Late last week, the proponents of the Oral Health Practitioner (OHP) agreed with many of the concerns of the MDA and relinquished their push for broad-based OHP legislation. What came out of intense negotiations will be a new mid-level dental practitioner, called a Dental Therapist, that reflect MDA membership’s demands for appropriate training, scope of practice, and supervision in an effort to alleviate some of Minnesota’s dental access issues.
While numerous circumstances led to this final outcome, several occurrences last week led to an agreement on compromise language.
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If this past week wasn’t crazy enough, during the whole time, the Health and Human Services Committee was also meeting to resolve differences between the House and Senate language. If you remember, Governor Tim Pawlenty had proposed eliminating the Critical Access Dental Provider Program, eliminating adult dental care for all program participants, and eliminating the Health Care Access fund (but not the provider tax). In addition different legislators had offered increasing the provider tax to as high as five percent and allowing the health plans to terminate dentists from the Critical Access Program.
The HHS Conference Committee wrapped up its business at 6:00 am on Sunday morning - Mothers Day! We are very pleased to report that we were extremely successful in:
The bill passed out of the full House and Senate was immediately vetoed by Governor Pawlenty. The Conference Committee is already meeting to come up with “Round 2” of an Omnibus HHS Bill. We will keep you apprised of this action.