Committee A: Budget, Business, Membership and Administrative Matters:
Every year it seems the biggest issue is passing a budget for the ADA. As with all organizations there are always hard expenses which change very little but must be addressed! This year was one of those years where not raising dues for the previous four years caught up with our Association. We have had excellent management by our board of directors and treasurer, and the House of Delegates has been diligent in evaluating what expenses to cover with reserve dollars. This year it was necessary to return to best business practices and raise dues by $22 in order to not continually dip into reserves. This passed the house overwhelmingly!
A frustrating nexus of proposed programs and existing program maintenance threatened to force on our members an assessment of $58 primarily to fund the “Find A Dentist” program. This would be on top of the $22 dues assessment. The original resolution to create the Find a Dentist gave the Board the option in the third year of the program to seek funding from membership instead of from the reserves which had been directed by resolution for the first two years.
Furthermore, under the heading of Legislative, Health, Governance and Related Matters, the Washington State Dental Association having successfully litigated an anti-trust suit against Delta Dental of Washington proposed a $2.5 million dollar increase in the State Public Affairs (SPA) program to help other states develop legislation and strategies to “Expanding Dental Benefits Advocacy in the SPA Program”. This increase in budget line item would force another $25 dollars onto dues over and above the $22 inflicting a one-year increase of $105. Needless to say, the House recognized how this would affect membership.
The Washington State Delegation “based on the testimony and taking into consideration the scope of the State Public Affairs Program…” put forward a substitute resolution which had a financial implication of only $12,000, which could be handled with the existing budget. The Adopted Resolution reads as follows:
32S-1. Resolved, that a task force be convened to develop a broad-reaching strategy for state-based dental benefits advocacy to minimize interference of dental benefit carriers into the doctor-patient relationship. This strategy should include the development of policy actions that states can include in their respective advocacy agendas and what public affairs support would be needed to ensure successful outcomes and, be it further
Resolved, that the task force be comprised of equal representation from the Board of Trustees, Council on Dental Benefits, Council on Government Affairs, at-large Delegates or Alternate Delegates of the 2018 House of Delegates, and state dental association executive directors with dental benefits advocacy experience and, be it further
Resolved, that the task force shall report its strategy recommendations to the 2019 ADA House of Delegates
Another critical issue falling under the heading of Legislative, Health, Governance and Related Matters:
Resolution 44: Passed on Consent Calendar: THE POLICY ENTITLED “STATEMENT REGARDING EMPLOYMENT OF A DENTIST”
These guidelines provide guidance for practice owners or management companies (collectively “employers”) in their working relationships with dentists associated with their practices, either as
employees or independent contractors, except for postdoctoral education programs where a resident dentist is an employee of the educational program (collectively “employees”). The purpose of these guidelines is to protect the public in the provision of safe, high-quality and cost-effective patient care. Employers and employees should recognize and honor each of the guidelines set forth in this policy statement.
GUIDELINES TO BE PUBLISHED.
This policy as written in the Background statement above is to provide written parameters of professional guidance across the nation for the benefit of our young dentists beginning employment with DSO management organizations or any other employment entity as well as the entity itself. The license to practice dentistry in any state is a privilege bestowed with the caveat of education and a commitment to the rules and regulations promulgated to protect the public. The freedom to evaluate, diagnose and treat cannot be compromised by business practices focused on profit at the expense of ethics. Ultimately, what protects the public protects the professional and the business.
Our membership is holding steady, and I hope our members are amenable to smart business practices in running an organization. Membership is a benefit and the practice of dentistry in the USA is envied throughout the world. Please approach any of your colleagues who are not members and help them understand what our professional association has done for their freedom and ability to practice. Encourage them to join the team. More members give the ADA a stronger voice and keeps the costs down and dues increases reasonable.
Respectfully submitted by the 15th District Delegates and Alternate Delegates representing the Southeast Division of the Texas Dental Association and the Capital Area Dental Society
Mark Peppard DDS
Alan Moore DDS
Lance Sanders DDS
Ensy Atarod DDS
Rhonda Stokley DDS