On Friday, April 18, the Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC) held a public meeting to discuss ongoing business. Here are some of the current issues before the commission:
DQAC reviewed proposed Record Content rules (WAC 246-817-305) and Record retention and accessibility requirements (WAC 246-817-310). The proposed 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. The commission had previously approved the proposed rule modifications during the first phase of rulemaking (CR-101), however, upon further review of public commentary it was decided that the rules be sent back to the Dental Treatment Records Rule Committee for further review.
During the 2014 session, DQAC supported the passage of Senate Bill 6138 which would have required the commission to write rules mandating continuing education for Expanded Function Dental Auxiliaries. SB 6138 was passed out of the Senate but did not receive the necessary votes to move forward in the House. DQAC will be continuing to push this legislation in 2015 and has already resubmitted their request for future review to the Department of Health (DOH).
On March 7, WSDA submitted a letter to DOH regarding modifying dentist license renewal notices. WSDA’s letter suggested moving the continuing education attestation portion of the renewal form to the front page where it would be more apparent to the practitioner. License renewal notices forms are used by multiple health professions and any alteration would require department-wide changes. DOH staff informed the commission that DOH has expressed interest in implementing the suggested modification. WSDA will continue to monitor this issue and provide further updates.
The following rule revisions are currently in process:
WAC 246-817-770: General Anesthesia and deep sedation – The revised sedation rules are in the second phase of rulemaking (CR-102) and currently being reviewed by the Assistant Secretary of Health. A rules hearing is scheduled for July 18, 2014.
WAC 246-817-160: Graduates of non-accredited schools – The proposed rules have moved into the CR-102 phase of rulemaking as no comments were submitted to the commission by public stakeholders. The rules hearing for 246-817-160 is scheduled for July 18, 2014.
WAC 246-817-360: Prescribing, dispensing or distributing drugs – The rule revision process has begun and the CR-101 phase of rulemaking is expected to be filed in the coming weeks.
WAC 246-817-701 through 790: Administration of anesthetic agents for dental procedures – DQAC reviewed the draft language and all written comments that were submitted from the public. The draft language was approved by the commission and will move to the next rule making phase.
To submit written comments directly 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.