HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO DENTAL ASSISTANTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that existing law permits duly licensed and registered dentists to employ auxiliary personnel, known as dental assistants, to assist a dentist in the dentist's practice. Like dental hygienists, dental assistants are a valuable part of a dental team. However, dental assistants are not currently licensed or certified in Hawaii and are not required to meet the same stringent standards of training and care as licensed dental hygienists. The legislature notes that some concerns have been raised over proposed expansion by rule of the duties of a dental assistant and whether those duties would overlap with duties currently within the scope of practice for licensed dental hygienists.
The legislature additionally finds that it is important for those in the field of dentistry to be aware of and adhere to legislatively determined parameters regarding the duty and scope of practice for licensed dental hygienists. It is also important that unlicensed persons do not infringe upon any licensed profession's scope of practice. The legislature also finds that training and education for dental assistants are important. However, it is not appropriate for unlicensed auxiliary personnel to be expected or required to perform duties, activities, or functions that, if performed by a dental hygienist, would require licensure.
The legislature's intent is to make clear that if the board of dental examiners wishes to amend the scope of practice for licensed professionals or auxiliary personnel under the board's purview, then the board must approach the legislature, so such a change can be made in statute.
Accordingly, the purpose of this part is to clarify the allowable and prohibited practices for dental assistants.
SECTION 2. Section 448-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:
"(b) A duly licensed and registered
dentist may employ auxiliary personnel, other than registered dental
hygienists, to assist the dentist in executing the dentist's
practice of dentistry. These employees shall be known as dental assistants and
shall perform all duties assigned to them under the supervision, direction,
and responsibility of the dentist. [
Duties] Additional duties of
the dental assistant and regulatory directives [ shall] may be delineated
under rules which the board of dental examiners may from time to time adopt[ .];
provided that the rules shall not infringe upon, overlap with, or conflict with
the duties and scope of practice for any other licensed professional. No
person shall employ, direct, or otherwise order a dental assistant or other
person to perform services or procedures within the scope of practice of dental
hygiene as provided in chapter 447, unless the person who performs the services
or procedures is a licensed dental hygienist under section 447-1."
SECTION 3. The legislature finds that thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia require some form of certification or licensure for dental assistants. However, dental assistants are not currently required to be certified or otherwise regulated in Hawaii. The legislature notes that the University of Hawaii, Kapiolani community college offers a dental assistant certification program, accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. Furthermore, Kapiolani community college's dental assisting program offers pathways to certification as a certified dental assistant via passage of an examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc.
Accordingly, the purpose of this part is to require the auditor to conduct a sunrise analysis on the effects of regulation of dental assistants in the State via the certification options for dental assistants offered by Kapiolani community college's dental assisting program.
SECTION 4. (a) Notwithstanding any other law, the auditor shall conduct a sunrise analysis on the effects of regulation of dental assistants in the State via the certification requirements for dental assistants offered by the University of Hawaii Kapiolani community college's dental assisting program.
(b) The auditor shall examine the following pathways to certification for dental assistants:
(1) Successful completion of the certificate of achievement in dental assisting program at Kapiolani Community College and successful completion of the certified dental assistant examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc.; and
(2) Successful completion of the certificate of competence in dental assisting from Kapiolani community college, plus employer-verified proof of more than 3,500 hours of employment as a dental assistant, and successful completion of the certified dental assistant examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc.
(c) The auditor shall submit a report of findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2018.
SECTION 5. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2017.
Dental Assistants; Dental Hygienists; Licensing; Certification; Scope of Practice; Auditor
Clarifies the allowable and prohibited practices requirements for dental assistants. Clarifies that rules shall not infringe upon, overlap with, or conflict with the duties and scope of practice for other licensed professionals. Prohibits persons from employing, directing, or ordering a dental assistant or other person to perform services or procedures within the scope of practice of dental hygiene. Requires the auditor to conduct a study on the effects of regulation of dental assistants in the State via the certification requirements for dental assistants offered by Kapiolani community college. (SD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.