STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2757
RE: S.B. No. 2280
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2022
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, to which was referred S.B. No. 2280, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO DENTAL ASSISTANTS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to allow dental assistants to perform limited duties under the general supervision of a dentist in public health settings.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health; Board of Dentistry; Hawai‘i Oral Health Coalition; Hui No Ke Ola Pono, Inc.; AlohaCare; Hawaii Dental Association; Hawaii Dental Hygienists' Association; and one individual.
Your Committee finds that incidences of tooth decay and poor oral hygiene in children across the State is alarmingly high. Untreated cavities can lead to significant pain and increase the risk of more serious infections in the mouth and body.
Your Committee further finds that the State lacks adequate and accessible dental public health infrastructure, especially on the neighbor islands. While existing law permits dental assistants to practice under the general supervision of a dentist in public health settings, dental assistants are prohibited from providing auxiliary support except under direct supervision.
Your Committee additionally finds that permitting dental assistants to provide limited, but essential, auxiliary support under general supervision while in public health settings would contribute to the development and sustainable implementation of community-based dental disease prevention programs. It would also expand providers' ability to offer adequate and accessible oral health services to rural communities and the State's most vulnerable residents, such as expanding the provision of teledentistry services.
Accordingly, your Committee finds that this measure will promote equitable access to critically needed dental services in communities across the State by expanding the permissible duties of dental assistants.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting an effective date of January 1, 2023; 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 and Consumer Protection that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2280, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2280, S.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair