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Every session thousands of new pieces of legislation are introduced in the state Legislature. A multitude of them can affect your practice, your patients and oral health. It’s important to take the time to learn about the issues NJDA is addressing in Trenton. Below please find bills currently in the New Jersey legislature that NJDA is monitoring and lobbying.

2022-2023 Legislative Session


Key
 thumbs up Support    thumbs down  Oppose    eye icon  Monitor 


thumbs up S. 765, sponsored by Senators Nellie Pou (Bergen and Passaic) and Joe Pennacchio (Essex, Morris, and Passaic), prohibits carrier from precluding dentist from billing covered person under certain circumstances. VIEW 

This bill passed the Senate 38-0 on 6/29/22

NJDA Statement: This legislation, among other things, prohibits dental insurance plans from disallowing the collection of payment for covered dental services when a dentist obtains written informed consent from a patient prior to a procedure being performed.  This consumer-focused legislation gives patients information to make their dental health determinations, and ensures that practitioners will be fairly compensated for the care the patient needs and wants.

NJDA Testimony to the Senate Commerce Committee 6/9/22
NJDA Desk Memo To Senators 6/29/22

thumbs down A.1871, sponsored by Assemblypersons Tom Giblin (Essex and Passaic) and Carol Murphy (Burlington), Adds one dental assistant to membership of New Jersey State Board of Dentistry.  VIEW   
NJDA Statement: The NJDA is opposed to this legislation because the State Board’s goal is to protect the interests of the public by, among other things, adjudicating disciplinary cases against dentists, dental hygienists, and registered dental assistants.  It is not to provide representation to regulated groups.  A keen knowledge of scope and the practice of dentistry is essential to properly protecting the public’s interest.

thumbs up A.175, sponsored by Assemblywomen Linda Carter (Middlesex, Somerset and Union) and Carol Murphy (Burlington), permits the Department of Corrections and Department of Children and Families to award contracts for medical and dental services to vendors. VIEW  

Identical Legislation: 
S.1600,  sponsored by Senator Beach (Camden).  VIEW
NJDA Statement: The NJDA supports the State of NJ’s efforts to provide better, more modernized dental care to NJ’s incarcerated and its children in protective services.

thumbs up S.809, sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (Essex, Morris and Passaic), establishes the office of State Dental Director and the NJ Oral Health Commission.  VIEW

Identical Legislation:
A.2569, sponsored by Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (Burlington). VIEW
NJDA Statement: The NJDA has long advocated for the establishment of the state dental director.  In 2017, the state brought on a dental director for the first time in a generation.  This legislation would make the position permanent and also establish, for the first time, a NJ Oral Health Commission as a state entity bringing oral health to an elevated level of engagement with state government.

thumbs up A.892, sponsored by Brian Bergen (Morris and Somerset), establishes the volunteer medical professional healthcare act. VIEW 
NJDA Statement: The NJDA supports efforts to protect volunteer physicians and dentists who provide free treatment services.  This bill establishes immunity for these volunteers through a certification program established by the NJ Department of Health.

eye icon A.1449, sponsored by Assemblyperson Yvonne Lopez (Middlesex) and Tom Giblin (Essex and Passaic), requires professional and occupational boards in the Division of Consumer Affairs, when determining whether a person is disqualified from certification, registration or licensure because of a prior conviction of a crime, to consider whether the crime directly relates to the profession or occupation regulated by the board. VIEW 
NJDA Statement: As NJ and the rest of the country deal with growing workforce issues legislation like this provides opportunities to grow potential employee pools to assist thousands of NJ dental practices.

eye icon A.1057, sponsored by Gary Schaer (Bergen and Passaic) and Raj Muhkjeri (Hudson), establishes “Succeed in New Jersey” student loan reimbursement program for certain New Jersey residents employed in designated fields. VIEW 
NJDA Statement: This is an example of “out-of-the-box” thinking on addressing workforce issues in NJ.  We applaud the sponsors.  This legislation needs to be amended to suit dentistry’s needs, which NJDA intends to do should this legislation begin to advance.

thumbs up A.1580, sponsored by Assemblymen Bill Moen (Camden and Gloucester) and Dan Benson (Mercer and Middlesex), exempts personal protective equipment from sales and use tax. VIEW 
NJDA Statement: NJDA supports this legislation as they are essential and required products used by dental professionals when treating patients.  Personal protective equipment means: coveralls, face shields, gloves, gowns, masks, respirators, and other equipment designed to protect the wearer from the spread of infection or illness.

eye icon A.1224, sponsored by Assemblywoman Elaina Pintor Marin (Essex), Clarifies charitable role of health service corporations, revises membership of board of directors, establishes process to determine efficient level of surplus, and requires timely publication of certain information by DOBI. VIEW 
NJDA Statement: The NJDA is monitoring this legislation as it substantially changes Horizon BC/BS business operations, which will likely affect the administration of its dental plans and the administration of self-funded dental plans.

thumbs down A.1866, sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Giblin (Essex and Passaic), Directs DOH to develop plan to phase out use of latex gloves in health care facilities and food establishments. VIEW 

Identical Legislation:
S.1015, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Theresa Ruiz (Essex) VIEW

NJDA Statement: The NJDA opposes this legislation.  While many glove alternatives exist within the marketplace, latex gloves remain a safe and cost-effective alternative for the vast majority of the population.  It is estimated that 1-5 percent of Americans have a latex allergy while fewer than 10 percent of the world population is estimated to have some type of latex allergy, according to a study published in the Journal of Occupational Health.  Healthcare professionals should have the option to determine what best to use in their offices and with their patients and not be mandated to take away a viable glove option that is safe for 90-99 percent of the population.

thumbs up A.2021, sponsored by Assembly Health Chair Herb Conaway (Burlington), requires embryo storage facilities to record and report health information of patients in manner that is consistent with certain federal laws.. VIEW 
NJDA Statement: NJDA supports this legislation because it protects the sensitive health information of women and families who choose IVF as their method for family planning.  IVF has grown dramatically over the last decade and is expected to increase.  This is a topic of importance for many female professionals and LGBTQ families who are using this method to build their families.  The NJDA supports this legislation as a way to support those members who choose IVF.

thumbs up A.1311, sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Greenwald (Camden), Assemblyman Moen (Camden) and Assemblywoman Chapparo (Hudson), establishes a healthcare careers pilot program for certain institutions of higher education and proprietary schools. VIEW 
NJDA Statement: The NJDA supports this legislation because, according to the bill, “would establish a four-year healthcare careers pilot program to encourage institutions of higher education and proprietary institution to partner with the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program.  JAG is a nationwide dropout prevention program which helps young people build professional skills, earn credentials, gain employment, and enter postsecondary education.  Students are placed on pathways to academic and economic success through classroom learning, coaching, leadership development, and job placement.  These student-centered services help young people achieve their fullest potential and gain an advantage in today’s emerging workforce.” Further, “the pilot program would help create programs that encourage students in underserved high schools to pursue career opportunities in the healthcare field.”  The NJDA is focused on increasing the number of students interested in dental education either as a dentist, hygienist, or registered dental assistant.  The NJDA is committed to working with the sponsors, and the NJ Chamber of Commerce, to expand this legislation to include Community Colleges and Vo-Techs to increase the eligible pool of people who would want to work within the dental field.
 

eye icon A.470, sponsored by Assemblypersons Murphy (Burlington), Dancer (Burlington), and Stanley (Middlesex), enters New Jersey into Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. VIEW 
NJDA Statement: The NJDA is monitoring this legislation.  While it does not affect dentistry at this time, the legislation could be amended to include the profession. The legislation’s goal is to streamline the process by which licensed physicians in other states can become licensed in NJ.  Licensure processing and adjudication has become increasingly problematic in NJ, particularly for licensees governed by the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs, of which dentists, dental hygienists and registered dental assistants are some. According to the legislation, “this bill enters New Jersey into the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (Compact), which is an interstate agreement that provides a streamlined process for physicians who are in good standing in their own states to quickly and easily become licensed in other member states without the need to complete the full standard licensing process in the other state.  A license issued under the Compact for a member state constitutes a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in that member state.  The Compact does not change the medical practice laws in any member state, and the requirements to obtain expedited licensure reflect the prevailing standard for physician licensure nationwide.  Physicians providing health care services are subject to the medical practice laws of the state in which the patient is located. The Compact will be administered by the “Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission” (Interstate Commission), which is comprised of delegates from each member state.”

eye icon S.1425, sponsored by Senator Gill (Essex), revises “The Professional Service Corporation Act.” VIEW 
NJDA Statement: The NJDA is monitoring this legislation as it stands to make substantive changes to the NJ Professional Service Corporation Act, which, at present, limits who may own, invest, or operate certain types of professional corporations, like dental practices.  The current nature of NJ professional corporations restricts ownership wholly only to those individuals who are NJ licensed professionals.  This legislation changes those requirements and allows professionals from outside of NJ and others to own, operate, or invest in professional businesses.

eye icon A.2546, sponsored by Assemblywoman Murphy (Burlington), requires insurance carriers offering dental benefit plans to provide certain level of coverage and reimbursement.  VIEW 
NJDA Statement:  The NJDA is monitoring this legislation closely as we are supportive of making changes to the dental payer marketplace to modernize reimbursement rates, annual maximums and coverages.  The legislation would need to be amended to become more in-line with the NJDA leadership’s objectives as well as become something that is able to be regulated and more implementable within the NJ dental insurance marketplace.

thumbs down A.2830, sponsored by Assemblywoman Murphy (Burlington), regulates dental therapy and the licensure of dental therapists. VIEW
 
NJDA Statement:  The NJDA is opposed to this legislation.  Dental therapists have developed in certain rural areas of the country and are largely subsidized by government. While the premise has been to increase access to care, the data show that there has not been rapid improvement into this area.  Today, there are approximately 200 dental therapists across America even though 8 states have enacted legislation authorizing dental therapy, and four additional states have authorized dental therapy limited to tribal lands.  In fact, the State of Maine licensed its first dental therapist last year, fully 7 years after it enacted its statute.  Maine continues to struggle to find dental therapists to treat patients further reinforcing the NJDA’s belief that there are other, quicker and more cost-effective ways to address access to care here in New Jersey.  NJ has one of the most dispersed dental workforces in the United States with more than 90 percent of all New Jerseyans able to access a dentist regardless of whether they have public or private dental benefits.  NJDA supports the expansion of dental residency programs, emergency department dental diversion initiatives, dental examination requirements for school-aged students, improving oral health literacy across the age spectrum, the expansion and investment in NJ’s Medicaid program, and a host of other actions that we believe will be more impactful and immediate in addressing the state’s access to dental care issues.

thumbs up A.3244, sponsored by Assemblywoman Lampitt (Camden), clarifies that apologies by health care facilities and professionals to patients or their representatives for adverse events disclosed under “Patient Safety Act” are excluded from discovery and inadmissible in legal actions involving facilities and professionals.  VIEW 
NJDA Statement:  The NJDA supports this legislation because compassion shown by dentists and other providers to patients and their families when an alleged adverse action occurs within an office or other healthcare setting, should not be held against them or the facility should legal action result.  This legislation however does not take away a patient, their family or guardian’s right to seek damages for an alleged adverse action. Nor does it render “any document, gesture, or oral statement, or part thereof, expressing negligence or fault concerning the adverse event disclosed would be subject to discovery and admissible in any action or proceeding,” according to the legislation.
 

eye icon A.3931, sponsored by Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson (Mercer) and Assemblyman Wimberly (Passaic), establishes MOM Project oral health three-year pilot program in DOH; appropriates $4,150,000.  VIEW
NJDA Statement:  The NJDA is closely monitoring this legislation, and is presently engaged with the sponsors to evolve the legislative intent have a more comprehensive oral care component.  Under the terms of the legislation, as drafted, the narrowly tailored legislation only applies to mothers, expectant mothers, infants and children.  Further, the Pilot project functionally limits eligibility to Federally Qualified Health Centers, clinics and the Dental School – effectively eliminating private practices.  While the NJDA supports the intent of the legislation, we believe a more comprehensive eligibility for care as well as a an opportunity for private practices to participate would be of greater benefit in improving the oral health of NJ’s most vulnerable communities.

thumbs up A.4063, sponsored by Assemblymen Conaway (Burlington) and Mukherji (Hudson), prohibits carriers from offering dental benefit plans with waiting periods. VIEW
NJDA Statement: The NJDA supports this legislation as it eliminates one’s ability to access oral healthcare.  As New Jerseyans return to work it is vital that they be able to adequately utilize healthcare benefits, particularly dental benefits, as we know this continues to be an unmet need in NJ and throughout the country.
 

thumbs up S.2667 – sponsored by Senators Vitale (Middlesex) and Diegnan (Middlesex), prohibits sale of menthol cigarettes and sale or distribution of flavored electronic smoking devices and related products. VIEW

Identical legislation  - A.1989 - sponsored by Assemblyman Conaway (Burlington) and Assemblywoman Murphy (Burlington)  VIEW

NJDA Statement: The NJDA has long supported anti-smoking initiatives.  In fact, NJDA is a founding member of NJQUITS, the state smoking cessation program.  Dentists well understand the harmful effects smoking of any kind has on oral and systemic health.  There has been a dramatic growth in e-cigarette use among younger people, which is contributing to a growth in healthcare problems among this age demographic.  Prohibiting the sale and distribution of these products will ultimately assist in improving overall health.

eye icon S.2703 – sponsored by Senator Zwicker (Somerset), expressly allows health care professionals located outside New Jersey to provide services using telemedicine and telehealth to patients in New Jersey. VIEW

Identical Legislation – A.1946 - sponsored by Assemblywoman Haider (Bergen) VIEW 
NJDA Statement:  According to the bill statement, “this bill expressly allows health care providers located outside New Jersey to provide health care services to New Jersey residents using telemedicine and telehealth.  The health care provider will still need to be licensed or certified as a health care professional in New Jersey as a condition of providing health care services using telemedicine and telehealth, as is required under current law.” While the NJDA supports improved access to care, concerns to exist for proper oversight of licensees who are not physically located within the state. Consumer protections need to be weighed against telehealth care.

thumbs up SR.86 – sponsored by Senator Greenstein (Middlesex and Mercer), urges the President and Congress of United States to continue federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF).   VIEW
NJDA Statement: This federal loan forgiveness program plays an important role in incentivizing individuals to work in the public sector as: dentists, physicians and other public-sector healthcare jobs as well as teachers, the military, and public-sector attorneys.  According to the legislation, “the PSLF program data released by the Office of Federal Student Aid indicate that, as of December 31, 2019, a total of 1,565 unique borrowers have received a discharge under the PSLF program, with approximately $100 million being forgiven.”  Prior federal administrations had proposed eliminating the PSLF program in its entirety, effectively eliminating student loan forgiveness opportunities and reducing access to care.  The NJDA and the ADA historically have supported programs, like the PSLF, which provide opportunities for dentists to help pay off student loans while advancing and improving access to care some of the nation’s most needy including veterans, active military and their families, those on tribal lands, and in remote locations throughout America.  

eye icon A.3715, sponsored by Assemblymen Moriarty (Camden) and Wimberly (Passaic), limits certain provisions in restrictive covenants and limits enforceability of those restrictive covenants. VIEW

Identical Legislation – S.1410, sponsored by Senator Cryan (Union).  VIEW 
NJDA Statement:  As per the legislation, this bill places limitations on restrictive covenants that are made between employers and employees.  For your information, restrictive covenants are contracted agreements between employers and employees under which the employee agrees not to engage in certain specified activities that may be competitive with the employer after their employment relationship has ended.  Frequently, employee dentists are often required to enter into restrictive covenants as a condition of employment.  Please be aware that the NJDA generally does not engage in restrictive covenant legislation or regulations as its members consist of both employee and employer dentists, and frequently counsels both on how best to legally structure their particular business relationship.  However, while certain provisions in the legislation are clear (like limiting agreements to a 1-year period), other provisions are highly ambiguous, and likely will result in increased litigation if enacted as drafted.  Therefore, NJDA is advocating for amendments to make the bill more tailored and more specific as to not increase any financial burdens to either the employee or the employer dentist.

eye icon S.2882, sponsored by Senator Polistina (Atlantic), requires professional boards to issue licenses under certain circumstances to veterans with credentials in good standing from another jurisdiction. VIEW

NJDA Statement:  The NJDA is actively monitoring this legislation and is supportive of the bill’s intent, which is to create a better work environment for those veterans who hold profession or occupational licenses that were obtained and held outside of the State of New Jersey.  According to the legislation, “the bill requires a professional and occupational board to issue a license, certificate, or certification to an applicant who presents evidence to the board that: (1) the applicant was honorably discharged from active military service; (2) the applicant’s license, certificate, or certification is in good standing in another jurisdiction; and (3) the applicant complies with all other requirements for licensure, including a requirement for examination.”  The NJDA does have concerns about de novo licensure approvals from other states as the intention of state licensure laws and the State Board of Dentistry is to protect the interest and safety of all New Jerseyans.  It is critical that the Board of Dentistry maintain that oversight of anyone who wishes to practice as a dental professional in this state.

thumbs up A.4353, sponsored by Assemblywoman Dunn (Morris), establishes Office of Ombudsman for Children in the Department of Law and Public Safety. VIEW
NJDA Statement: The NJDA has long been an advocate for children and child welfare.  In fact, NJDA was one of the first participants in the ADA’s Give Kids A Smile Program that was established more than 20 years ago.  The NJDA is also a founding member of the NJ Oral Health Coalition, which focuses in on children’s oral health and dental homes, among other things.  Under the provisions of the legislation, the office of the Ombudsman for Children is charged with: “(1) identifying and reporting on systemic issues and responses relating to the child welfare system, including the State’s foster care system, upon which the Governor and Legislature may act;
     (2) ensuring compliance with relevant statutes, rules, regulations, policies, and contracts concerning facilities, services, and treatment of children under the jurisdiction of any State agency or department providing services to children who are at risk of abuse or neglect, children in State or institutional custody, children in out-of-home placement, and children who receive child protective or permanency services;
     (3) promoting public awareness of the rights of, and providing information and outreach to, children in the care and custody of the State’s child welfare and foster care system and their families;
     (4) disseminating information to the public on the duties of the office, services the ombudsman provides, and the methods by which the ombudsman may be contacted; and
     (5) aiding the Governor and the Legislature in proposing methods of achieving increased coordination and collaboration among State departments and agencies to ensure maximum effectiveness and efficiency in the provision of services to children.”  The NJDA supports this legislation as its intent is to improve child welfare as well as lead to the improvement of children’s health.

thumbs up A.4338, sponsored by Assemblyman Conaway (Burlington), requires vaccinations against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) be reported to New Jersey Immunization Information System. VIEW
NJDA Statement: The NJDA supports this legislation as NJ licensed dentists, with proper training, may administer COVID-19 vaccinations, among others, to individuals aged 18 or older in this state.  Presently, all individuals born prior to January 1, 1998 are not automatically included in the state vaccination registry. This legislation would build a stronger database for vaccination information and help better inform policymakers, healthcare providers and the public on the state’s vaccination status.

thumbs up A.4337, sponsored by Assemblyman Conaway (Burlington), requires Division of Consumer Affairs to provide information to Statewide 2-1-1 telephone system regarding the location of safe disposal sites for hypodermic syringes and needles and prescription drugs. VIEW
NJDA Statement: The NJDA supports this legislation because the public often inquires with healthcare professionals on the safe disposal of hypodermic needs and prescription drugs.  This informational program would help ensure that these products are not improperly disposed of, and do not inadvertently enter the NJ waste stream. Alarmingly, studies have consistently shown that 20 percent to 30 percent of medication prescriptions are never filled, and that approximately 50 percent of medications for chronic disease are not taken as prescribed, according to a published review in Annals of Internal Medicine in 2017.

thumbs up A.4467, sponsored by Assemblywomen McKnight (Hudson), Speight (Essex), and Reynolds-Jackson (Mercer), establishes Medicaid Managed Care Organization Oversight Program in New Jersey.  Note: This legislation is proposed for introduction, so an advanced copy of it is not yet publicly available.
NJDA Statement: The NJDA is supportive of this legislation as its intention is to bring enhanced oversight to New Jersey’s Medicaid Managed Care Organizations.  As stated in the legislation, this bill would require the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services in the Department of Human Services to establish a Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) Oversight Program to ensure the availability of accessible health care for individuals who are enrolled in the NJ FamilyCare and Medicaid programs.  An audit from several years ago found that the MCOs were not adequately reporting claims inactivity for providers, and that the MCOs had provider panel sizes which exceeded the eligible limits. Furthermore, the audit recommended that the Department take certain actions to ensure that the MCOs are meeting the contractual obligations regarding access to quality care and provider availability.  Under the provisions of the bill, each MCO is required to submit updated provider data as well as beneficiary data on a quarterly basis.  That data will be used to more accurately determine if the MCOs are providing adequate network adequacy to the enrolled beneficiaries and thus comply with the state’s contracted terms.  Ultimately, this legislation should improve access to care as well as provide enhanced attention to Medicaid providers.

thumbs up A.4402/S.2023, sponsored by Assemblywoman Pintor Marin (Essex) and Senator Sarlo (Bergen), makes appropriations for the New Jersey FY 2023 budget. VIEW
NJDA Statement: The NJDA took a supportive position on the state’s FY2023 budget in large part due to 3 appropriations, $170,000 for Dental Lifeline Network, $250,000 for RSDM Special Needs Dental Unit, and spending prioritization for dental hygiene and assisting schools, as well as funds for job retraining through the Department of Labor and Workforce.  While the association was not supportive of the continued syphoning of funds from the State Board of Dentistry and other licensing agencies, it felt, on balance, compelled to support the legislation due to these three spending priorities. .

thumbs up S.2960/A.4409, sponsored by Senators Bucco (Morris) and Pou (Passaic), and Assemblyman Dancer (Burlington) would suspend the assessment of fines against small businesses for certain minor first-time paperwork violations.  Under the bill, a small business means a business entity that employs 50 full-time employees or fewer and qualifies as a small business concern as defined in the federal “Small Business Act.” VIEW
NJDA Statement: NJDA Statement – The NJDA supports this legislation as the vast majority of its members own or are employed by qualifying businesses under this legislation.  Many small businesses, including dental practices, may mistakenly make an error in reporting to state agencies only to receive fines and fees that far exceed the violation.  This legislation protects practices from unintended violation penalties. 

eye icon S.2970, sponsored by Senator Cruz-Perez (Camden), provides employee access to employee’s employment records on file with the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development. VIEW

NJDA Statement:  The NJDA is monitoring this legislation as it has an impact on both employee and employer dentists in relation to employment.  Employers may not want employees to have access to their employment information, while employees do want the right to access their employment record on file with NJDOLWD.  Since there is potential conflict between members, the association is monitoring this legislation.

thumbs up S.2975, sponsored by Senator Cryan (Union), and Assemblywoman Sumter (Passaic), transfers jurisdiction over school meals programs from the NJ Department of Agriculture to the NJ Department of Education. VIEW
NJDA Statement:  The NJDA has long supported efforts to improve the state’s school nutrition program, and, as such, has advocated to the Department of Agriculture to remove sugary foods and beverages from the meal program to improve children’s oral and systemic health.  This legislation logically transfers the agency within the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Education where it would better serve the school children in NJ consistent with other school child welfare programs.
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