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Connecticut State Dental Association

Legislative Initiatives

The 2019 Connecticut Legislative Session took place
January 9 through June 5.

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Please click here to read the "Capitol Report" with the Highlights from the 2019 Legislative Session.

 




Does the Single-Use Plastic Bag Fee Affect My Office?

Effective August 1, 2019, retailers making sales in Connecticut of tangible personal property to the public are required to collect a 10 cent fee per single-use plastic checkout bag. “Single-use checkout bag” is defined as a plastic bag with a thickness of less than four mils and is provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale. “Store” is defined as any retailer, as defined in Conn.Gen.Stat 12-407, that maintains a retail store within the state and sells tangible personal property directly to the public. This definition includes any dental office with a sales tax permit.

For example, if a dental office is using a plastic bag to provide their patients with promotional materials or free items, such as a toothbrush and or floss, then the dental office is not required to collect a fee. If, however, a dental office has a sales tax permit and is selling items to their patients, such as an electronic toothbrush and uses a plastic bag with a thickness of less than four mils, to provide the product to the patient, then the dental office is required to collect a 10 cent fee and report that to the State.

For further information, please click here for more from the CT Department of Revenue Services Guidance Sheet Regarding the Single-Use Plastic Bag Fee. 

If you have additional questions regarding the plastic bag fee, please contact the CT Department of Revenue Services (DRS) directly. You can email DRS Legal Division at legal.division@po.state.ct.us or call DRS at (800) 382-9463.


Dental and Oral Health Related Bills that Passed this Session

INSURANCE TRANSPARENCY
The legislation extends to dentists the same provider contract requirements and transparency provisions that are already applicable to other health care providers. It adds “dentists” as a medical provider and requires a contracting health organization to establish and implement a procedure to provide each contracted dentist access via the Internet, electronic, or digital access to the organization's fees for the current procedural terminology (CPT), or upon request, the current dental terminology (CDT) codes, and the Health Care Procedure Coding System codes. The bill also mandates that contracted dental providers be given at least ninety days advanced notice of any adjustments by mail, electronic mail or facsimile before an adjustment becomes effective. The dental insurer must issue to network providers the percentage effects of such adjustment for the twenty most frequently performed procedures for which such provider sought reimbursement, during the twelve months immediately preceding the date of such notice.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2020

DENTAL THERAPY WORKING GROUP
The legislation requires the Public Health Committee chairpersons to convene a working group to advise the committee on the licensure of dental therapists by the Department of Public Health. The CSDA has been appointed as a member of the working group. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2019


DENTAL ASSISTANTS
The legislation allows dental assistants, as an alternative to the DANB examination, to complete an infection control competency assessment administered by an in-state dental education program accredited by CODA. It also extends the maximum on-the-job training period to pass the DANB examination or the infection control competency assessment to 15 months.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2019

 
EXPANDED FUNCTION DENTAL ASSISTANTS
The legislation adds the following to the list of procedures that dentists may delegate to Expanded Functions Dental Assistants:

  1. Administering topical anesthetic, before a dentist or dental hygienist administers local anesthetic, and
  2. Taking alginate teeth impressions for use in study models, orthodontic appliances, whitening trays, mouth guards or for fabricating temporary crowns. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

 

DENTAL LICENSURE
The legislation:

  1. Establishes a one-year residency as a standard requirement for dentist licensure,
  2. For dentists completing a practical examination instead of a residency, eliminates examinations with human subjects by July 1, 2021, and
  3. Allows out-of-state dentists meeting certain standards to become licensed here without examination if they have worked for a least one year before the application. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2020

 

DENTISTS’ AND DENTAL HYGIENISTS’ CONTINUING EDUCATION
The legislation allows dentists and dental hygienists to substitute eight hours of volunteer practice at temporary dental clinics (Mission of Mercy) for one hour of continuing education credit, up to a maximum of 10 hours for dentists and 5 hours for dental hygienists in a two-year period. A “Temporary Dental Clinic” provides dental care services at no cost to uninsured or underinsured persons and operates for no more than 72 consecutive hours.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2020

 

DENTAL HYGIENISTS
The legislation allows:

  1. Dental hygienists to take alginate impressions of teeth, under a dentist’s indirect supervision, for use in study models, orthodontic appliances, whitening trays, mouth guards, and fabrication of temporary crowns; and
  2. Permits dental hygienists with two years of experience to practice without a dentist’s general supervision at a temporary dental clinic. It does so by adding such clinics to the definition of “public health facility” for this purpose.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2020

 

FINGER-STICK DIABETES TESTING
Dentists can now administer finger-stick diabetes tests to patients who have increased risk of diabetes, but who have not been diagnosed with diabetes. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2019

 

DENTAL MOBILE CLINICS
The legislation authorizes the Department of Social Services (DSS) to reimburse a mobile dental clinic for dental services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries within 30 miles of the associated dentist's fixed location. The bill extends the reimbursable service area to a 50 mile radius for mobile dental clinics located in New London, Litchfield and Windham counties. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: From date of passage

 

AUTOMATIC EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATOR
The legislation extends immunity from civil liability to physicians, dentists or nurses who operate an automatic external defibrillator (AED) for damages for personal injuries caused by the AED’s malfunctioning, if the malfunctioning constitutes ordinary negligence. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2019

BUDGET
No cuts were made to Dental Medicaid rates.

DENTAL THERAPY
The legislation establishes a dental therapist designation for dental hygienists. The dental therapist:

  1. Must be a licensed dental hygienist
  2. Obtain a dental therapist certification issued by a CODA accredited institution after successful completion of a dental therapy program in accordance with CODA standards
  3. Successfully complete a comprehensive examination prescribed by the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments or its equivalent, and administered independently of any higher education institution that offers a dental therapy program
  4. Must complete 1,000 hours of clinical training under direct supervision of a dentist prior to entering into a collaborative agreement (Clinical training hours must be verified by a certificate of completion signed by the dentist)
  5. Must enter into a collaborative agreement with a dentist
  6. Successfully complete 6 hours of continuing education related to dental therapy
  7. Limit practice to public health settings only*

*"Public health facility" means an institution, as defined in section 19a-490, a community health center, a group home, a school, a preschool operated by a local or regional board of education, a head start program or a program offered or sponsored by the Federal Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children, a senior center or a managed residential community, as defined in 214 section 19a-693, a licensed child care center, as described in section 19a-77, or a temporary dental clinic, as defined in section 20-126c.

The bill defines the “practice of dental therapy” as performing educational, preventive and therapeutic services through any of the practices and procedures listed in the table below.

Practice of Dental Therapy

Identifying oral and systemic conditions requiring evaluation or treatment by dentists, physicians, or other providers, and managing referrals to such providers

Dispensing and administering nonnarcotic analgesics and anti-inflammatory and antibiotic medications as prescribed by a licensed health care provider, except schedule II-IV controlled substances

Diagnosing and treating oral diseases and conditions within the dental therapist scope of practice

Oral health instruction and disease prevention education, including nutritional counseling and dietary analysis

Emergency palliative treatment of dental pain

Indirect and direct pulp capping on permanent teeth

Indirect pulp capping on primary teeth

Dental suture removal

Comprehensive charting of the oral cavity

Simple extraction of erupted primary teeth

Nonsurgical extraction of periodontally diseased permanent teeth with tooth mobility of three or greater, except a tooth that is unerupted, impacted, fractured, or needs to be sectioned for removal

Applying topical preventive or prophylactic agents, including fluoride varnish, antimicrobial agents, and pit and fissure sealants

Pulp vitality testing

Placing and removing space maintainers

Applying desensitizing medication or resin in the oral cavity

Minor adjustments and repairs on removable prostheses

Administering local anesthetics in the oral cavity under a dentist’s general supervision

Preparing and placing direct restoration in primary and permanent teeth that does not require the fabrication of crowns, bridges, veneers, or dentures

Fabricating athletic mouth guards

Changing periodontal dressings

Fabricating and placing single-tooth temporary crowns

Preparing and placing preformed crowns on primary teeth

Interim therapeutic restorations

Recementing permanent crowns

 
EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2020


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Legislative Key-Contact Program

WE NEED YOU! The CSDA Dentist-Legislator Key Contact Program matches up a constituent dentist with his/her state senator and/or state representative. This program has been nothing short of crucial to ensuring legislative success on behalf of our profession, our patients and our practices! Learn more about the Key Contact Program.

Other Ways to Get Involved

Contact: Kristina Diamond, Director of Government Relations and Policy at kdiamond@csda.com / 860.378.1800

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To view both state and federal regulations, click here

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