Political Advocacy

The Illinois State Dental Society has been successful over the years in passing many pieces of legislation that directly affect dentists in their practice. They include:

  • Prohibition against clinical interference by non-dentists – Allowing clinical interference by a non-dentist is grounds for discipline under the Act.
  • Created the Dental Care Patient Protection Act – Provides for the regulation of dental managed care plans by the Department of Insurance and the Department of Public Health.
  • Expansion of Auxiliary Duties – Allowing a dental hygienist under the supervision of a dentist to administer and monitor nitrous oxide plus perform local anesthesia upon completion of a training program approved by the Department. In addition, allowing dental assistants to do coronal polishing and sealants after completing a state approved training program.
  • TMJ – After three years of intense fighting and negotiations, ISDS was able to reach an agreement on this bill requiring insurers to offer TMJ coverage as an optional benefit.
  • Dental Practice Act Sunset – ISDS was successful in extending the sunset date for the Dental Practice Act as well as making numerous technical changes and some substantive changes that will make the Act better for dentistry.
  • Tort Reform – This bill was signed into law on March 9, 1995. This bill consisted of comprehensive changes to the way civil lawsuits will proceed against health care providers. The bill featured a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages indexed to inflation for all civil lawsuits, including medical malpractice cases.
  • Service Occupation Tax requirement for dentists who deal with dental labs – This legislation allows dentists who subcontract work out to dental labs to avoid their use tax liability if: the labs have paid or will pay use tax on their cost price of any tangible personal property transferred as part of the service provided to the dentist, and if the lab certifies that fact in writing to the dentist.
  • Kid Care and Medicaid Rate Increase – The CHIP legislation that was enacted by Illinois will enable children to receive additional health care benefits. ISDS worked to educate the General Assembly on the problems of lack of access due to the terrible level of reimbursement that is not paid to dentists in the children’s Medicaid program. ISDS worked with the Governor’s task force liaison and the Department of Public Aid to increase the table of allowance rates paid to dentists.

What can’t be listed are all the hundreds of bills that have been introduced that would erode the practice of dentistry and your profession. Becoming a part of organized dentistry is your way of ensuring that you have a voice when laws or regulations are introduced that could have a major impact on your livelihood.

Advocacy contains information that assists members with legal, regulatory, legislative and political areas of dentistry. ISDS is a strong and effective voice in state and local politics.  DENT-IL-PAC, the political action committee of the Illinois State Dental Society, allows dentists to collectively contribute to the campaigns of candidates it supports.

To join DENT-IL-PAC , click here.


Sources:  http://www.isds.org/membership/howToJoin/why_Dentist.asp,   http://www.isds.org/Related/AdvocacyAndCoalition.asp