to address that issue.
Why is this important? While children in Medicaid are covered to receive dental care, it can still be challenging for those children to receive the care that they need. These bills attempt to reduce those barriers.