STAND. COM. REP. NO.685-02

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2002

RE: H.B. No. 2845

H.D. 2

 

 

 

Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2002

State of Hawaii

Sir:

Your Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, to which was referred H.B. No. 2845, H.D. 1, entitled:

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO DENTAL LICENSING,"

begs leave to report as follows:

The purpose of this bill is to authorize the Board of Dental Examiners (Board) to issue temporary three-year licenses allowing dentists licensed in other states or United States territories to practice under the auspices of safety net dental providers.

Testimony in support of this measure was received from the Hawaii Primary Care Association, Kalihi-Palama Health Center, and Kokua Kalihi Valley. The Board of Dental Examiners, Hawaii Dental Association, and numerous doctors of dentistry submitted opposing testimony.

Your Committee finds that dental health is one of Hawaii's most prevalent public health problems. Contributing to this problem is that roughly one-third of Hawaii's population do not have dental insurance. Furthermore, Medicaid/QUEST, a joint federal-state program that assists low-income individuals, does not provide basic dental coverage for adults.

 

Your Committee further finds that community health centers, also known as federally qualified health centers, are the primary safety net for people who face financial and/or cultural barriers to dental care. Currently, five out of ten Hawaii health centers offer dental services to low-income, uninsured individuals, and the remaining five health centers will start new dental programs within the next four years, due to a federal initiative that places a high priority on dental health. Despite their laudable efforts, these health centers find it difficult to recruit qualified dentists.

Your Committee believes that one way to address recruiting shortages is to amend licensing requirements for dentists who are working or volunteering for safety net dental providers. However, your Committee concurs with the Board that steps need to be taken to ensure a sufficient level of dental competency among those applying for a temporary license to work for safety net dental providers. Therefore, your Committee believes that more stringent temporary licensure requirements are necessary to assure that the quality of dental care is not being compromised.

Your Committee has amended the existing requirements for a temporary license -- that the dentist graduate from an accredited school, hold a current license, and have no disciplinary actions pending against them - by adding specific education and experience requirements. As amended, this bill would allow dentists who have graduated from a dental college accredited by the Council of Dental Education (Council) of the American Dental Association (ADA), that is recognized and approved by the Board, to obtain a temporary license either if:

(1) The dentist is enrolled in an ADA-accredited advanced training program; or

(2) The dentist:

(A) Is licensed in, and has no disciplinary actions or unresolved complaints pending in any state or territory of the United States;

(B) Can prove that they have been in clinical practice for a minimum of 1,000 hours per year for at least three years immediately preceding the date of application; and

(C) Signs a release allowing the disclosure of information from the National Practitioner Data Bank and verification of registration status with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

Your Committee has also amended this measure by:

(1) Making the temporary three-year license nonrenewable;

(2) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and

(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity, style, and consistency.

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2845, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2845, H.D. 2.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce,

 

____________________________

KENNETH T. HIRAKI, Chair