On Sept. 29, 2017, 17 lawmakers led by Congressman and dentist, Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA), sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asking that the agency remove regulations that “specifically and adversely impact dentists and their patients.” Fellow dentists Mike Simpson (R-ID), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and Brian Babin (R-TX) also signed onto the letter.
Among the regulations the lawmakers asked HHS to reconsider are:
- The rule requiring dentists to enroll in Medicare in order to treat patients who receive Medicare services from other providers;
- The final rule requiring providers or suppliers that furnish health care items or services to enrollees receiving their Medicare benefits through Medicare Advantage organizations to be enrolled in Medicare; and
- The final rule on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act in which “providers continue to report great difficulty ascertaining compliance with the rule as implemented.” In the letter, the lawmakers urge the agency to “reconsider whether the regulation, and the associated compliance burden, are necessary to implement the statue, as well as the feasibility of applying a small business exception to the current rule.”
Impact on General Dentistry: The AGD commends its dentist allies in Congress, as well as the other 13 Representatives who signed on to the letter, for advocating on behalf of dentists and their patients.