The AAO House of Delegates met in Los Angeles last month in conjunction with the 2019 Annual Session, taking action on numerous items important to the specialty and many individual AAO members.

A key resolution adopted by the HOD will revolutionize the AAO member benefits program to provide even greater value to AAO members. It calls for a long-term plan to identify, develop and launch new products or services that will help members succeed and provide additional non-dues revenue for the AAO. This work will be led by the AAO’s new Growth and Transformation Department. The vision of this initiative is to help pay for operating expenses while delaying or minimizing dues increases. The HOD approved creation of a $3 million Innovation and Transformation Fund, using Excess Liquid Reserves, to support this strategy.

Additional adopted resolutions included:

Consumer Awareness Program Assessment to Increase

Due to the recent success of the Consumer Awareness Program, the HOD approved an increase in the AAO consumer advertising budget for 2019-20, to be funded by the annual Consumer Awareness Assessment paid by members, as well as AAO reserves. AAO Active members who pay the full amount will see a consumer marketing line item for $800 (an increase of $200 from last year) on their renewal notice. Members who receive a reduction in dues and the Consumer Awareness Program assessment will see increases as well.
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Political Advocacy Review to Address Significant Needs

  • AAO political advocacy will be significantly re-examined to reassess priorities and expenditures for advocacy at the state and regional level along with federal efforts.
    The Component Legal Support Fund will be increased to a $1 million balance, to be funded from excess liquid reserves. The CSLF, established in 2015, has provided assistance in 31 states and two provinces.

Membership Requirements to Change for International, Life Active Members

  • International student members will now be required to maintain active membership in the World Federation of Orthodontists on an ongoing basis, rather than only at the time of initial application.
  • International members will be required to have completed the full curriculum of an accredited orthodontic program OR to maintain active membership in the World Federation of Orthodontists on an ongoing basis, rather than only at the time of initial application.
    View the WFO Information Page on Membership Reinstatement
  • Life Active members with less than 50 consecutive years of AAO membership* will now pay 60 percent, rather then 50 percent, of standard dues and assessment fees for their membership category. A member can first qualify for Life Active status upon reaching age 65 and with at least 30 years of AAO membership.
  • The Senior Limited Practice waiver for Life Active members will allow a Life Active member practicing fewer than 350 hours per year to pay just 50 percent of standard dues and assessment fees.

* Life Active members with more than 50 consecutive years of membership continue to be exempt from paying dues.

AAO to Support Constituent Reorganization Efforts

The AAO will support efforts by constituent leaders to investigate organizational changes such as mergers that could increase efficiency. Subject to preapproval by the AAO CEO, constituents may receive AAO staff administrative assistance, in-house legal review of proposed changes, data that may be pertinent to this process, or other supports or resources.

AAO President to Appoint Special Committee for Women Orthodontists

The AAO president will appoint a special committee for Women Orthodontists that will include eight female members, including one New and Younger Member (with 10 years or less of post-residency experience). The committee will develop tools and pathways to leadership so that women are contributing as AAO trustees, delegates and council members.

Addition Made to List of Qualifying Criteria for Dues Exemption

The list of reasons that qualify a member for exemption from dues will now include situations in which the orthodontist has an immediate family member such as a parent, spouse, child or sibling, who requires the orthodontist to be their primary care-giver, and the orthodontist significantly reduces his/her practice time. Waivers may be requested in the amount of 50 percent or 100 percent of dues and assessments. To learn more, contact AAO Member Services at (800) 424-2841.

Medically Necessary Orthodontic Care Definition, Auto-Qualifiers List Updated

The AAO’s definition of Medically Necessary Orthodontic Care will now be: “Orthodontic services to prevent, diagnose, minimize, alleviate, correct, or resolve a malocclusion (including craniofacial abnormalities and traumatic or pathologic anatomical deviations) that cause pain or suffering, physical deformity, significant malfunction, aggravates a condition, or results in further injury or infirmity.”

In addition, the Auto-Qualifier Reimbursement Protocol now includes: “Congenitally missing teeth (excluding third molars) of at least one tooth per quadrant.”
View the Complete Medically Necessary Orthodontic Care Policy

Leadership Development Conference to Include Emerging as Well as Experienced Leaders

In lieu of the former Emerging Leaders Development Conference, the Leadership Development Conference, which will take place each year, will include up to 25 emerging leaders who have not previously held leadership positions within the AAO. Any member participating in Component or Constituent leadership, as well as any emerging leader will be encouraged to apply to attend a Leadership Development Conference.

Policy Added on Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccination

The AAO supports educating and counselling patients and parents concerning vaccination for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in accordance with the latest Centers for Disease Control recommendation. The AAO also supports routine examination of patients for oral and oropharyngeal cancers which collaborates with ADA efforts.

Additional Practice Management Documents Will be Available in French

The AAO will create documents in French, beginning with those that are currently offered in both Spanish and English (such as the Informed Consent form). As new documents are created, if the document will be available in Spanish, it will also be available in French. (Medical history forms for adults and children are currently available in French as well as Spanish and English.)
Access Forms and Documents (log-in is required)

Orthodontic Clinical Registry Exploration is Moving Forward

The HOD approved exploration of the establishment of an orthodontic clinical registry, to be led by the AAO’s Growth and Transformation Department with input from the Committee on Technology (C-TECH).

View the complete report on 2019 adopted resolutions (Actions Taken Chart).