Friday, February 18, 2011

Kansas House Bill To Allow Expanded Functions for Hygienists Apprears Dead

— A controversial bill to allow specially trained dental hygienists to provide more tooth care to patients was heard today in the House Health and Human Services Committee.
But that may be the end of it for this year. House Bill 2280 will not be voted upon by the committee, the chairperson said following the hearing, which was split into two sessions, the second ending about 7:30 p.m.
"It's the first year for it. There's lots of questions, lots of concerns," about the proposal, said Rep. Brenda Landwehr, a Wichita Republican.
Her decision to hold the bill is a setback for its proponents because of looming legislative deadlines that limit ways they now can push the measure forward.  The bill, sought by a coalition that includes children's advocates and the state's 39 safety-net clinics, met stiff opposition from Kansas dentists.

New provider class
It would create a new class of dental care provider called a Registered Dental Practitioner. Already licensed hygienists with an additional 18 months of focused training could qualify for the new license, should the bill become law.

Supporters said the new "mid-level practitioners," would...  more