Health Care Politics Internet

House passes guidelines on teledentistry

mFrom ADA News:

“Teledentistry in and of itself is not a service. It’s really a method by which services are delivered,” Dr. O’Toole said. “This latest policy addresses what patients can expect when receiving services via teledentistry, as well as patients’ rights, workforce, licensure and payment issues.”…

…“The policy states that if any allied dental personnel are participating in teledentistry, their supervision should conform to the dental practice act in the state where the patient is receiving services and where the dentist is licensed,” Dr. O’Toole said. “Dentists and allied dental personnel must also be licensed or credentialed in accordance with the laws of the state in which the patient receives care, according to the resolution.

Source: House passes guidelines on teledentistry

I am very conflicted about this.

On the one hand I am glad to see the concept of Teledentistry being taken seriously. The potential for this kind of approach, using advanced technology, to lower costs and improve treatment results is amazing.

On the other hand the desire of officials to regulate tends to stifle innovation and drive up costs. I am particularly concerned about the recommendation that professionals providing tele care be licensed in the state the patient receiving care resides in. Does that mean the world’s best radiologist in Arizona cannot diagnose a radiograph of a patient in Kansas?

The Internet has made all borders, state and national, less meaningful.

At this point the guidelines are just suggestions from the ADA, they have no legal standing. State laws actually govern this and so far most have nothing to say on the matter.

This is not an easy question. I believe the ADA will need to re-visit this soon.


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