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AzDA 2017 Legislative Accomplishments

AHCCCS Adult Emergency Dental Benefit
Included in the 2017 State budget and restored permanently.  AHCCCS policies provided for more extensive range of treatment options including RCT on all teeth, pre-fabricated crowns and extractions to an annual cap of $1,000.  Coverage effective October 1.

AHCCCS Coverage for Pregnant Mothers
Legislation unanimously passed the House Health Committee but did not receive consideration in the Appropriations Committee.  We will try again next year!

Sunrise Application – Dental Therapy
Heard by the Joint Health Committee of Reference on December 16, 2016 and defeated.  One vote in favor, eight votes against.  A revised sunrise application filed by a group calling itself Dental Care for Arizona” again submitted and heard by the Health Committee of Reference on November 28.  Passed on a vote of 5 in favor and four against. Bill language will be drafted for introduction in the January 2018 legislative session.

Senate Bill 1362 – Dental Board Issues
Jointly supported by AzDA and the Arizona Dental Hygiene Association.  Passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.   

Addresses a number of issues, as follows:

  • Defines “Affiliated Practice Dental Hygienist” as able to initiate treatment (limited by scope of practice) based on an assessment pursuant to a written agreement with a dentist.
  • Re-defines “assessment” to include the collection of clinical information to facilitate an examination, diagnosis and treatment plan by a dentist.
  • Allows a hygienist to do an interim therapeutic restoration upon completion of a course approved by the Board.  (Eliminates requirement to go through EFDA training).
  • Redefines “teledentistry” to include an examination.  NOTE: ADA has established codes for teledentistry that are to be included in the 2018 CDT.
  • Allows EFDA’s who are certified in other states within the last ten years to be certified here, after a demonstration of competency.
  • Requires BODEX to recognize clinical examination results administered by other regional testing agencies.
  • Eliminates the $2,000 credentialing fees for applicants who have completed exams other than WREB within 5 years.
  • Gives BODEX the authority to lower the $2,000 credentialing fee (for applicants who are beyond the five year limit noted above).
  • BODEX has a $5 Million surplus in the Dental Board Fund!  This is more than four times its annual operating expenses.  AzDA and ADHA petitioned BODEX to reduce renewal fees.
  • BODEX has lowered renewal fees effective with the 2017 renewal period.  Dentist renewal fees have dropped from $600 to $510 and RDH fees have dropped from $300 to $255.
  • SB1362:
    • Eliminates language in the Dental Practice Act that precludes BODEX from lowering fees any further.
    • Forces BODEX to live on its savings!  Renewal fees will be waived for all dentists, dental hygienists and denturists for 2018, 2019 and 2020.
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