Report from the 2024 Regular Session of the Legislature

Jun 10, 2024

Organized Dentistry Successful in Passing DLR Transparency and Reporting Bill


Note: This header photo is from Dentists’ Day at the Legislature, April 24, 2024. Thank you to all who attended! All actions listed are current as of June 3, 2024.

The 2024 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature adjourned sine die on Monday, June 3. After nearly five months of special sessions focused on organizational and redistricting matters, crime, and now the regular session, this last 90-day legislative period ended with the passage of an approximate $48 billion budget.

Most of Governor Landry’s legislative initiatives, which began in the House of Representatives, have passed. However, a key item, the constitutional convention, did not advance as the Governor had hoped. The LDA closely monitored over 50 bills of interest to dentists and dentistry throughout session.

Here are a few bills of interest:

SB 138 was the LDA’s bill incorporating several items that the LA State Board of Dentistry (LSBD) and the LDA agree are necessary for updating rules related to dentistry. The suggested changes are related to a reserved position for a pediatric dentist on the LSBD; licensing exam acceptance from three to five years; and a clarification that any dentist with a sedation permit can serve as a third-party anesthesia provider. The bill was signed by the Governor and is effective as of 5/28/24. Thank you to Senator Bob Owen for authoring this bill.

SB 463 is the LDA’s other bill that establishes transparency and a reporting requirement on Dental Loss Ratio, or DLR, the portion of revenue from premiums spent on patient care, rather than profits, marketing, and administration. This bill will ensure that dental plans are more transparent to the patients they serve. Patients and employers seeking to maximize the value of the coverage they purchase would benefit from knowing how much of the carriers’ premiums are invested in the care they receive. Transparency and reporting would give consumers the opportunity to have choices in selecting a quality dental plan.

Thank you to Senator Bill Wheat for sponsoring this bill. It was signed by the Governor and is effective 1/1/25. We should be able to start seeing DLR data as early as April 2025.


HB 716 is the universal licensing bill filed by Rep. Charles Owen and supported by the Governor. After several meetings between our lobbying team and the bill supporters, as well as Dr. Rusty Hickham with the LSBD, the bill author agreed to an amendment on behalf of dentistry adding that: In addition to the requirements already established in the bill, the LSBD may require that an applicant for a dental license has successfully completed an initial clinical licensure examination in a United States jurisdiction that included a hand skills assessment. This bill is waiting for the Governor’s signature.


SB 367 discontinued several of the commissions within the Department of Insurance and gave the DOI commissioner the authority to create advisory boards as needed consisting of representatives of insurers, insurance producers, consumers of insurance products not otherwise connected with the insurance industry, and other appropriate persons such as providers. The bill is effective 8/1/2024.


HB 1, the State’s budget bill, includes an amendment providing $3.9 million for implementation of a dental managed care quality initiative payment program, which will draw down approximately $12 million including federal funds. This program is not about production. It is designed to provide incentives to practice owners to provide staff hours necessary to achieve the goals of the program. Through the successful work of our Medicaid Task Force Chair Dr. Don Donaldson, the LDA will be working with the State and CMS to implement this program benefiting Medicaid practices. This bill has not yet been signed by the Governor.

Again, it is through the support of the LDA’s contact dentist network, along with the additional financial support from the ADA’s State Public Affairs grant, that the LDA was able to successfully support (or oppose or amend, as necessary) bills that would cause a great impact to the profession. It is more important than ever to let the LDA know if you are a friend, relative, or dentist of an elected official. We need contact dentists! It makes all the difference during the legislative session when we have contact dentists for each legislator on important committees impacting dentistry such as finance, health and welfare and insurance.