August 2, 2013 — The New York State Dental Association (NYSDA) is applauding the passage of a new law that allows dental hygienists working in certain facilities to work under collaborative agreements with dentists who have a formal relationship with the same facility.
The legislation — A.7866, sponsored by Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, and S.5757, sponsored by Sen. Kemp Hannon — passed overwhelmingly in both the New York State Assembly (138-2) and the Senate (60-3) and has now been signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It allows dental hygienists working in facilities licensed under Article 28 of the New York State Public Health Law to work under collaborative agreements with dentists having a formal relationship with the same Article 28 facility.
With the passage of the law, NYSDA has answered the call for improving access to dental care while maintaining important patient safety concerns, the association noted in a press release.
Article 28 facilities are primarily hospitals but also include nursing homes and school-based health clinics. What the collaborative agreement system will do in these Article 28 facilities is free the dentist from the current requirement that they must be readily physically available to the location to be considered as providing proper general supervision for dental hygienists, according to the NYSDA. It substitutes a collaborative practice agreement arrangement that will allow the dentist and the dental hygienist to work out the supervision protocol most effective for the particular Article 28 setting.
Only a dentist who already has a formal relationship, such as hospital privileges, will be allowed to enter into a collaborative practice agreement with a dental hygienist at the same hospital.
Since 2008, NYSDA has been introducing legislation for collaborative practice arrangements with dental hygienists, but issues concerning scope of practice kept the bill from advancing through the Legislature, the association noted. The NYSDA has also worked to fashion some type of acceptable collaborative practice arrangement that would be targeted to areas that made the most sense and would help improve access to dental care for underserved populations in the state.
The state Dental Hygienists’ Association (DHASNY) responded with this statement to DrBicuspid.com:
“This new law is an important step forward in increasing access to preventive and therapeutic dental hygiene services for New Yorkers. The Dental Hygienists’ Association of the State of New York (DHASNY) has been actively working for collaborative practice and related initiatives since 2006, including strong support for the collaborative practice proposal of the Medicaid Redesign Team this year.
DHASNY had concern with the particular language of this new law with respect to the practical use of the provisions. For example, tying the options for securing a collaborating dentist to the employee/contract dentists on staff of the proposed practice site limits the capabilities of an RDH-CP (Registered Dental Hygienist-Collaborative Practice) to practice in areas of real need. Many non-profit organizations, including FQHC’s are without a dentist due to the shortage of practitioners willing to practice in a high need area. The national movement to expand RDHs to sites without dentists is a huge part of the puzzle to halt dental disease through preventive measures, the very foundation of dental hygiene practice.
DHASNY will be working for positive implementation and use of this new law and will continue its efforts to advance access to oral health services for all New Yorkers.
DHACNY Delegates to conference
DHASNY Officers and Directors 2013
DHSASNY HYPAC Trustees
COLLABORATIVE PRACTICE LEGISLATION
In an effort increase patients’ access to dental care, and to advance our profession, the Dental Hygienists’ Association of the State of New York (DHASNY) introduced legislation promoting collaborative practice agreements between New York state dentists and hygienists. Closely following the very successful New York state nurse practitioner model, DHASNY believes that collaborative practice will address the shortage of preventive oral health services currently available to the state’s most vulnerable residents.
In the NYS Assembly it is Bill A00 111A and in the Senate S7353.
Summary: “Authorizes dental hygienists to provide such services without supervision in collaboration with a licensed dentist under a collaborative practice agreement.”
To follow the progress of the legislation, go to http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/
In June of 2012, Daniel Lopez, newly graduated from City Tech, Dental Hygiene Department, Diane Macri, an Adjunct Asst’t Prof there, with three Columbia University dental students and one dentist spent four days in the Dominican Republic providing dental services to more than 200 residents.
The outreach was under the auspices of Somos Amigos Medical Missions, a public benefit, non-profit organization which provides medical, dental and humanitarian services and support to people living in medically under-served areas of developing countries and to others living in poverty. The volunteers provided the dental services in the village of Naranjito, the site of the first clinic operated by the organization. The volunteers lived in the homes of residents of the village and their contribution to the dental health of the community was greatly appreciated.
Naranjito is an isolated, religious rural community in the mountains of the Dominican Republic, which has no industry and relies on subsistence farming for survival. The community has no access to quality medical or dental care.
For more information about this organization and/or for volunteer opportunities: www.somosamigos.org
Sunstar Student YouTube Contest Winners
The winners of the ADHA/Sunstar YouTube contest for returning students were recently announced. Students were asked to use a variety of Sunstar products to create a video for patients with severe periodontitis. All entries can be viewed on ADHA’s YouTube channel. The winners are below.
CODA Accepts Recommendation to Require Needs Assessment to Determine the Feasibility of Proposed Dental Hygiene Programs
ADHA has just issued a press release heralding CODA’s new requirement for a needs assessment as part of the accreditation process for new DH programs accreditation. “Evidenced-based documentation of current and local/regional data which verifies an adequate patient population, qualified faculty and administration, and present employment opportunities for graduates” is now required. A link to the attached press release can be found on the ADHA home page, www.adha.org.
Congratulations to UTHSC Dental Hygiene Class of 2012
for Submitting the Winning Video in the YouTube Contest
A10638: Authorizes a limited permit to practice dental hygiene
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to authorizing a limited permit to practice dental hygiene
PURPOSE: To authorize graduates of dental hygiene programs who have met all the requirements for licensure but not yet passed the New York licensing examination to obtain limited permits to practice for a period of one year.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one amends the education law by adding a new section 6609-b which allows a limited permit to practice dental hygiene to be granted to an individual who has met all the requirements for license as a dental hygienist but has not yet passed the required examination. The limited permit entitles the holder to practice only under the personal supervision of a licensed dentist. The limited permit shall be issued for a period of one year, and may be renewed at the discretion of the department for one additional year. The fee for such permit and for each renewal shall be fifty dollars.
Section two provides the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Under the current law, a person who has completed all the requirements for licensure as a dental hygienist, but not yet passed the required examination is not permitted to practice. However, many of the other medical professions, including physician’s assistants, phys ical therapists, and dentists may obtain a limited permit authorizing them to practice under supervision for a set period of time prior to passing the required examination. Increasing access to oral healthcare and oral disease prevention for all New Yorkers continues to be a challenge. The creation of limited permits for dental hygienists would increase the number of practitioners avail able to provide dental hygiene services throughout the state, while bringing the dental hygiene profession in line with most other medical professions.