Two bills sponsored by CDA this year, one dealing with incentives for retired dentists to provide free care and the other regulation of portable and mobile dental operations, passed the halfway mark in the legislative process last month by receiving unanimous votes in their first houses.
AB 836 (Skinner) would provide an incentive for retired dentists to provide care at clinics and other voluntary settings by reducing the biennial continuing education (CE) requirement by 40 percent for dentists maintaining a “retired” licensure status, which currently allows them to pay half of the biennial licensure fee, but still requires them to complete 50 hours of continuing education units. This concept was included in the comprehensive Access Report: Phased Strategies for Reducing the Barriers to Dental Care in California, which was accepted by the 2011 CDA House of Delegates.
SB 562 (Galgiani) would require portable dental operations to be registered with the Dental Board of California in the same manner that mobile vans/clinics currently are required to be. The bill would also authorize the Dental Board to expand its existing regulations of mobile operations to standards for continuity of care, record availability and patient information. The bill is intended to close a gap in the board’s current authority to regulate and enforce the Dental Practice Act for portable operations that contract with schools, nursing homes and other settings to provide care.
After being approved by the appropriate policy and fiscal committees, AB 836 was passed by the full Assembly on April 25 by a 76-0 vote, while the Senate passed SB 562 on May 6 by a 32-0 vote. Each bill now moves to the second house, where they will receive another round of committee hearings and votes before ultimate passage to the Governor’s desk.
For more information about what issues CDA is tackling in the legislature, visit cda.org/advocacy.