Well, what an exciting year we had in 2019. Our advocacy team has done once again. A change to our scope of practice passed and we are now allowed to practice under the general supervision of a physician in an inpatient hospital setting. This change in our scope of practice is excellent news! It is a step towards the “integra[tion] [of] dental and medical care.” In addition, APDH scope of practice has expanded to allow the APDH to supervise dental assistants.
Furthermore, the advocacy team was able to ensure funding for KidsCare. Another victory was the signing of “SB 1034 that improves our overly burdensome and politically contentious process for expanding scope of practice for professions like ours or establishing new health care professions. Azdha supported this bill.”
With 2019 a success, we move on to 2020. Our goals for this year are as follows:
- DEFINE INTERIM THERAPEUTIC RESTORATION—establishes that in AZ, ITRs are allowed for both permanent and primary dentition.
- REMOVE UNNECESSARY RESTRICTIONS ON AFFILIATED PRACTICE HYGIENISTS—remove limit on # of APDHs who can provide services at any one time; remove provision that APDH must consult with AP dentist before treating patients who have not been seen by a dentist with 12 months of initial treatment by APDH.
- CLARIFY CONDITIONS FOR ROOT PLANING AND LOCAL ANESTHESIA BY APDH—protocols for root planning and local anesthesia must be included in affiliated practice agreement.
- SECURE DENTAL BENEFIT FOR PREGNANT WOMEN ON AHCCCS—ensuring mothers-to-be have access to dental services under AHCCCS(Arizona’s Medicaid Program).We have a lot of work ahead of us this year, but we can do this with your support. Please join us at Capitol Day, March 5, 2020, and have your voices heard. Please visit our website at azdha.org to register for Capitol Day. It’s Free!
Remember, without these advancements to our scope of practice and access to care for our underserved populations, we run the risk of a standstill in our profession instead of moving forward and keeping our profession vibrant and alive.
With Warm Regards,
Pamela Larrabee, RDH, BAS, MA
Arizona State Dental Hygeinists’ Association. Retrieved January 19, 2020, from https://azdha.org/