Illinois Dental HYGIENISTS' Association

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Passage of HB5948 and Amendments

Dear IDHA Members, RDH Potential IDHA Members, Student DH, and HB5948 Supporters,

IDHA was successful in passing HB5948 and Amendments last Friday in the Senate 53 yes and NO opposition. On Tuesday, May 31st, HB5948 the House of Representatives passed it, 117 yes to -0- opposition!  We are VERY excited this trailer bill to HB500 PASSED to improve and enhance the details and reduce the additional educational requirements for the Public Health Dental Hygienist (PHDH) category in IL and to clarify and tighten the language for dental assistants providing supragingival scaling.   This will become law once it is signed by the Governor.  The most significant aspect of HB500 and HB5948 is allowing the PHDH to see patients, who are Medicaid eligible or uninsured and do not exceed 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, WITHOUT FIRST HAVING A PRIOR EXAM BY A DENTIST.  The PHDH requirements include having a collaborative written agreement with a dentist who is registered as a Medicaid provider or is engaged, contracted or employed in a public  health facility or those other settings as described in the HB500.  The passing of HB5948 on Tuesday literally came down to only a few hours being left for it to pass while the House was still in sessioin on its last scheduled day, or we would have needed to begin the process all over again.  Our bill sponsor, Representative Michael Zalewski was very instrumental in facilitating the negotiation process with Senator Haine and the Illinois State Dental Society, and closely following the bill through the legislative process.  We also greatly appreciate our two lobbyists, Jan Starr and John Cusick, who worked side-by-side with us every step along the way.  We appreciate the efforts of our lobbyists who represent our concerns to the many legislators around the state, and continue to monitor all legislation that may impact or affect the profession of dental hygiene.  Their role is an extremely important one to IDHA year round even when not lobbying a bill on our behalf.

This initiative took much time, effort, and the help of many RDH and friends of HB5948 to get it passed.  It is the culmination of many years of effort.  So, as we celebrate this HUGE legislative success, we need each of you to take the time to call your legislators in both the House and in the Senate and say, THANK YOU for VOTING YES AND PASSING HB5948!!!  Without their vote of ‘yes’  the direct access to services provided by a PHDH would not be possible.

Please call you legislators in the House and in the Senate.   This 5 year pilot (created by HB500) will help demonstrate to law makers that Registered Dental Hygienists are a major part of the solution to increasing the direct access to oral health care services in Illinois!  We know many of you have questions as to how you can get out there and begin putting this new law into practice.  Please watch our website over the next few weeks as we begin posting information.  In the meantime, please go to www.il.gov and thoroughly read HB500 and HB5948 for the specifics and the requirements needed for a RDH to be called a Public Health Dental Hygienist (PHDH), to find out all of the settings in which a PHDH may practice, and watch the website for educaational courses as we see them become available.

Again, IDHA sincerely appreciates every phone call made, e-mail sent, and legislator visited to help make the passage of HB5948 be a success!  Please call your legislators at your earliest availability to say thank you.

Respectfully,

Kimberly K. Benkert, RDH, BSDH, MPH, COM, FAADH

IDHA Legislation Chair

IDHA Past President

ADHA Past President

kbenkert@sbcglobal.net


IDHA celebrates passage of HB500

The Illinois Dental Hygiene Association (IDHA) celebrates the passage of HB500 legislation allowing direct access to oral healthcare services provided by a registered dental hygienist in public health settings!  On December 2, 2015, the Illinois House of Representatives, concurred by 105-to-4 votes with a pair of Senate amendments (2 and 5) to House Bill 500. The bill is the result of many long negotiations between IDHA, the Illinois State Dental Society, the Illinois Public Health Association and the PEW Charitable Trust Foundation.

Registered Dental Hygienists (RDH), after meeting requirements outlined in the statute, will be able to provide oral health and preventive services, in select public health settings, without the requirement of an exam first by a dentist.  With a written collaborative agreement, the RDH will refer to the collaborating dentist for a full dental exam. This legislation creates a Public Health Dental Hygienist position in Illinois and increases the opportunity for the public to go directly to the hygienist for services.   Settings include public health department clinics, Community Health Centers and FQHC’s, school-based programs, and other public health settings.

IDHA believes passing this legislative measure will significantly increase direct access to individuals who are currently not receiving routine oral healthcare services.  Medicaid recipients and individuals who are uninsured and 200% below the federal poverty level will be the benefactors of this care.  IDHA is proud and excited to have achieved direct access to oral healthcare services provided by an RDH who has graduated from an accredited dental hygiene program, and is licensed through a similar national, regional and state testing process that all dentists complete.

In another portion of the legislation that passed, dental assistants with additional training will be allowed, under the direct supervision of a dentist, to do scaling of teeth only above the gumline, on healthy children, ages 12 and under who are covered by Medicaid or 200% below the federal poverty level.  IDHA contested and challenged strongly for the elimination of this language in the bill, and will continue to monitor and provide input into the specific educational requirements needed by a dental assistant to scale teeth.

IDHA is proud to have continued to pursue this legislation and looks forward to increasing access to care for the underserved in Illinois.

HB500 was sent to Governor Rauner to sign into law.  IDHA will continue providing information as HB500 progresses through the legislative process and requirements / protocols as they become available.

Thank you,

Gaylene V. Baker, RDH, BSDH, MBA

IDHA President

 

Kimberly K. Benkert, RDH, BSDH, MPH, COM, FAADH

IDHA Legislation Chair

IDHA Past President

ADHA Past President


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