Learn about the status of legislation introduced on Beacon Hill that would impact you, your dental practice, and the oral health of the residents of the Commonwealth.
Current Bills Filed 2023-2025
An Act Relative to Dental Insurance Assignment of Benefits | H.1124
The Massachusetts Dental Society believes that all Massachusetts residents should have access to quality oral health care, and should be able to choose the dental provider that’s best for them. To preserve patient choice, An Act relative to dental insurance assignment of benefits would require all insurance carriers to permit a covered person to direct in writing that reimbursable benefits for covered services be paid directly to the treating dentist of their choice.
Preventing Cost Shifting Within the Delivery of Dental Care
An Act relative to financial services contracts for dental benefits corporations | H.1122
This legislation, An Act relative to financial services contracts for dental benefits corporations, would prohibit carriers from contractually setting fees for services for which the carriers do not provide payment, except for services for which the carrier would have provided payment had the patient not reached a contractual limitation (i.e., frequency limitations, annual maximums, etc.).
Patients First Act
An Act further clarifying the delivery of health care | H.1123
On January 1, 2022, Governor Baker signed the Patients First Act into law. This act requires health care providers, including dental providers, to tell patients how much they will pay for planned procedures in advance of the treatment– based on the patient’s specific dental insurance plan benefits. The Department of Public Health may fine providers who fail to comply with the requirements with a penalty of up to $2,500 for each non-compliance.
In July 2022, Massachusetts passed an amendment to the law to delay enforcement of the act until January 1, 2025. In February 2023, An Act to Further Clarify the Delivery of Health Care, was introduced to amend the law to exclude "any provider licensed to practice dentistry." The MDS will continue to work the legislators to clarify this issue.
BILLS SUPPORTED BY THE MASSACHUSETTS DENTAL SOCIETY
Dental Hygienist Reciprocal Licensure
An Act relative to dental hygienist reciprocal licensure | H.3880
This legislation, An Act relative to dental hygienist reciprocal licensure, would establish a process allowing for DENTISTS licensed and practicing in another jurisdiction (including a foreign country) for at least 5 years to be licensed to practice as a dental hygienist in the Commonwealth without additional examination.
Dentist Diversion Program
An Act establishing a dentist diversion program | H.300
The Act establishing a dentist diversion program legislation had new sections added. Sections 52H and 52I to GL Chapter 112, regulating the registration of dentists and dental hygienists, by establishing a dentist diversion program; directs the Board of Registration of Dentistry (BORID) to develop and regulate the implementation of remediation programs for licensed dental professionals at risk of losing their licenses due to illness, substance use or other mental health disorders. This legislation allows use of such programs as alternatives to traditional disciplinary actions.
BILLS OPPOSED BY THE MASSACHUSETTS DENTAL SOCIETY
Ban on Public Water Fluoridation—MDS Opposes
An Act instituting a ban on fluoride supplementation of public water supplies | S.460
The Massachusetts Dental Society opposes this legislation, An Act instituting a ban on fluoride supplementation of public water supplies.
Medical Loss Ratio
Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) ensures that dental plans are more transparent and accountable to the patients they serve. This reform requires dental insurance companies to spend at least 83% of patient premium dollars on patient care. After winning a landslide victory at the ballot box in November 2022, the initiative is going through the regulatory process and will become law in January 2024.