HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

564

TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO THE BOARD OF DENTISTRY AND DENTAL HYGIENE.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the name "board of dental examiners" is no longer an accurate description of the board's scope and function. The legislature finds that the name "board of dentistry and dental hygiene" is more appropriate since the board regulates dentists and dental hygienists within the State. Furthermore, the board no longer exists merely for purposes related to conducting licensing exams. The board now has additional responsibilities to regulate its members and the profession.

The legislature further finds that there are currently twelve members on the board. Eight of these members are practicing dentists, while only two members are dental hygienists. As of April 13, 2015, there were 1,512 dentists and 1,052 dental hygienists licensed by the State. According to these numbers, one dentist board member represents one hundred eighty-nine licensed dentists, while one dental hygienist board member represents five hundred twenty-six licensed dental hygienists.

Like the eight dentist members on the board, the two dental hygienist members are practicing professionals and must arrange for time off, often as unpaid leave, to fulfill their increasing duties. It is challenging for the two dental hygienist members to carry out their growing responsibilities, which includes providing dental hygienist expertise and perspective, as compared to the eight dentists sharing board member tasks.

The legislature finds that dental hygiene is one of the few health professions that is generally controlled by another profession. Due to the significantly higher representation of dentists on the board, the dental hygienists' contributions and guidance are often not reflected in the board's actions. A 1993 state auditor's report noted concern with the board's failure to implement its earlier recommendation to create a "better balanced board since the interests of dental hygienists may conflict with and be outweighed by those of dentists."

The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Update the name of the board of dental examiners to the board of dentistry and dental hygiene, which more accurately reflects the board's scope;

(2) Require the board to develop and report on the status of a conflict of interest policy regarding board member participation with certain dental examination companies;

(3) Authorize board members who are residents of neighbor islands to attend board meetings via teleconference; and

(4) Beginning on July 1, 2018, increase the board membership to fifteen members, apportion the dental hygienist representation among Oahu and neighbor island residents, and require at least one dentist board member to have a public health dentistry background.

SECTION 2. Section 448-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"448-5 Board of [examiners;] dentistry and dental hygiene; appointment. The board of [dental examiners] dentistry and dental hygiene shall consist of twelve members, eight of whom shall be practicing dentists who have been engaged in the practice of dentistry for a period of five years preceding their several appointments, two of whom shall be practicing dental hygienists, duly licensed under section 447-1, who have been engaged in the practice of dental hygiene in the State for a period of five years preceding appointment, and two of whom shall be public members. No member shall be in any way connected with, or interested financially in, any dental supply company. One member in the practice of dentistry shall be appointed from each of the counties of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai and five members in the practice of dentistry shall be appointed from the city and county of Honolulu. As used in this chapter, "board" means the board of [dental examiners.] dentistry and dental hygiene."

SECTION 3. Section 448-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"448-5 Board of [examiners;] dentistry and dental hygiene; appointment. The board of [dental examiners] dentistry and dental hygiene shall consist of [twelve] fifteen members, eight of whom shall be practicing dentists who have been engaged in the practice of dentistry for a period of five years preceding their several appointments, [two] five of whom shall be practicing dental hygienists, duly licensed under section 447-1, and who have been engaged in the practice of dental hygiene in the State for a period of five years preceding appointment, and two of whom shall be public members. A minimum of one member who is a practicing dentist shall have a background in public health dentistry. Of the members who are practicing dental hygienists, three shall be residents of Oahu, and two shall be residents of neighbor islands. No member shall be in any way connected with, or interested financially in, any dental supply company. One member in the practice of dentistry shall be appointed from each of the counties of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai and five members in the practice of dentistry shall be appointed from the city and county of Honolulu. As used in this chapter, "board" means the board of [dental examiners.] dentistry and dental hygiene."

SECTION 4. Section 448-6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) The board shall meet for the purpose of examining applicants and for other purposes at times that it designates. Adequate statewide public notice of the times and places of examinations shall be given. The board may prescribe which members shall participate in the examination and licensing procedures. Board members who are residents of neighbor islands may attend meetings of the board via teleconference."

SECTION 5. Sections 26-9, 423-1, 447-1(a), 447-1.5, 447-2, 447-3, 447-3.5, 447-4, 447-6, 447-7, 448-1.5, 448-2, 448-3, 448‑7, 448-9.6, 448-11, 448-12, 448-13, 448-16, 448-16.5, 448‑22, 448-23, and 451D-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, are amended by substituting the words "board of dentistry and dental hygiene", or similar term, wherever the words "board of dental examiners", or similar term, appears, as the context requires.

SECTION 6. The board of dentistry and dental hygiene shall develop a conflict of interest policy regarding board member participation with dental examination companies that may provide examinations for Hawaii dentists. The board shall report to the legislature on the status of this policy no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2018.

SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2017; provided that section 3 of this Act shall take effect on July 1, 2018.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Board of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene; Dentistry

 

Description:

Changes the name of the Board of Dental Examiners to the Board of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene (Board). Beginning on 7/1/2018, changes the Board composition by increasing dental hygienist representation and ensuring Oahu and neighbor island representation among dental hygienist members. Allows neighbor island Board members to attend meetings via teleconference. Requires the Board to develop conflict of interest policies for Board member participation with dental examination companies and to submit a report to the Legislature prior to the 2018 Regular Session on the status of the policy.

 

 

 

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