On Friday, September 12th, the Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC) held a public meeting to discuss ongoing business. Here are some of the current issues before the commission:
Chris Baumgartner, Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) Director presented to the commission. Currently, PMP collects 11 million prescriptions per year. There are a total of 1,193 dentists (18.4 percent of WA licensees) enrolled in the program in addition to two University of Washington dental residents. PMP also allows dentists to create sub accounts for hygienists, expanded function dental auxiliaries (EFDAs) and dental assistants. The program has been highly successful since its inception and the state has seen a 25 percent drop in prescription overdoses since 2008. PMP staff members are in the process of improving the program by developing a new online provider interface as well as interstate data sharing capabilities.
Dental treatment record rules (WAC 246-817-305, 310, & 315) all moved to the second phase of rulemaking. The new rules seek to clarify what must be included in a patient record and would require dentists to document conversations with patients regarding the risks and benefits of a particular treatment, alternatives to treatment, post treatment instructions and any patient complaints or resolutions. Proposed rules had been before the commission in April but were sent back to the Dental Treatment Records Rule Committee for further review. A rules hearing has been scheduled for interested stakeholders on October 24th at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane.
WAC 246-817-701 through 790: Administration of anesthetic agents for dental procedures entered the second phase of rulemaking. A rules hearing has been scheduled for interested stakeholders on October 24th at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane.
The Commission received an update from the Dental Assistant Scope of Practice Committee which has been developing new delegation rules for EFDAs and dental assistants. The committee is in the process of establishing tasks that may be performed under general supervision for both professions and will meet again in Spokane on October 24th to finalize those proposed rules.
The commission reviewed the draft language for WAC 246-817-230: Dentist retired status. The crux of the conversation at the meeting related to developing appropriate continuing education requirements for dentists maintaining retired licenses. Some commission members felt that CE for retired status should be reduced from the 21 hours necessary for active licensees. While DQAC has the statutory ability to determine CE requirements for licensed dentists, DOH staff informed the commission that no other health profession has changed their CE requirements for retired status. The commission will continue to work on rule revisions at their upcoming meetings.
During the 2014 Legislative Session, Engrossed House Bill 2351 was passed by the legislature and allows licensed providers in other U.S. jurisdictions to practice in Washington on a limited/volunteer basis even if they do not hold a Washington license. Before they begin performing professional duties, providers must submit an attestation form to DOH no less than ten working days before the start of their volunteer work. The attestation form and additional information about out of state volunteer requirements are now available online at the Department of Health’s website.
DQAC has stated their intent to introduce legislation requiring continuing education for EFDAs. The bill will be similar to Senate Bill 6138 & House Bill 2379 which were introduced during the 2014 Legislative Session. The commission has appointed Dr. John Carbery of Yakima to testify on behalf of the legislation.
Following the business meeting, Dr. Quinn Dufurrena, Executive Director of the Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO) gave a presentation to the DQAC Corporate Practice Committee. The ADSO represents 31 dental support organizations (DSOs) in the United States, New Zealand and Europe. There are roughly eight ADSO affiliates operating in Washington including Bright Now! Dental, Gentle Dental, and Pacific Dental Services. Various corporate entities have made presentations to the committee over the past year, however, this was the first appearance from the ADSO.
DQAC released its most recent quarterly Newsletter in July. This issue focuses on corporate dental practices, rules on prescribing drugs, and a piece on informed consent, along with other timely articles. Both members of the Commission and Department of Health staff provide content for the newsletter. DQAC also operates an interested parties listserv which sends subscribers important notifications on new laws, new and modified rules and Commission meetings and actions. Subscribing to the listerv is easy and can also be done by visiting the Department of Health website.
To submit written comments regarding proposed rule changes to DQAC, visit the policy review page on the Department of Health’s website. Should you have any additional questions regarding legal and regulatory issues, please contact WSDA's Government Affairs Coordinator, Mike Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-448-3368.