The AAO Board of Trustees met recently in St. Louis and took action on numerous issues that impact AAO members. Board actions include:

Board Recommends Updated Definition of Medically Necessary Care

The Board elected to recommend to the 2014 AAO House of Delegates revision of the definition of medically necessary care, as found in the AAO Policy Manual, to the following: “Medically necessary orthodontic care is defined as the treatment of a malocclusion (including craniofacial abnormalities/anomalies) that compromises the patient’s physical, emotional, or dental health.  This treatment should be based on a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis done by an orthodontist, in consultation with other health care providers.”

The AAO Council on Orthodontic Health Care developed the revised wording after considering the American Dental Association definition of Medically Necessary Care, with thought toward sending a similar message to third party payers. The group also reviewed and considered inclusion of qualifying criteria and indices and opted to keep the definition more general in nature until more is known about the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the orthodontic landscape.

The committee included reference to a patient’s emotional well-being in the definition after concluding that, although a patient’s emotional status cannot be measured, recent research publications should be taken into consideration as the final definition was developed. The publications address a patient’s dental appearance and the incidence of bullying.

AAO to Continue Collaborating with Other Organizations on Student Debt Issue

The development of programs to help student members with student debt management was approved. The Board approved also approved a Council on Orthodontic Practice (COOP) request that the AAO work with the American Dental Association and other dental specialties on solutions to the student debt crisis. AAO representatives recently attended a summit meeting with 22 dental organizations specific to student debt, a global issue with no immediate solutions. The AAO will continue to dialogue with other dental organizations to seek solutions.

AAO to Continue Dialogue with Dental Management Service Organizations

The Board will continue an open dialogue with dental management service organizations that employ current AAO members and are likely to employ future members. The Board joined representatives of the Council on Orthodontic Practice and the Council on Membership, Ethics and Judicial Affairs in a meeting that took place just prior to the AAO’s 2014 Professional Advocacy Conference in Washington, DC. The AAO’s goal is to ensure the association is relevant and welcoming to orthodontic specialists that work in all emerging dental practice models. In addition to communicating this goal to the dental management service representatives during the recent meeting, the AAO addressed areas such as advocacy and consumer awareness that all organizations would benefit from by working together.

Task Force to Review Membership Criteria Included in AAO Bylaws

A task force was appointed to review the AAO’s definition of exclusive practice of orthodontics to determine whether updates should be recommended to the AAO House of Delegates. The current definition was written prior to the introduction of new techniques such as lasers, tads, tooth whitening, etc. that are being used by some AAO members. The exclusive practice of orthodontics requirement is specified in AAO by-laws along with educational requirements for membership.

Board to Recommend Fiscal Year 2014-15 Budget to Delegates

The Board approved a balanced budget for submission to the AAO House of Delegates. Each trustee will give a presentation to his or her respective constituent delegations and will provide additional materials intended to educate the delegates on the budget and budget process.

Political Advocacy Efforts to Be Expanded

A committee of the Board, working with the Council on Government Affairs, will expand the current advocacy efforts by scheduling AAO officers and other key representatives to meet with key legislators on a consistent basis in order to further the AAO’s advocacy goals.

Board Reviews Governance Task Force Resolutions

The Board reviewed the 2013-14 AAO Governance Study Task Force report and 2014 House of Delegates resolutions stemming from the report. The House of Delegates will consider the resolutions during its meeting next month in New Orleans.
View the Governance Study Report

Dr. Rodney Dubois to Continue as AAO Representative to SNODENT

The Board appointed Dr. Rodney Dubois to continue as the AAO’s representative to the SNODENT committee sponsored by the American Dental Association. SNODENT is the vocabulary designed by the ADA for use in electronic health and dental records for recording clinical signs, symptoms, conditions and diagnoses.
Learn More about Dr. Dubois’ Work with SNODENT

Craniofacial Anomalies and Special Care Orthodontic Fellow to Be Selected

The AAO has funded a Craniofacial Anomalies Special Care Fellowship for the past several years. Three candidates have been identified for the 2014 scholarship and a committee of educators working on behalf of the Council on Orthodontic Education (COE) will make the selection.