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ADHA Supports FTC Comments to CODA on Dental Therapy

Posted on Monday, December 9, 2013

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) applauds the recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) action which provided written comments to the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) on the proposed standards for dental therapy education programs.  Last week, Ann Battrell, ADHA Executive Director; Ann Lynch, ADHA Director of Governmental Affairs; Pamela Steinbach, ADHA Director of Education and Research; and Karen Sealander, ADHA Washington Counsel with McDermott, Will & Emery met with FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.

ADHA Executive Director Ann Battrell states that,  “ADHA advocacy efforts to increase access for oral health care across the country, coupled with our efforts to expand the workforce with dental-hygiene  based mid-level oral health care providers,  provided the impetus for our ongoing communications with the FTC.  Chairwoman Ramirez is to be commended for her commitment to promote competition in the oral health care industry for the benefit of consumers.”

With recognition that Minnesota has created and developed mid-level oral health providers and noting that a number of state legislatures have legislation pending or planned to create similar programs, the FTC provided fifteen pages of written comments to CODA.  The FTC notes that the proposed dental therapy standards effectiveness may be limited by unnecessary statements on supervision, evaluation and treatment planning.  The FTC further recommended that CODA develop standards that do not effectively and unnecessarily constrain the discretion of states to determine dental therapy scope of practice and authority. A link to the full letter can be seen here.

The FTC raises concern that the draft standards do not fully address the accreditation needs in Minnesota and, as proposed, could hinder competition. 

CODA is scheduled to meet on January 30, 2014 at the ADA Offices in Chicago, IL where it is expected the Commission will have further deliberations on the proposed standards for dental therapy education programs.  

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