Dental hygiene regulatory entity becomes board in 2018 sunset review

Every four years, many regulatory agencies undergo legislative reviews, commonly known as “sunset reviews,” to re-evaluate the inner workings of that agency. This year, the Dental Hygiene Committee of California underwent its second sunset review, which was signed into law Sept. 17 by Gov. Jerry Brown, extending the committee’s regulatory authority until Jan. 1, 2023.

The DHCC underwent two major changes during the sunset review.

First, DHCC’s formal name will be changed to the Dental Hygiene Board of California for continuity with the naming convention of other entities overseen by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Second, DHCC will no longer be officially under the jurisdiction of the dental board. The jurisdictional language that was deleted from DHCC’s establishing statutes eliminates the ability for DHCC to shift administrative or enforcement duties to the dental board, as was originally written when DHCC was first established in 2009. However, existing provisions requiring DHCC to confer with the dental board on issues pertaining to scope of practice will remain in place. The 2018 sunset review will not have a material impact on DHCC’s regulatory authority as the new board’s power does not expand and the regulatory agency will not receive additional staffing or funding as a result of these changes.

The sunset review bill is a result of significant discussions and negotiations between CDA, DHCC and the Legislature, including the elimination of several scope change proposals.

For more background, read the article published in May.

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The Dental Hygiene Committee of California is undergoing its 2017–18 “sunset review” — an evaluation by the Legislature to assess the DHCC’s performance and determine whether it should continue to exist and, if so, whether it should be modified. In a letter to Sen. Jerry Hill, CDA recognized the DHCC’s substantial work on its 2018 sunset review package before moving on to outline its objections to five policy recommendations.