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House focuses on budget, regulatory issues

7/30/2012

This year’s IDA House of Delegates discussed and voted on 45 policy resolutions submitted by various members, councils and task forces.
 
“The driving issue at this year’s House was finances,” according to IDA Executive Director Doug Bush.”
 
Bush further explained that projected income is down, primarily as a result of commission cuts to the IDA’s for-profit subsidiary, IDA Insurance Services, Inc. Federal legislation (the Affordable Care Act) required insurance companies to reduce expenses, and most responded by cutting the commissions they pay to the brokers who sell their products.
 
The reduction in non-dues revenue forced the House consider a dues increase. Ultimately, the House approved raising 2013 dues from $400 to $460. Additionally, the IDA’s chief policymaking body assigned a one-time assessment for full-dues paying members to balance the 2012-13 budget. The last dues increase for IDA members was in 2010.
 
The House also focused on a series of resolutions proposed by the Task Force to Review the Dental Practice Act. The Task Force recommended more than 20 changes to the Indiana Dental Practice Act or Administrative Code of the Indiana State Board of Dentistry. 
 
“Most of the Task Force recommendations were to clear up ambiguities in the existing law,” Bush said.
Other resolutions proposed more significant changes. The House approved a proposal to change the definition of what it means to practice dentistry. The House also debated, and ultimately referred, a resolution to grant the Indiana State Board of Dentistry authority to regulate corporately owned dental practices. The resolution came in response to the failure of Allcare Dental, a dental chain that abruptly closed its offices in January 2011, prompting hundreds of complaints to the Indiana Attorney General’s office. 
 
“There was consensus that enhanced regulations are needed, since the corporate practice model did not exist when the Dental Practice Act was written,” Bush said. “The House was unable to develop the specific regulatory language, so it voted to give the issue additional research. The Council on Governmental Affairs will be working with legal counsel to develop new regulations that provide safeguards to the public, without placing an undue burden on the traditional dental practice models.” 
IDA members may view minutes of the House of Delegates online at www.INDental.org/HOD.
 
Changes in IDA Leadership for 2012-2013
 
Dr. John R. Roberts, a general dentist practicing in Connersville, became the IDA’s 154th president at the 2012 House of Delegates meeting, held in conjunction with the Annual Session. Dr. Desiree Dimond, Indianapolis, advanced to President-Elect; Dr. Steven J. Holm, Portage, retired as Speaker of the House and assumed the office of Vice-President; Dr. Chad R. Leighty, Marion, was elected 2013-14 Vice-President; and Dr. Jill Burns, Richmond,  assumed the role of Vice-Speaker. Dr. Jeffrey Platt, Indianapolis, became Speaker of the House. All officers ran unopposed.

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