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  • Letters of Support
    AB 667

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    2006 Legislature
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    California Legislature 2009-10
    First Regular Session
    Bills of Interest to CSPD

    October 15, 2009


          AB 171  (Jones) Dental Service Credit Arrangements. - This bill would prohibit charging for services not yet provided or costs not yet incurred to an open-ended credit account arranged or established in the dental office without the patient's written consent and understanding and would prohibit the arrangement or establishment of credit to a patient under the influence of general anesthesia, conscious sedation, or nitrous oxide. The bill is intended to better protect consumers from medical cycle of debt problems related to dental services.
    CSPD Position: Support
    Outcome: Signed into Law
    Comment: The bill, as introduced, is essentially identical to the final version of SB 1633 (Kuehl) in the last session, which was vetoed by the Governor. CDA and CSPD supported this legislation.


          AB 403  (Fuller) Dental Hygienists: Examinations and Licensure - Currently, a candidate for dental hygiene licensure must, among other requirements, pass a state-administered clinical examination. This bill would add satisfactory completion of the clinical examination administered by the Western Regional Examining Board as meeting the requirement of a clinical examination.
    CSPD Position: Support
    Outcome: Passed and Signed by Governor
    Comment: This bill extends to dental hygiene candidates the same option of challenging the WREB or the DBC clinical examination as is currently extended to dental licensure candidates


    AB 456  (Emmerson) Board of California: Diversion Program - The bill would allow for the sharing of information between Dental Board's diversion program and its enforcement division when a licensee's participating in the program is terminated for non-compliance while on probation. With the exception of when a licensee presents a threat to the public's health and safety, current law does not allow the DBC's diversion program to notify its own enforcement division when a licensee participating in diversion is not in substantial compliance.
    CSPD Position: Under Consideration
    Outcome: Will be reconsidered in the legislature next year
    Comment: The bill sailed through the Assembly, but stalled in the Senate. There is no conflict in the Senate with the original intent of the bill, which is to allow the DBC access to all diversion records of a probationer who fails to comply with a diversion program as a condition of his/her probation. The Senate concerns revolve around ensuring that the bill conforms to SB 1411 passed last session and certain other technicalities. In this light, the author elected to make this a two-year bill in order to resolve Senate issues.

    AB 667  (Block) Public Health and School Settings: Fluoride Varnish Application - Existing law provides for the topical application of fluoride in public health and school settings. This bill would specifically allow fluoride varnish application by any person, including a dental assistant, in a public health setting or school-based program according to a prescription and protocol developed by a licensed dentist.
    CSPD Position: Support (Active) - Read CSPD's Letter of Support
    Outcome: Passed and Signed by Governor
    Comment: The legislation requires that fluoride varnish application programs in public health and school settings follow a protocol developed by a licensed dentist. The legislation, however, does not specify what that protocol should entail. It is likely CSPD and CDA will partner to develop a model protocol for posting on their respective websites as well as that of the DHCS.

    AB 684  (Ma) Dental Claim Payments: Late Payment Penalty - This bill would increase the interest rate dental health plans and insurers must pay for uncontested claims and claims that the carrier determines to be payable that are not reimbursed within 60 working days and requires the additional interest that accrues be paid to the carriers' respective regulators to offset the cost of enforcement. The bill also requires carriers offering dental coverage to follow a specified process for requesting additional information related to a claim.
    CSPD Position: Support
    Outcome: Will be reconsidered in the legislature next year
    Comment: This now becomes a" two-year bill" after the California Association of Dental Plans agreed in late June to participate with CDA in a high level workgroup before the second legislative session to resolve a number of CDA issues with dental plans and insurers. The bill will remain in the Senate Health Committee until January, at which time the author (and CDA) will make a decision as to whether to move forward, based on the outcome of the workgroup's efforts.

    AB 745  (Coto) Self-Funded Dental Benefit Plans: Disclosure of ERISA Status - This bill would require self-funded dental plans to disclose in explanation of benefit forms and certain other documents that the plan is not subject to consumer protection provisions of state law governing dental service plans and that questions, appeals or disputes should be directed to the providing entity or to the United States Department of Labor.
    CSPD Position: Support (Active)
    Outcome: Passed by the Legislature; Vetoed by the Governor
    Comment: In his veto message, the governor described the bill as "unnecessary," saying "The federal Department of Labor has already adopted requirements governing self-funded benefit plans and their disclosure statements. Appropriate complaint and contact information is already included in order for patients and providers to seek redress".

    AB 832  (Jones) Ambulatory Surgical Facilities: Workgroup - As amended, this bill requires the Department of Public Health (DPH) to convene a workgroup no later than February 1, 2010, to consider and develop recommendations for state oversight and monitoring of ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), and to report to the legislature its findings no later than July 1, 2010.
    CSPD Position: Watch
    Outcome: Stalled in Assembly Appropriations Committee
    Comment: As introduced, the bill would have set new licensing requirements for specified ambulatory surgical facilities, including dental offices in which conscious sedation and/or general anesthesia is provided. As currently amended, the bill calls for a taskforce to examine the issue of Department of Public Health regulation of ambulatory surgical clinics. The legislation specifically includes CDA as a member of that work group.

    AB 1310  (Hernandez) Healing Arts: Demographic Database - This bill requires specified healing arts boards, including the Dental Board of California and the Dental Hygiene Committee to collect demographic specified information from licensees and to transfer the data to the Health Care Workforce Clearinghouse within the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to measure and evaluate the state's healthcare workforce development needs. Provides that personally identifiable information is confidential and not subject to public inspection, that reporting the information is not a condition of license renewal, and that no adverse action will be taken against a licensee who does not report information.
    CSPD Position: Under Consideration
    Outcome: Stalled in Senate Appropriations Committee
    Comment: Existing law (AB 269 of 2007) authorizes the Dental Board of California to collect information, reported on a voluntary basis by dentists and dental auxiliaries at the time of licensure renewal, on their cultural background and foreign language proficiency. This legislation increases the amount of information collected and provides specificity as to the use of the data. The DBC opposes the bill because of the increased workload.

    AB 1524  (Hayashi) Dental Licensure Qualification Requirements - This bill would abolish the clinical and written dental licensure examination administered by the Dental Board of California, replacing it with an assessment process during enrollment at an in-state dental school utilizing uniform standards of minimal clinical experiences and measuring competencies at the end of the school program.
    CSPD Position: Watch
    Outcome: Will be reconsidered by the legislature next year
    Comment: Other current paths to dental licensure would remain available, including passage of the Western Regional Examination.

    AB 1541  (Health Cmte) Healthy Families Program - As amended 5/5/05, this bill increases from 30 to 60 days the time period in which individuals losing Healthy Families Program (HFP) or Medi-Cal coverage have to request enrollment in other group coverage without being considered a late enrollee. Conforms California law to a provision of the 2009 Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA).
    CSPD Position: Watch
    Outcome: Passed and Signed by the Governor
    Comment: Introduced as "spot legislation" as a possible bill to provide Healthy Families "dental wrap around" coverage, the bill now has different intent.

    SB 311  (Alquist) Healthy Families Program: Prospective Payment System - As amended, this bill would require the Healthy Families Program to reimburse federally-qualified health centers and rural health clinics by the prospective payment system established under the Medi-Caid program so as to comply with the 2009 Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act.
    CSPD Position: Watch
    Outcome: Stalled in Senate Appropriations Committee
    Comment: This bill was drafted at one point to provide Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) dental "wrap around" coverage .It no longer carries that provision. As introduced, it was identical to special session bill ABx3 26 (Alquist). As introduced, it was doomed under the current budget climate secondary to cost estimates. Preliminary estimates from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research are that approximately 73,000 eligible children (out of 160,000 children who have private medical but no dental coverage and otherwise satisfy all Healthy Families eligibility requirements) would enroll in supplemental dental coverage. A Senate Appropriations Committee analysis estimated the first-year implementation cost to the general fund of $2 million and the UCLA study estimates full-implementation costs to the general fund of $6.4 million annually.

    SB 389  (Negrete-McLeod) Health Professions Licensure: Fingerprinting and Self-Reporting - Existing law requires applicants to certain health professions boards to provide a full set of fingerprints for the purpose of conducting criminal history record checks. This bill would make the fingerprinting requirement applicable to, among others, the Dental Board and Dental Hygiene Committee and require licensees for which fingerprint records do not exist to provide such records. It would also require as a condition of licensure renewal that an applicant disclose to the licensing board if he or she has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor since the last issuance of the license.
    CSPD Position: Support
    Outcome: Will be reconsidered by the legislature next year
    Comment: The disclosure requirement is intended to discover felony or misdemeanor convictions not reported to health professions licensing boards because of lax reporting by city and district attorneys and the courts as required under existing law.

    SB 630  (Steinberg) Orofacial Anamalies: Dental and Orthodontic Services - Existing state law requires health care service plans and health insurance policies to cover reconstructive surgery. This bill would require dental or orthodontic services that are medically necessary and related to the reconstructive surgery of congenital orofacial anomalies be included as a benefit under these plans and policies.
    CSPD Position: Support (Active)
    Outcome: Passed and Signed by the Governor
    Comment: This bill is similar to SB 1634 (Steinberg), which last year passed both houses of the legislature, but was vetoed by the Governor. SB 1634 was specific to the inclusion of orthodontic services necessary for the surgical rehabilitation of orofacial anomalies. This bill includes dental as well as orthodontic services.

    SB 638  (Negrete-McLeod) Regulatory Boards: Sunset Review Provisions - This bill would change current "sunset review" law to provide that when a licensing board becomes inoperative, reconstitution of that licensing board would be automatic, rather than transforming it into a bureau of the Department of Consumer Affairs. It would authorize the appropriate standing policy committees of the legislature to carry out the sunset review functions.
    CSPD Position: Watch
    Outcome: Stalled in the Senate

    SBx326  (Alquist) Healthy Families Program: Dental-Only Coverage - This bill would provide supplemental dental-only coverage under the Healthy Families program to children who are enrolled in group health care coverage or health insurance offered through an employer without dental benefits and who would otherwise financially-qualify for enrollment.
    CSPD Position: None
    Outcome: Died in Special Session
    Comment: Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) dental "wrap around" coverage is authorized under the CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2009. The legislative language is very vague at this point, expressing primarily the "intent" to establish dental-only coverage. It was introduced during the 3rd Special Session of the 08-09 Legislature, December 2008 as is identical to SB 311(2009) as introduced. Preliminary estimates from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research are that approximately 73,000 eligible children (out of 160,000 children who have private medical but no dental coverage and otherwise satisfy all Healthy Families eligibility requirements) would enroll in supplemental dental coverage. A Senate Appropriations Committee analysis estimated the first-year implementation cost to the general fund of $2 million and the UCLA study estimates full-implementation costs to the general fund of $6.4 million annually.
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