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2023 brings many advocacy wins for ADA

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The ADA earned a plethora of legislative and advocacy wins in 2023, from various health care bills that address the growing dental workforce shortage and dental insurance reform to advancing a compact that would allow dental practitioners to practice in states where they are not licensed.

Here are some of the ADA’s 2023 advocacy accomplishments:

  • House passes Lower Costs, More Transparency Act. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act, a health care bill that includes several provisions supported by the ADA to address shortages in the dental workforce, particularly in underserved communities.
  • HELP Committee passes Primary Care and Health Workforce Expansion Act. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted to pass the Bipartisan Primary Care and Health Workforce Act, which includes funding extensions for ADA supported programs including the State Oral Health Workforce Improvement Grant Program, Community Health Center Fund, the National Health Service Corps, and the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program.
  • House Energy and Commerce Committee advances the Action for Dental Health Act. The Committee voted 50-0 to reauthorize the ADH program, which would direct funding to state and local organizations through a Health Resources and Services Administration oral health workforce grant program, through 2028.
  • Congress introduces DOC Access Act. Both the Senate and House of Representatives introduced the Dental and Optometric Care Access Act, which would prohibit noncovered services provisions in dental and vision plans. Led by the ADA, a coalition of a dozen dental organizations thanked legislators May 15 for introducing the bipartisan bills. 
  • Legislative Summit on Dental and Dental Hygienist Compact takes place. The ADA, Council of State Governments and Department of Defense hosted a summit Sept. 12 to answer questions and provide information related to the Dental and Dental Hygienist Compact. The compact provides a legal pathway for dental practitioners to practice in states where they are not licensed.
  • Senate holds first hearing on oral health in a decade. The U.S. Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Health Care held a hearing entitled “Oral Health Crisis: Identifying and Addressing Health Disparities,” featuring testimony by Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., ADA chief economist and vice president of the ADA Health Policy Institute. Dr. Vujicic’s testimony focused on the state of oral health in the U.S., the country’s policy choices and evidence-based considerations moving forward.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services releases final rule on payments for hospital outpatient and ambulatory surgical centers. The new payment schedule for facility fees in the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Ambulatory Surgical Centers Payments featured significant reimbursement increases for dental rehabilitation code G0330.  
  • National Children’s Dental Health Month celebrated in Congress. Members of the Oral Health Caucus in Congress sent a letter to every member of Congress recognizing National Children’s Dental Health Month in February. The letter urged lawmakers to make children’s dental health a priority, and the caucus offered their full endorsement of the celebration, thanking ADA volunteers for continuing to advocate for children’s oral health.
  • House and Senate reintroduce REDI Act. The ADA, along with the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, has co-led on the Resident Education Deferred Interest Act and expanded a coalition of other organization to advocate for the bill’s passage. 
  • Dentists and dental students advocate during ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day. The ADA hosted its annual Capitol Hill fly-in, with more than 700 attendees participating in the three-day event. Dentists, dental students and oral health professionals discussed legislative issues important to dentists and their patients.
  • Congress introduces Dental Care for Our Troops Act. The ADA sent a letter of support to Rep. Andy Kim, D-NJ, for introducing the Dental Care for Our Troops Act, which would provide access to TRICARE dental coverage at no cost to servicemembers and their families who have inconsistent dental coverage.
  • Congress amends VET CARE Act. The ADA worked with Congressional staff to amend the Veterans Early Treatment for Chronic Ailment Resurgence through Examinations Act, which would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs to offer dental care to veterans with Type-2 diabetes.
  • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force publishes final oral health recommendations. These include recommendations about the value of oral health screenings in nondental settings for children and adults, aligning with the ADA’s comments earlier this year. 

To see a list of more of the Association’s accomplishments, visit ADA.org/Advocacy.


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