On July 29, Ralph T. Hudgens, the commissioner of insurance in Georgia, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requesting an emergency 30-day delay of the July 31 deadline for states to review and approve health insurance rate plans submitted by insurance companies. According to staff in Commissioner Hudgens’ Office, to date there has been no response from HHS. Commissioner Hudgens made the emergency request because following his initial rate review he found that health insurance rates would drastically increase. Specifically, the commissioner noted that some residents of Georgia would see a 198% increase in insurance rates. As a result, the commissioner requested the 30-day delay to further analyze the rate increases.
On July 18, the City of Detroit, Michigan’s state-appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, filed a petition for bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Michigan. On July 30, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes filed a notice of proposed dates and deadlines. The notice proposes an August 19 deadline for all motions arguing against Detroit’s eligibility for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, and sets a trial on that question to begin October 23. For a complete list of documents related to this case, click here.
On July 31, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) signed A07866 which expands the scope of practice for registered dental hygienists. Under the new law registered dental hygienists working in facilities licensed under Article 28 of the New York State Public Health Law may work under collaborative agreements with dentists having a formal relationship with the same Article 28 facility. Article 28 facilities are primarily hospitals but also include nursing homes and certain clinics. Under the law, only a dentist who already has a formal relationship, such as hospital privileges, will be allowed to enter into a collaborative practice agreement with a dental hygienist at the same hospital. Additionally, according to the new law, when dental hygiene services are provided pursuant to a collaborative agreement, the dental hygienist must instruct the patient to visit a licensed dentist for a comprehensive examination or treatment. According to the New York State Dental Association (NYSDA), it has been working on passage of legislation for collaborative agreements with dental hygienists since 2008. The law takes effect January 1, 2015.