As a component of NYDHA, these are the advocacy initiatives achieved for the practice of dental hygiene in recent years
LEGISLATIVE ACTION AGENDA
New York State Public Policy Successes
NYDHA’s advocacy initiatives have achieved milestones for the practice of the dental hygiene profession in recent years.
Collaborative Practice Legislation - ENACTED 2015
Successful achievement of improved oral health for New York residents will require multiple solutions with a diverse array of engaged partners. Legislation to provide for dental hygienists to have collaborative practice agreements with dentists is a key part of NYDHA’s agenda.
In a step forward to increase access to preventive and therapeutic dental hygiene services, legislation was signed into law in 2013 to enable a dental hygienist working in Article 28 facilities under NYS Public Health Law to have collaborative arrangements with a dentist who has a formal relationship with that facility. These include such public health facilities as hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic and treatment centers, acute care clinics, and free-standing ambulatory surgery centers. The regulations relating to this law were adopted by the New York State Board of Regents on December 15, 2014. The law (Sections 6606 and 6608) and regulations became effective January 1, 2015. Read Q&A
Medicaid reimbursement: Effective September 1, 2016, Medicaid will reimburse Article 28 clinics for an oral assessment provided by an RDH in accordance with a collaborative practice agreement. In addition, Medicaid will reimburse the clinic for a follow-up visit with a dentist for an oral exam or treatment. Medicaid Managed Care plans are required to implement this change effective November 1, 2016. Read the provisions.
Resource: Collaborative Practice Toolkit
NYDHA has created a resource on entering into and practicing under collaborative practice. Learn more here. To order, contact info@NYDHA.org - no charge for NYDHA members as a benefit or membership; $50 for others, payable to NYDHA.
Law Adds RDHs for School Dental Certificates - ENACTED 2013
With NYDHA support, the NYS Education Law has been amended to include dental hygienists as designated professionals permitted to assess children's dental health and complete the certificates that report on the children's health readiness for school. Under Article 19, Section 903 (2)(a), RDHS, along with dentists can complete the certificates. The New York State Education Department has posted the forms, with a Q&A from the Office of Professions. Dental hygienists play an integral role in the prevention of dental disease and the promotion of health throughout a person's lifespan. Recognition of this role by placing this responsibility in the hands of dental hygienists is a step forward in assuring all New Yorkers have access to quality, preventive oral health services provided by Registered Dental Hygienists.
Limited Permit Legislation - ENACTED 2010
Legislation that was on NYDHA’s agenda, to provide for a limited permit for qualified dental hygienists, was signed in to law in 2010. Procedures are available from the Office of the Professions of the New York State Education Department to apply for limited permits for dental hygienists. Click here to access this information. This newly enacted law is provided for persons who have met all the requirements for license as a dental hygienist but have not yet passed the required examination. Click here to learn more in this Question & Answer article.
Redefining the Definition of Dental Hygiene Practice
Dental hygiene has long been dependent on an arbitrary laundry list of services in defining the scope of practice. That list, in the midst of growing technology and an oral health crisis, serves to unnecessarily restrict the provision of basic preventive, educational and therapeutic services. Additionally, restrictive supervision of the practice of dental hygiene adds to the inability of qualified, educated, licensed dental hygienists to provide services to those unserved by the current oral health care delivery system. The NYDHA Board of Directors has endorsed the ADHA Standards of Care as a more practical means of setting forth the work of dental hygienists. Read more in the NYDHA report.
NYDHA supported Congressional action to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which includes oral health services. While we favored a four-year renewal period, we are pleased that a two-year renewal has been achieved. Read more. NYDHA representative featured in the national Children's Dental Health Project blog.