Georgia and Missouri pre-file midlevel provider bills
What's the issue?
On Dec. 20, State Sen. Renee Unterman (R) pre-filed SB 12, legislation that would allow dental hygienists to practice in safety-net clinics, nursing homes, school-based clinics and other locations without a dentist present. Unterman noted that this bill would help the most vulnerable populations receive access to care.
On Dec. 20, State Rep. Donna Lichtenegger (R) pre-filed H.B. 297, a bill that would expand the scope of practice for dental hygienists. The services performed by the hygienist, the protocols for practice and the populations that would be served would be outlined in a formal agreement between a licensed dentist and the dental hygienist. Some of the procedures dental hygienists could be allowed to perform include scaling and polishing, dental sealants and nonsurgical periodontal procedures.
Why is this important?
Most states have the option to pre-file bills prior to the start of a new legislative session. This process can help expedite the process for introducing legislation for the incoming year.
As outlined in ASDA's
, the dentist is the only dental provider that should perform the following functions: examinations, diagnosis, treatment planning and surgical/irreversible procedures.