This afternoon, the Senate Health Committee voted SSB 6126 out of committee with amendments. This means that the Senate version of the “dental practitioner” legislation moves out of committee and can potentially be considered by the full Senate. The following amendments were added to the bill:
- Language requiring that a dentist be available for “instant communication via video conferencing during treatment if needed.”
- Requires that practice plan contracts be “made available to the public upon request” and available “at the practice of the dental practitioner or the dental hygiene practitioner and provided to patients of the practitioner's practice upon request.”
- The following section was added to the bill: “The American Dental Association and the Washington State Dental Association are encouraged to consult with stakeholders, including dentists, dental hygienists, and patient advocates, to study programs in the state that use volunteer dentists and oral surgeons to provide specialty care dental services, including tooth extractions and root canals, to low-income adults and children. This study should include an investigation into expansion of volunteer specialty care dental services into underserved areas in the state and methods to finance these programs. In order to provide the legislature time to review the work of the American Dental Association and the Washington State Dental Association, the results of this study should be reported to the legislature by January 1, 2013.”
Before passing the bill, members of the committee expressed a desire to continue to refine the scope of practice of the practitioners and other aspects of the legislation. A complete copy of the amended bill can be found here.
HB 2226, the House companion bill of SB 6126, died in the House Health Committee earlier this week.
The WSDA continues to oppose SSB 6126 because it fractures the dental home, increases patient risk, and is not an economically viable model. More information about our opposition can be found here. With the help of our grassroots dentists, we will continue to fight against this legislation. Grassroots dentists will receive more information early next week about how they can help.
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