The 2020 Connecticut Legislative Session
convenes on February 5 and adjourns on May 6.
2020 Legislative Updates
On April 22, the Governor issued his 31st executive order since he has declared a state of public health emergency in CT. Executive Order No. 7DD enacts the following provisions related to dentistry:
Continuing Education Requirements:
Executive Order 7DD suspends the continuing education requirements for dentists and dental hygienists for one year.
Licensure for Dentists and Dental Hygienists:
Executive Order 7DD suspends, for a period not to exceed sixty days, the requirements for licensure, certification or registration for dentists and dental hygienists.
Dentists and Telehealth Providers:
Executive Order 7DD adds licensed dentists to the definition of telehealth provider effective as of April 22, 2020, which is not retroactive to any previous executive orders.
- Allows Medicaid-Enrolled Providers and In-Network Providers for Commercial Fully Insured Health Insurance to perform telehealth by:
- The use of audio-only telephone;
- Waiving any related regulatory requirement that any telehealth services be provided from a provider's licensed facility.
- Permitting telehealth providers to utilize additional information and communication technologies that are HIPAA compliant for telehealth remote communications, as may be modified or revised by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Requiring the provider to determine a patient’s telehealth benefits coverage before providing telehealth services, when a patient is covered by a health plan other than Medicaid or a fully-insured commercial plan.
-- If telehealth services are covered, the provider must accept the reimbursement provided by the health plan as payment in full, and may not balance bill the patient.
-- If the patient is unable to pay for such services, the provider shall offer financial assistance to the patient (i.e., a payment plan).
The CSDA is seeking additional clarification regarding some of the payment provisions of this executive order, including the Medicaid Provider Bulletin outlining appropriate Medicaid billing instructions and Medicare reimbursement. The Medicaid Provider Bulletin and other clarifying information will be provided when available.
It is important to note that this executive order is time limited and remains in effect for the duration of the State’s current public health emergency as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The CSDA will continue to pursue teledentistry legislation in a future legislative session in order to allow dentists to regularly practice teledentistry.
To learn more about the application of telehealth, and specifically teledentistry, please access the following resources:
Deadline Extension for the Diagnostic and Therapeutic X-ray registration
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has moved the deadline for the Diagnostic and Therapeutic x-ray registration to June 30, 2020. Click here to read the waiver letter from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
We have heard from several members saying that their hygienists would like to use their time to take online CE courses when the dental offices are shut down. Last session the legislature repealed the requirement that limited dental hygienists to not more than 4 CEUs online during a 2-year period. There is no longer any limitation on the number of continuing education credits a dental hygienist may obtain online.
Business Interruption Insurance
We have learned that the New Jersey Dental Association and the Massachusetts Dental Society have introduced legislation that would require certain insurance companies in their state to provide business interruption insurance coverage to their insured parties in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. A few of our members have asked us about this. Unfortunately, because our Legislature is closed, there is no means to file any legislation for this session. In addition, during the Governor’s news briefing on Wednesday, March 25, a reporter specifically asked the Governor about business interruption insurance and if there was anything the state could do. The DECD Commissioner answered the reporter’s question and stated that because of the carve out for pandemics and viruses, nothing was likely to be done at the state level to address this carve out. He did say that something may happen at the federal level similar to what happened after 9/11 when the federal government became the reinsurer for terrorism insurance. Our lobbyists are reaching out to CBIA and the SBA to gauge interest in convening a coalition to work on this issue at the state level.
Kristina Diamond, Director of Government Relations and Policy
Phone: (860) 378-1800