Advocate for policies that improve individual’s access to oral health care.  As dental hygienists we need to partner with our patients in supporting and maintaining their oral health through advocating for expanded practice, increased Medicaid coverage, and by increasing reimbursement for services by direct providers of dental hygiene services.
Capitol News Final Legislative Report March 12, 2018 Melissa Johnson, WDHA Lobbyist The Legislature adjourned “sine die” last Thursday night. This is the first time in four years that a special session was not needed to finish the Legislature’s work. On the final day of the session, the House and Senate passed the operating supplemental budget, along with bills on the use of deadly force by law enforcement, and K-12 school funding. The final supplemental operating budget includes $776 million to fully fund K-12 education. The budget also includes $48 million for Western State Hospital, and $15 million for addressing the opioid crisis. Lawmakers also passed a $400 million property tax cut for 2019. WDHA priority legislation HB 1364/SB 5224: Dental Therapy DIED ·     HB 1364 and SB 5224 were introduced in the 2017 legislative session. ·     With the short, 60-day session and the Legislature focused on other health care issues, namely mental health and the opioid epidemic, no legislative action was taken on these bills during the 2018 session. ·     However, WDHA used our lobby day this year to continue to advocate and educate legislators on how dental therapists can help address access to oral health care. SB 6549: Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) PASSED ·     SB 6549 passed the Legislature and has been delivered to the Governor. ·     SB 6549 expands the ABCD program to serve children with disabilities. ·     WDHA successfully amended this bill to include dental hygienists. HB 1316: Fair Dental Insurance Practices DIED ·     HB 1316 was introduced in the 2017 session. It was brought forward again in 2018 and passed the House of Representatives. It died in the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee. ·     Applies statutes related to utilization review programs and retrospective denial of coverage to dental plans. ·     Prohibits dental plans from subjecting a provider to additional oversight because the provider files an appeal on behalf of a patient. HB 2502: Explanation of Benefits for Dental Plans DIED ·     HB 2502 was passed the House Health Care & Wellness Committee, but died in the House Rules Committee. ·     It requires a health carrier offering a dental only plan to annually submit to the Insurance Commissioner the explanation of benefits form the carrier plans to use for the dental only plan for the subsequent plan year. ·     The bill exempts a fully capitated dental plan from the provisions of the bill. SB 6163 Telemedicine Collaborative PASSED ·     SB 6163 passed the Legislature and has been delivered to the Governor. ·     This bill extends the life of the Telemedicine Collaborative to December 31, 2021. Retiring legislators Several legislators have announced that they are not seeking re-election in the fall. These include Senator Michael Baumgartner, Representative Ruth Kagi, Representative Judy Clibborn, Representative Larry Haler, Representative Jay Rodne, Representative Melanie Stambaugh, Representative Dan Kristiansen, Representative Terry Nealey, and Representative Liz Pike.
 Advocate for policies that improve individual’s access to oral health care.  As dental hygienists we need to partner with our patients in supporting and maintaining their oral health through advocating for expanded practice, increased Medicaid coverage, and by increasing reimbursement for services by direct providers of dental hygiene services.
Capitol News Final Legislative Report March 12, 2018 Melissa Johnson, WDHA Lobbyist The Legislature adjourned “sine die” last Thursday night. This is the first time in four years that a special session was not needed to finish the Legislature’s work. On the final day of the session, the House and Senate passed the operating supplemental budget, along with bills on the use of deadly force by law enforcement, and K-12 school funding. The final supplemental operating budget includes $776 million to fully fund K-12 education. The budget also includes $48 million for Western State Hospital, and $15 million for addressing the opioid crisis. Lawmakers also passed a $400 million property tax cut for 2019. WDHA priority legislation HB 1364/SB 5224: Dental Therapy DIED ·     HB 1364 and SB 5224 were introduced in the 2017 legislative session. ·     With the short, 60-day session and the Legislature focused on other health care issues, namely mental health and the opioid epidemic, no legislative action was taken on these bills during the 2018 session. ·     However, WDHA used our lobby day this year to continue to advocate and educate legislators on how dental therapists can help address access to oral health care. SB 6549: Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) PASSED ·     SB 6549 passed the Legislature and has been delivered to the Governor. ·     SB 6549 expands the ABCD program to serve children with disabilities. ·     WDHA successfully amended this bill to include dental hygienists. HB 1316: Fair Dental Insurance Practices DIED ·     HB 1316 was introduced in the 2017 session. It was brought forward again in 2018 and passed the House of Representatives. It died in the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee. ·     Applies statutes related to utilization review programs and retrospective denial of coverage to dental plans. ·     Prohibits dental plans from subjecting a provider to additional oversight because the provider files an appeal on behalf of a patient. HB 2502: Explanation of Benefits for Dental Plans DIED ·     HB 2502 was passed the House Health Care & Wellness Committee, but died in the House Rules Committee. ·     It requires a health carrier offering a dental only plan to annually submit to the Insurance Commissioner the explanation of benefits form the carrier plans to use for the dental only plan for the subsequent plan year. ·     The bill exempts a fully capitated dental plan from the provisions of the bill. SB 6163 Telemedicine Collaborative PASSED ·     SB 6163 passed the Legislature and has been delivered to the Governor. ·     This bill extends the life of the Telemedicine Collaborative to December 31, 2021. Retiring legislators Several legislators have announced that they are not seeking re-election in the fall. These include Senator Michael Baumgartner, Representative Ruth Kagi, Representative Judy Clibborn, Representative Larry Haler, Representative Jay Rodne, Representative Melanie Stambaugh, Representative Dan Kristiansen, Representative Terry Nealey, and Representative Liz Pike.
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