The American Teledentistry Association applauds the Iowa legislature and Governor Reynolds for the passage and signing of House File 685 – a bill relating to the requirements for dentists and orthodontists using telehealth to deliver remote orthodontia services to Iowa residents. This legislation accomplishes the dual goals of ensuring that Iowans continue to have access to needed remote orthodontic treatment while simultaneously ensuring that pertinent patient protections are in place that uphold the standard of care.
Specifically, House File 685 accomplishes these goals in the following ways:
- Requires that an Iowa-licensed dentist or orthodontist, prior to beginning orthodontic treatment, either (1) performs an appropriate in-person or teledentistry examination, or (2) receives from the patient the dental record of a prior examination taken within the prior 6 months.
- Requires that any necessary diagnostic tests, including radiographs or digital images, be ordered, and reviewed by the treating dentist or orthodontist if required by the standard of care.
- Holds all dentists to the same standard of care regardless of the modality they use to deliver care.
This legislation is the result of the diligent efforts given by all the stakeholders involved in the crafting of this legislation – including the ATDA, the Iowa Dental Association, the teledentistry industry, and the members of the Iowa House and Senate. Through collaboration and compromise, HF 685 guarantees that Iowa patients can access affordable, convenient, high-quality remote orthodontic care with the peace of mind that their treating dentist or orthodontist is licensed in Iowa, is practicing in accordance with the standard of care, and is conducting all necessary diagnostic testing before starting treatment.
The ATDA looks forward to continuing our work with stakeholders in an effort to make teledentistry even more readily accessible for all Iowans – and particularly those in rural, working-class, and underserved communities across the state.