Minnesota News - Sept-Oct 2010

Minnesota News - Sept-Oct 2010

The Editors:
At the Minnesota Dental Association’s 2010 House of Delegates this September, President-Elect Mike Zakula, left, welcomed some very special guests. Dr. Raymond Gist, center, is the president-elect of the American Dental Association. Dr. Lee Jess, right, i

Summary of Actions of the 2010 MDA House of Delegates

2010 Adopted Resolutions
The Minnesota Dental Association's 2010 House of Delegates meeting, held September 23-25 at the Hilton Airport Hotel in Bloomington, adopted the following resolutions:
Third-Party Payer Audits: Directed the MDA to continue to seek legislation in 2011 that will require third-party payers to provide a fair process to providers who are being audited.

Non-Covered Services: Directed the MDA to continue to seek legislation which prohibits third-party dental payers from mandating that dentists take "write-downs" for the work that they perform on patients and which is not benefitted under the terms of the employers' or individuals' dental benefits plan.

Fair Contracting Requirements: Directed the MDA to examine the possibility of legislation during the 2011 legislative session that would address: requiring a contract renewal by the third-party payer and the contracted provider on a timely basis whenever a contract or other incorporated documents are materially altered; prohibiting the one-sided assignment of contracts by one third-party payer in favor of its affiliates; and repealing and/or modifying Minnesota Statutes section 62Q.735, subd. 1(c), thus requiring that a dental plan organization must disclose maximum allowable fees to its providers.

Excess Reserves and Surplus: Directed the MDA to attempt to work with other organizations to propose legislation that will fund and conduct a study that will allow the legislature to evaluate whether third-party payers require the levels of capital and reserves presently allowed under Minnesota law and to evaluate whether smaller reserves and surpluses would be desirable.

Critical Access Dental Reimbursement Program: Directed the MDA to seek legislation in 2011 to amend the critical access dental provider reimbursement statutes to allow both for-profit and non-profit dental providers to participate in the program to ensure most available access for Minnesota's public program patients, and to increase funding of this vital safety net program to ensure that providers remain in the program.

Special Care Dentistry Act for Minnesota: Directed the MDA to actively seek legislation to ensure dental services and fees provided to vulnerable populations be equal to those of children; that public assistance dental benefits cover age-appropriate services for those populations; and to define the term "oral health services”.

Adult Dental Benefit Set: Directed the MDA to consider 2011 legislation for the restoration of dental benefits for adults on public programs in Minnesota.

Clarify Dental Therapist Law: Directed the MDA to develop legislation for 2011 to clarify elements of the dental therapist law that are currently unresolved.

Defining Teledentistry: Directed the MDA to work with the Board of Dentistry to create 2011 legislation to change the Minnesota Dental Practice Act to define and regulate the practice of teledentistry.

Definition of Dental Home: Directed the MDA to adopt the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists' definition of "dental home" as its own. The AAPD defines dental home as the "ongoing relationship between the dentist and the patient, inclusive of all aspects of oral health care delivered in a comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated, and family-centered way. Establishment of a dental home begins no later than 12 months of age and includes referral to dental specialists when appropriate."

Definition of Dental Access: Directed the MDA to put a policy in place that supports the use of terminology that would substitute the phrase "barrier to care" rather than "access to care" in all MDA communications when addressing issues associated with restrictions or limitations to individuals seeking dental care and to clarify specifically which "dental care barrier" is being referred to. This resolution should also be brought to the 2010 ADA House of Delegates.

Eliminating Radiology Inspections: Directed the MDA to endorse legislation to eliminate radiation inspections by the Minnesota Health Department except in the case where appropriate written records and evidence of the biennial (24 month) inspection and calibration of sources of ionizing radiation have not been submitted to the Minnesota Department of Health, with an appropriate reduction in fees.

Mission of Mercy: Directed the MDA to explore and develop a Mission of Mercy Project Proposal. The proposal should include public relations, financial, and logistical outlines for implementation.

Staggering Terms: Directed the MDA Constitution and Bylaws Chapter VI, section 4, be amended to stagger the terms of Treasurer and Speaker of the House and that the current Speaker of the House's second term be extended one (1) additional year to the House of Delegates 2011 in order to create the stagger of officer turnover.

Committee Member Roles: Directed the MDA to adopt amendments to the Bylaws of the Association and make recommended changes to Chapter V, Section 1; Chapter VI, Section 7 and Section 8; and Chapter XI, Section 1 and Section 2 regarding election of officers, duties of officers, and rules of order.

House of Delegates to be Held in Twin Cities: Directed the MDA to rescind the 1989 resolution on Selection of Meeting Sites and replace it by allowing all of its annual House of Delegates Meetings to be held alternately between the Twin Cities and the five outstate districts.

Digest of Policies: Directed the MDA to amend its Digest of Policies by adopting the recommended changes as indicated in the text of the original resolution.

Substance Abusers Seeking Prescriptions: Directed the MDA Board of Trustees or president to assign the appropriate committee and staff responsibility to inform members of available resources in dealing with prescription narcotics abuse and upcoming changes regarding prescribing of narcotics and other pharmaceutical drugs.

Tobacco "Call It Quits" Program: Directed the MDA to explore new avenues and promote current programs that increase dental involvement in tobacco cessation.

Dental Outreach Planning: Directed the MDA to identify and consider a variety of ways in which the dental community can better help patients overcome barriers to oral health care.

MDA immediate past-president Bruce Templeton, right, enjoyed one of the best presidential moments when he presented the President’s Award for extraordinary service to the Association and the profession to Robert Gardetto.


Election of Officers
The official election of officers, delegates, and special appointees was also conducted during the annual meeting.
Drs. Joan Sheppard and Bruce Bates were selected to be recommended to the Governor for appointment to the Minnesota Board of Dentistry.
Drs. Timothy J. Flor, Michael T. Flynn, and Michael J. Perpich were elected to three-year terms as delegates to the American Dental Association House of Delegates effective with the 2011 ADA Annual Session.
Drs. Patrick Lloyd, Kim Rauk, Mark Jurkovich, and Michelle Bergsrud were elected to one-year terms as alternate delegates to the American Dental Association 2011 Annual Session.
Dr. Mark Jurkovich was elected to a one-year term as an alternate delegate to the American Dental Association 2010 Annual Session.
Dr. John Lueth was elected as Northwestern District trustee, to fill the expiring second term of Dr. Roger Sjulson.
Dr. Matt Vaillant was elected as Southeastern District trustee, to fill the expiring term of Dr. Chris Carroll.
Mr. Adam Swingdorf was elected as Student District trustee for a one-year term beginning April 1, 2011.

New MDA officers and trustees were elected and installed, including: Dr. Tim Flor as president, Dr. Mike Zakula as president-elect, Dr. Mike Flynn as first vice-president, Dr. Mike Perpich as second vice-president, Dr. Michelle Bergsrud as treasurer, and Dr. Mike Kurkowski as Speaker of the House.

Awards and Recognitions
The House of Delegates is a traditional time to provide recognition to those whose terms have expired or who have served the Association and the profession in a special way during the previous year.

Dr. Bruce Templeton presented Certificates of Appreciation to Dr. Roger Sjulson (Northwestern District) and Dr. Chris Carroll (Southeastern District) for their service as trustees and Dr. Todd Tsuchiya for his service as treasurer of the MDA. He announced that Mike Lee received a certificate of appreciation at the School of Dentistry Honor’s Day in May for his service as a Student District trustee.
Dr. Bruce Templeton was presented with the Past President's Award from the ADA, a Certificate of Appreciation from the MDA, and the MDA Past President's pin.
Dr. Robert Gardetto was presented with the President's Award by Dr. Bruce Templeton for his extraordinary service to the Association and the profession.
Senator Yvonne Prettner Solon was presented the Legislator of the Year Award for sponsoring several pieces of pro-dentistry legislation, including an amendment to ensure the Board of Dentistry’s continued regulation of dental therapist education.
Dr. Rick Nolting was presented with a Recognition for Legislative Achievement Award for his legislative initiative regarding immunity for organizations assisting with disaster response in Minnesota.
The Saint Paul District was presented with the 2010 Star of the North District Attendance Award for the greatest increase in attendance.
The Southern District was presented with the 2010 Highest Membership Retention Award, and the Northwestern District was presented with the Highest Membership Marketshare Increase Award.
Dawn Jensen was presented with the 2010 Outstanding Dedication and Service to Dental Students and Organized Dentistry Award by the American Student Dental Association for her service and commitment to dental students.

The next House of Delegates meeting has been set for September 16-17, 2011 and will be held in Duluth.


The work of the House proceeded through a variety of resolutions addressing the challenges facing the Association’s members, including third party, legislative, and many other patient and practice related issues.

Delegates reviewed resolutions in roundtable discussions prior to the Open Reference Committee Hearings. Jon Moren, left, and Dan Rose tackle the material for consideration.