Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 563

       H.D. 1

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred H.B. No. 563, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to permit licensed dental hygienists in the State to operate under the general supervision of a licensed dentist, in specific circumstances.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Board of Dental Examiners, Hawaii Dental Hygienists' Association, and five individuals.  Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Hawaii Dental Association.


     Your Committee finds that under existing law, licensed dental hygienists must operate under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist in most circumstances, meaning a supervising licensed dentist must examine each patient prior to treatment, assign and review each treatment, and remain physically present in the office or facility while the procedure is being performed.  This requirement is time consuming for the dentist and restrictive for the dental hygienist.


     Your Committee further finds that forty-five states authorize dental hygienists to work under some degree of general supervision, meaning a dentist must authorize a dental hygienist to perform procedures, but need not be present in the treatment facility during the performance of those procedures.  Your Committee notes that existing state law permits general supervision of dental hygienists in public health settings, such as nonprofit health clinics, nursing homes, and adult day care centers or assisted living facilities.


     This measure permits dental hygienists to practice under the general supervision of a licensed dentist and pursuant to an existing treatment plan for patients of record who have had an examination by the licensed dentist, but specifies that a licensed dental hygienist shall not perform any irreversible procedure or administer any intra-oral block anesthesia while under general supervision.  Your Committee additionally finds that this measure gives dentists more flexibility in their practices, enables the dentistry profession to keep pace with increased patient need, and maintains safeguards for patients.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


     (1)  Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2017; and


     (2)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 563, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 563, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.


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