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Legislative Update: Arizona Dental Therapy Bill HB2235 Amendment

Posted on Apr 23, 2018 06:40 am by asdohasdablog

On Monday, April 16th, the Pew Foundation and the Arizona Dental Association (AzDA) Lobbyists came to compromise on Amendments regarding the induction of Dental Therapists into Arizona practice.

The AzDA discussed a position that would have allowed a dental therapist to practice in private practices that are both located in the Dental Health Professional Shortage area with at least a 75% Medicaid, negotiable to 50%.

The Pew Foundation offered to limit DTs to tribal settings, FQHCs, charitable dental clinics (like St. Vincent DePaul), and only to private practices that provide dental care to Community Health Center patients of record. Additionally, they offered to reduce the ratio of dentists to dental therapists from 1:5 to 1:4.

Dental therapists are also limited to doing simple extractions of primary teeth. Extractions of permanent teeth are limited to periodontally diseased teeth that exhibit grade 3 mobility that are not impacted, fractured, unerupted or in need of sectioning for removal and may only be performed under direct supervision.

The Amendment was quickly considered in the Committee of the Whole on Thursday, April 19th with no votes against it. It will then go back to the House for a final direct vote, then to the Governor for signature.

A summary of the points of Amendment are listed below. The entire language of the amended bill can also be found here: Dental Therapy Bill HB2235-Barto Floor Amendment BONUS Read Dr. Robert Roda’s Opinion piece in the ADA Morning Huddle as the President of the AzDA: MyView: State’s failed dental therapy experiment

1. Limits dental therapists to only practicing at: a) a Federally Qualified Community Health Center or Federal Look-Alike; b) a Community Health Center (CHC); c) a nonprofit dental practice or organization that provides dental care to low-income and underserved individuals; or d) a private dental practice that provides dental care for CHC patients of record. 2. Prohibits a dental therapist from performing nonsurgical extractions of permanent teeth unless under the direct supervision of a dentist. 3. Prohibits dental therapists from independently billing for services. 4. Reduces, from five to four, the maximum number of dental therapists per supervising dentist. 5. Allows a dental therapist to work under either: a) general supervision pursuant to a written collaborative practice agreement; or b) direct supervision. 6. Stipulates that a licensee is not required to: a) maintain a dental hygienist license; or b) obtain a dental hygienist license if the Board of Dental Examiners determines that the applicant otherwise meets the licensure requirements. 7. Defines terms. 8. Makes technical and conforming changes.

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