Illinois doctors say dentists should stick to drilling and filling, and leave the needling to them. The Illinois State Medical Society and the Illinois State Dental Society are squaring off over a bill to allow dentists to give flu shots. The bill, which passed a Senate committee, has been narrowed to exclude other types of vaccinations and out-of-network dentists. That doesn't impress ISMS lobbyist Jim Tierney.
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“I've talked with the health plans. Not a one has at least explained to me that they intend to contract with and credential a dentist to provide this service,” Tierney told senators. “You'll notice that Cigna, a big insurance company, has registered as an opponent to the bill.” Why oppose this? “A lot of times, it's about money,” said Dave Marsh, Tierney's dental counterpart, responding to a question about public health departments. “They receive grants for providing immunizations.” Marsh says getting more people in for a flu shot is good for everyone. Isn't it?
The bill passed out of a committee, but even some of the senators in favor encouraged further talks between the dentists and the physicians.
SB 3409 has passed the Senate Public Health Committee.