A Filling and a Flu Shot?

Image courtesy of jackthumm / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jackthumm / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Illinois Dentists Seek Right to Vaccinate

A bill recently introduced in the Illinois General Assembly (SB1217), and supported by the Illinois State Dental Society, would allow Illinois dentists to administer vaccines to their patients.  If passed, the new law would be the first of its kind in the nation.  While all 50 states have already passed legislation allowing pharmacists to administer vaccines, no state currently allows dentists to do so.

Supporters of the Illinois bill argue that, by allowing dentists to administer vaccines, they will increase the number of people who get vaccinated, especially in rural areas.  Opponents of the bill, led by the Illinois State Medical Society, argue that all of a patient’s care, including decisions about when and whether to vaccinate a patient, should be coordinated by a primary care physician.  In addition, critics of the bill point out that vaccinations by dentists may not be covered by patients’ existing health insurance policies, leading to higher out-of-pocket costs for patients.

Opposition to the proposed legislation has been so strong that the Illinois State Dental Society has pulled the bill from consideration, for now, but hopes to revisit the issue later this year, after additional discussions with the Medical Society and other interested parties.

This article was written by Janice L. Gauthier, Esq. Ms. Gauthier has an A.B. from Harvard University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.  She is the owner of The Gauthier Law Group, LLC, a boutique law firm that represents dentists, physicians, health care providers, professional service practices and other businesses and business owners in Wisconsin and Illinois.  You can contact Ms. Gauthier at 414-270-3857 or by email. To learn more about Ms. Gauthier’s background and experience, visit her Google or LinkedIn profiles.

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