8 federal legislative moves affecting dentistry

There have been several pieces of legislation this year impacting dental professionals and oral health, including passed bills and proposals that have moved through Congress. 

Here are eight legislative moves so far this year: 

1. ADA President Cesar Sabates, DDS, and Executive Director Raymond Cohlmia, DDS, penned a letter to the HHS Office for Civil Rights Sept. 23 stating the possible regulatory burdens and cost of a proposed nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act on dental practices. 

2. Several dental organizations have partnered to create legislation pushing for increased licensure portability for dentists and dental hygienists. A draft is available for public comment until Sept. 30, and a finalized version is set to be released in early 2023.

3. President Joe Biden released plans in August to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt to eligible borrowers, possibly providing relief to certain dental professionals.

4. CMS proposed a rule in July that would increase the facility fee for dental surgeries performed in hospitals. If approved, the rule will take effect Jan. 1, 2023. 

5. CMS proposed paying more for dental services as part of its proposed Calendar Year 2023 Physician Fee Schedule, released July 7. 

6. The Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act, a legislation requiring insurers to cover dental and oral procedures to treat birth defects, passed the House of Representatives April 4.

7. In March, five dental organizations joined 57 other health groups asking legislators to allow the FDA to regulate synthetic nicotine products. A day after the letter was sent, lawmakers said they would grant the FDA the regulation authority in Congress' upcoming spending bill.

8. The No Surprises Act went into effect Jan. 1, requiring dentists to provide good faith estimates for the cost of care to uninsured and self-pay consumers.

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