Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/07/1995 03:10 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 HHES - 03/07/95                                                               
 HB 182 - DELEGATION OF DUTIES TO DENTAL ASSISTANTS                          
 Number 647                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said that following the subcommittee meeting on HB
 182 which took place on Saturday, March 4, she would ask the HESS             
 Committee to pass out this bill as amended.  The subcommittee                 
 contends that the authority to license or otherwise regulate dental           
 assistants already rests with the Board of Dental Examiners.  Co-             
 Chair Toohey hopes that after HB 182 becomes law, the board will              
 work with the affected groups to come up with some guidelines or              
 regulations that satisfy everyone.                                            
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said that the subcommittee found that the Board of            
 Dental Examiners does have regulating powers and it, not the                  
 legislature, should be regulating those under its control.  On page           
 121 of the regulations, number 11 states that the dental board has            
 the authority to issue permits or certificates to license dentists,           
 dental hygienists and dental assistants who meet standards                    
 determined by the board for specific procedures that require                  
 specific education and training.                                              
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said that is where the subcommittee made its                  
 Number 755                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said she would like the bill to pass as amended,              
 and then the board should be directed to come up with its                     
 recommendations as to implementation.                                         
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked to clarify what was occurring.  First, Co-               
 Chair Toohey would like to amend HB 182 for federal dentists.                 
 Then, if the bill passes, it would be the will of the HESS                    
 Committee members that the dental board promulgate regulations that           
 would or would not allow the application of sealants, etc., by                
 dental assistants, as they see fit.  This is an enabling kind of              
 bill, the bill is not a mandate.                                              
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said it was discovered from conversations with                
 dental clinics that there is a stack of Occupational Safety and               
 Health Administration (OSHA) regulations in clinics that dental               
 assistants are obliged to read, follow and sign off on.  Indeed,              
 they have an incredible amount of training.                                   
 Number 844                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE moved that HB 182 be adopted.                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said that as Co-Chair Toohey mentioned, if            
 the proper board has the power to make these regulatory changes,              
 why is this statute being passed?                                             
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY answered that the bill allows federal dentists who            
 practice under the Indian Health Service (IHS) to delegate                    
 authorities to dental assistants.                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the word "or" was being removed              
 from Amendment 1.                                                             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the amendment had not yet been adopted, and               
 moved that Amendment 1 be adopted so that discussion may begin.               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked for discussion.                                         
 Number 910                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said Amendment 1 spoke of an assistant to             
 a licensed dentist under that statute, or a federal dentist.                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE continued "...or a dentist licensed under the Alaska           
 statute which regards the IHS."                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said that Amendment 1 had been adopted at last                
 week's meeting.  A Committee Substitute (CS) for HB 182 was now               
 being used.                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the intention of the bill is to              
 just exempt the federal dentists.                                             
 Number 963                                                                    
 SAM KITO, Lobbyist, representing the Alaska Dental Society, said              
 the language in the statute is neither permissive or restrictive in           
 the sense that the language is not present.  But rather than have             
 the legislature, through statute, mandate that these dental                   
 assistants must be licensed to perform the duties in question, the            
 language says, "This section does not prohibit a dental assistant             
 from applying these agents."                                                  
 MR. KITO said that allows, with specificity, that the board can or            
 cannot make that determination as they see fit under the law.  It             
 is not being said through statute that the board must do something.           
 The board will make its determinations.  But because what dental              
 assistants can or cannot do is not specifically addressed under               
 statute, the board can make a determination either way.                       
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked what would occur if the board did not           
 want dental assistants to perform specific duties.                            
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY answered that such decisions are up to the board.             
 MR. KITO said that the statute does not say dental assistants or              
 the board cannot do anything.  It is up to the board to make those            
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said this does not give the dental                    
 assistants, without the proper regulatory framework, permission to            
 MR. KITO said the board oversees whether dentists want or do not              
 want to delegate these duties.                                                
 Number 1035                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said the opinion from the board concerning its                
 authority to grant licenses and permits was given in 1988.  This              
 authority has been known by the dental community for quite awhile,            
 and the repercussions have been tossed about for the last seven               
 years.  Therefore, Co-Chair Toohey feels that HB 182 and the                  
 contentions with dental assistant competency is being placed where            
 it belongs.                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS thought the amendment was adding to the             
 bill, when in fact it is deleting exemptions.                                 
 Number 1082                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said that both he and Representative Davis were at             
 another committee meeting when the amendment was adopted.  The only           
 action now necessary is to vote on CSHB 182(HES).  He moved that              
 the bill, as amended, move from the HESS Committee with individual            
 recommendations.  There were no objections and the bill was passed            
 from committee.                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY passed the gavel to Co-Chair Bunde for the                    
 remainder of the meeting.                                                     
 Number 1123                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced that Representative Davis joined the                 
 meeting at 3:15 p.m., and Representative Brice joined the meeting             
 at 3:25 p.m.                                                                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said it was not his intention to move HB 215, HB 217           
 or HJR 17 out of the committee today.  These hearings are for                 
 discussion only.                                                              

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