AzDA 2012 Legislative Achievements

Delegation of Local Anesthesia to Hygienists Criteria Changed

During the 2012 Legislative session, leadership of the Arizona Dental Association negotiated with the Arizona State Hygienists’ Association for changes to allow dental hygienists to administer local anesthesia under general supervision (without the dentist being in the office, but being available telephonically).

The final bill (SB1004), which was signed by the Governor and is now the law, includes the following provisions:

  • Delegation of local anesthesia under general supervision is at the discretion of the dentist and may only be delegated on a patient by patient basis.
  • Such authorization is to be noted in the patient record
  • It is limited to patients over the age of 18.
  • The patient must have been seen by the dentist in the 12 month prior to the visit where local anesthesia is administered.
  • If there has been any change in the health status of the patient or if the medication regimen has change, local anesthesia may not proceed

AHCCCS Dental Plan Carve-out

During the 2012 Legislative session, AzDA sought legislation to “Carve-Out” the administration of the dental benefits from the current AHCCCS managed care system. States with carve outs report far fewer administrative headaches for providers, all electronic claims processing, stable fees which all lead to better care for more children. AzDA was successful at getting the bill through the Senate Health Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee, but the bill ultimately never proceeded to the Senate floor for consideration. In the course of the session, talks were initiated with AHCCCS and the Arizona association of Health plans, that resulted in a number of changes for providers, including the development a centralized credentialing process that will be used to handle this responsibility for all AHCCCS Health plans.