H.B. 2622 deletes the sunset provisions of two statutes relating to dentistry. First, the bill amends a statute which allows the practice of dental hygiene on residents of adult care homes and patients in hospital long-term care units, state institutions, local health departments, and indigent health clinics without a dentist on the premises and under certain circumstances listed in the statute. The bill would delete the sunset provision of July 1, 1998 and allow these services to be provided in these settings indefinitely.
Second, the bill deletes the July 1, 1998 sunset provision of a subsection of a statute which allows certain nonprofit corporations, indigent health care clinics, federally qualified health centers, and local health departments to employ or contract with a licensed dentist for services. Under that statute, the dentist may provide services to dentally indigent people, i.e., members of a family unit earning at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
The bill would prohibit licensed dentists providing care for dentally indigent people from permitting anyone who is not a licensed dentist in Kansas, and is not otherwise competent, to practice dentistry at indigent health care clinics, federally qualified health centers, or local health departments. The bill expressly states that neither these health care clinics, nor other persons, may interfere with a licensed dentist's professional judgment and competent practice of dentistry.
Finally, the bill authorizes the Kansas Dental Board to adopt rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of care to dentally indigent people.
During the 1997 interim, the Health Care Reform Legislative Oversight Committee studied the provision of dental services to the dentally indigent and to nursing home and hospital long-term care unit residents. Pursuant to K.S.A. 1997 Supp. 65-1456 and 65-1466, these services had been authorized for two years. The Committee endorsed the continuation of dental services in these settings, and thus, introduced H.B. 2622 to remove the sunset dates. Other amendments were included at the request of the Kansas Dental Association. See sections of the Report of the Health Care Reform Legislative Oversight Committee to the 1998 Legislature concerning dental care issues.
The bill's proponents include the Director of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's Bureau of Local and Rural Health Systems, the Vice-President of the Kansas Dental Association, and representatives of the Kansas Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, the Kansas Dental Hygienists Association, and the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved. Kansas Advocates for Better Care submitted written testimony in support of the bill.
The representative from the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved presented amendments. The amendments would have clarified the role of federally qualified health centers with regard to conflicting federal and state requirements. The amendments were rejected by the Committee.
The Division of the Budget has reported that H.B. 2622 would have no fiscal impact on the State General Fund.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supplemental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.