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New NY law gives dental hygienists expanded duties

By DrBicuspid Staff

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.

 

 

DHASNY ANNUAL EMPIRE CONFERENCE, Verona, NY Nov. 2012
DHACNY-delegates-to-Empire-

 

 

 

DHACNY Delegates to conference

 

 

DHASNY Officers and  Board members 2013

 

 

 

DHASNY Officers and Directors 2013

 

 

DHASNY-HYPAC-TRUSTEES

 

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.

Visit the link for more information on this very important development. www.dhasny.org under Public Policy & the Profession, check out the Fact Sheet or Click Here for Fact Sheet.

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/

 

OUTREACH

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

volunteers

residents-of-Naranjito

 

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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.

1st place: Salt Lake Community College
2nd Place: Coastal Carolina Community College
3rd place: Truckee Meadows Community College

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

BILL NUMBER:A10638

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.