Advocacy: It's Not Just a Word Anymore

By Charles Fields posted 01-26-2015 11:08 PM


Advocacy:  It’s not just a word anymore

Changes in dentistry are occurring and your participation in the political process, or advocacy, is needed now more than ever. Insurance carrier reimbursement limitations and recent changes associated with the IRS, DEP and OSHA are pinching and penalizing dentists more than any other time in history.  Political communication and support is essential to combat and facilitate these hot issues.  Please consider helping your profession by donating time or financial support for dental advocacy.

Current items of concern are:

HB2263 – Representative Karen Boback, Ph.D., from the 117th legislative district in Northeastern Pennsylvania is introducing legislation requiring all dental insurers to assign benefits directly to providers, at the patient’s request, regardless of the provider’s participation with the insurer.

Midlevel Providers – As we see this issue spread across the country, we know that it won’t be long before the issue arrives at our doorstep. It is important to maintain a good working relationship with the governor’s administration and the legislature to ensure that patient safety is maintained.

Tuition Forgiveness Programs – Costs for dental students are rising and most will graduate with nearly $500,000 in debt. This is a huge deterrent for young people to get into the field of dentistry- especially considering that they will struggle to pay off those debts. We need effective tuition forgiveness programs that will help offset those costs and give young dentists a reason to stay in Pennsylvania.

Advocacy requires time and money to be effective and achieve “above the rim” results for our member dentists.  The climate has changed!  Encourage those that are not members to join; and if not, to please contribute to this cause.

On April 30, 2015, the PAGD will sponsor an “up close and personal” interaction with Gordon J. Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD Founder and Director of Practical Clinical Courses (PCC), Chief Executive Officer of Clinicians Report Foundation (CR), and a practicing prosthodontist in Provo, Utah.

An open forum of questions and answers will occur involving current trends and hot topics in dentistry.  Additionally, a discussion on what is happening across the country regarding dentistry, dental schools, corporate dentistry and “mid level providers.” Finally, legislators will be present from regions around Pennsylvania allowing introduction and exchange of ideas and concerns on politics and dentistry.  Please join us as we then go forward to Capitol Hill for presentation of awards to those individuals that are beneficial and influential to our profession and see legislation in action.

Please contact April Hutcheson at 717-737-4682 to reserve your seat for a breakfast buffet of food, dentistry and the latest issues  on what is occurring in dentistry for 2015.