By Jennifer Goodrum, CDA Director of Government Relations
From the Winter 2017 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association
In 2017, budget issues will continue to be a hot topic for Colorado, as state spending continues to be heavily constrained by TABOR. Federal policy changes, especially those that impact funding for federally financed programs like Medicare, Medicaid, CHP+ and the state healthcare exchange, may play a big role in state budget conversations in 2017. The CDA will work hard to preserve the great strides we have made with the dental aspects of these programs, especially Medicaid, in recent years.
Health insurance reform is expected to be a big conversation at the state Capitol this year as health costs continue to rise. Healthcare providers plan to pursue initiatives to address patient choice of providers, investigation of complaints against insurers and perhaps payments to out-of-network providers. Alongside this broader conversation, the CDA plans to pursue a bill to address dental plan policies that set fees for non-covered dental services. The CDA is also engaged with a number of conversations with the state Division of Insurance about dental plan practices that do not serve the best interest of patients, including the design of pediatric deductibles in some embedded dental plans.
Finally, the CDA has worked with the Colorado Dental Hygienists’ Association on a bill that will make technical cleanups to parts of the Dental Practice Act. The bill will make technical changes to fix inaccurate terminology on dental hygiene prescribing, problematic language on lasers and address a statutory citation error with regard to interim therapeutic restorations. With exception of a provision to address emergency protocols for dental hygienists, the bill is not designed to make substantive changes to the Dental Practice Act.
As always, many other topics will arise as the state legislative session begins on Jan. 11. Broader healthcare bills are expected on topics like provider background checks and pharmaceutical price transparency, among other topics. The CDA will keep members informed on legislative issues through the 2017 session.
2017 Dentists at the Capitol Lobby Day
Don’t forget to mark your calendar and join the CDA for the 2017 Dentists at the Capitol Lobby Day:
Date: Friday, Feb. 17
Time: 8 a.m. to noon
Place: Colorado State Capitol building, 200 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80203
No prior experience is needed. The CDA will supply resources and training to those who attend the event.
Please RSVP for the CDA’s Dentists at the Capitol Lobby Day no later than Friday, Feb. 10. Your official RSVP is important as it allows us to plan for meeting space, food and transportation, in addition to creating personalized dentist/legislator packets that help make your visit easy and productive.
Your voice, as a dentist, will make a difference! Sign up to join us at the State Capitol Feb. 17!