On Friday, July18, 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 held rules hearing for WAC 246-817-770: General anesthesia and deep sedation to consider public comment and the adoption of the proposed rules. The revised sedation rules will require dentists administering deep sedation or general anesthesia to utilize CO2 monitoring in addition to electrocardiographic monitoring and pulse oximetry. The rules were approved by the commission following the rules hearing. They now enter the final stage of rulemaking and will be adopted in the next 30 days.
A rules hearing for WAC 246-817-160: Graduates of nonaccredited schools was also held on July 18. The proposed rules were approved by the commission and did not impact the existing legal requirements to obtain dental licensure in Washington. These rules will also be adopted within the next 30 days.
DQAC reviewed WAC 246-817-701 through 790: Administration of anesthetic agents for dental procedures. The commission is planning to open the anesthesia rules in the coming months. DQAC also reviewed their modified General Anesthesia on-site inspections policy and are considering writing formal rules in the upcoming months. DOH staff are gathering more information on anesthesia inspections from states with existing on-site inspection programs.
DQAC filed WSR 14-14-100 in July which is the Preproposal Statement for Inquiry for Dentist Retired Active Status. The commission is considering adding a new section to create a retired active status dentist license, including continuing education requirements. A retired active license would allow a dentist to provide dental services in emergent or intermittent circumstances. The commission will be discussing rule modification at their September meeting.
Earlier this year WSDA requested that DOH move the signature box for written CE attestation from the back of the licensure renewal document to the front of the licensure renewal document. This was suggested to decrease the number of providers whose licenses lapse due to an incomplete licensure renewal application. DOH agreed with the recommendation and has moved the signature box to the front of the renewal form. This change was made to the renewal forms of all health professions with CE requirements and is effective immediately.
DQAC released its 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.