NYSSO Board Meeting Update
October 20, 2023
Dr. Michael Malsch
The legislative committee is diligently working on behalf of our membership, to improve the labor shortage and the hurdles to licensure for dental assistants. They have provided extensive data to NYSDA and the New York State Dental Board to validate this concern as well as possible solutions. The committee proposed a resolution to extend the length of a Partial Dental Assisting Permit, and this was pending further evaluation by NYSDA.
This committee is currently utilizing an AAO lobbyist to meet with New York State Legislators to encourage the recognition of Licensed Orthodontic Assistants in efforts to help alleviate the labor shortage. They are hoping to be ready to proceed with this at the next NYS Legislative Session in January 2024.
Medicaid / Insurance Update:
The Medicaid / Insurance Committee reported that there has been an overall decrease in the orthodontic insurance reimbursement, thereby negatively affecting the provider’s income. Although there has been an increase in reimbursements for Medicaid, this has not be adopted by the managed care companies that cover the majority of the orthodontic patients in NYS.
This committee had a productive meeting with Healthfirst, one of the largest managed care companies providing coverage for NYS Medicaid patients, discussing the barriers to access to care. The Healthfirst representatives seemed receptive to their concerns.
The committee is also evaluating the successful legislative efforts from the orthodontists in Massachusetts with Proposition 2, which mandates that the dental insurance companies have an 83% MLR. The committee will work to see if they can achieve something similar in New York State.
The communications committee reported that the July 2023 NYSSO newsletter was successful in reaching the membership and informing them of NYSSO’s efforts on their behalf.
This committee is planning on increasing NYSSO’s presence on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
NYSSO sponsored the second annual Halloween social event (Rave in the Cave) for the NY orthodontic residents, to get more interaction with these new members who are the future of NYSSO.
The NY State Dental Society had a bill presented to the NYS Legislature. It will allow for dentists to administer vaccines in their offices. It passed in the NYS Senate and will be addressed by the NYS Assembly in the January 2024 legislative session.
The NYSSO representatives had a meeting with Assembly Member, Patricia Fahy, who is the head of Committee of Higher Education, to express the concerns of the shortage of dental assistants. She suggested the use of Dental Therapists to help resolve the issue. The NYSSO representatives discouraged this and recommended a better utilization of our existing labor force by broadening their scope of practice instead.
Dr. Yanique Le-Cadre finished her term as NYSSO President at the October 20, 2023 meeting in Montreal. We would like to thank her for all of her commitment, hard work, and effectiveness during her very productive term.
Dr. Joana Forsea is the incoming NYSSO President. Dr. Ken Cooperman is the NYSSO Secretary and Dr. Yon Lai is the NYSSO Treasurer.
The NYSSO Bylaws will be amended to allow for a NY orthodontic resident be a member of the NYSSO Executive Board. This will improve NYSSO’s relationship with the younger members and help to ensure their voice is heard at the board level.
NYSSO would also welcome any interest of its members throughout the state, in joining the Executive Board. The only way we can stay relevant and properly serve as an organization is to have new ideas and energy. Please give it your due consideration.
NYSSO is planning a biennial CE Event in the Spring of 2024. It will be live at NYU and the speaker will be Dr. Ilya Lipkin. Look for more details on registration in the coming weeks!