In the last two months, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed three
bills into law, two of which will have an impact on access to oral
health care in the state, and a third that protects dentists from
House Bill 3061 allows the Department of Financial and
Professional Regulation to provide temporary, 10-day permits to
out-of-state dentists and dental hygienists who wish to volunteer
their services in Illinois. The bill, which was sponsored by Rep.
David Miller and Sen. Pamela Althoff and endorsed by Illinois State Dental Society,"will
encourage more dentists to treat low-income families at free
clinics throughout Illinois," says a press release on the
State of Illinois website.
House Bill 5859, which was signed at June's
Mission of Mercy event, looks like a boon to clinics and the
dentists who volunteer there. Beginning January 1, the state will
reimburse clinics for care provided by volunteer dentists. Payments
will help clinics cover the cost of equipment and supplies. Under
current Illinois law, the state will not reimburse unless the
volunteer dentist is enrolled in Medicaid.
Finally, last week Gov. Quinn signed
Senate Bill 3025, which will hopefully curtail frivolous
lawsuits against dentists. Advanced by ISDS, this law requires that
all information gathered by the Department of Financial and
Professional Regulation during an investigation-including
information subpoenaed under the Illinois Dental Practice Act-is
kept confidential. Information may still be released to the dental
licensing authority of other states or jurisdictions when an
official request is made; however, such information may only be
used for investigations and disciplinary proceedings related to
The impetus for this bill was the case of an oral surgeon who was
sued, and as a result, multiple subpoenas were made to try and find
fault with his practice. By limiting the release of certain
information, ISDS hopes this bill will stymy such "fishing"
expeditions against dentists in the future. The sponsor of this
bill was Rep. John Fritchey.