Check out the new information for the Washington State Dental Hygienists' Legal Defense Fund
Great news! HB 1330, our topical anesthetic/home-bound patient bill, passed the Senate unanimously on April 16, 2013.
It has been signed by Governor Inslee and will take effect on July 28th, 2013.
“The Washington State Dental Hygienists’ Association and the Alliance of Dental Hygiene Practitioners supports and endorses the efforts of our members who are practicing collaboratively within the Dental Hygiene Scope of Practice —providing direct care to patients—to pursue legal means to protect their right to practice”.
has been one of the most progressive states when it comes to dental hygiene
practice. In 1971 we became the first state to allow hygienists to administer
local anesthetic for the comfort of our patients. Over the years Washington’s
dental hygienists have made great strides in improving access to care and
providing safe, cost effective dental hygiene services. Unfortunately the
state’s Department of Health threatens to derail all our efforts with recent
actions, and we are asking for your help! It is our turn to say NO.
For the past two
years the Department has investigated a number of dental hygienists who work in
non-traditional settings, own their dental hygiene “businesses” or contract
with various entities in order to provide services directly to patients. Some
of the patients that these hygienists serve are not able to afford dental care
because of loss of a job and/or loss of dental insurance. The current
traditional system does not allow any flexibility for people who simply want choices
about who cleans their teeth. Some patients cannot continue to see their
dentist due to physical disabilities, medical conditions or mobility issues,
and are better served by hygienists who can come into their homes or care
NONE of the complaints
that have been filed with the Department have been from patients!!! NO fraud or
harm to patients has ever been documented.
unknown reasons, the Department has decided to make interpretations of
long-standing statutes and regulations that conflict with the standards of
practice adhered to by Washington’s hygienists for over 25 years! **
being accused of practicing dentistry because they own their businesses or
perform screenings for oral cancer and other oral conditions. The result of
these interpretations has been costly legal expenses and an emotional roller
coaster for the hygienists who are being investigated.
interpretations by the Department are allowed to stand it means taking a huge
step backwards for hygienists and an immense disservice to the public we serve! There is an impact to all of us: Washington’s hygienists
would be required to practice working only as employees of a supervising
dentist and providing clinical care exclusively for patients who can afford to
receive that care in an office owned by a dentist!
This is wrong! It
is not consistent with other independent legal interpretations of the practice
act. The only way to confront the Department’s misguided tactics is through the
court system. Individual hygienists should not, and cannot, bear the
potentially huge legal costs all on their own. This impacts ALL of our futures
because we are all in it together. That is why we are asking for your financial
The target number
is a BIG one: $150,000
at least to take this all the way to
the State Supreme Court should that become necessary. We know many people are
struggling financially, but the cost of not doing anything will be much higher!
Let these fellow hygienists know you are committed to their efforts on our
behalf. We all have a stake in how this turns out, so please give generously.
Every dollar helps!
- Please see all of
our important postings on our webpage!
For those of you who do not have a PayPal account or would rather mail a check you can send it to:RDH Defense FUND PO Box 593 Allyn, WA 98524
Also here are
Helpful & Informational links:
The Alliance of
Dental Hygiene Practitioners Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Alliance-of-Dental-Hygiene-Practitioners/322842861136092
Follow us on
Write your legislator! Find your legislators:
Online at http://www.leg.wa.gov/pages/home.aspx
The legislative hotline is 1-800-562-6000
Why the ADA is wrong about access to Dental Care: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/health-science-technology/dollars-and-dentists/dr-frank-catalanotto-why-the-ada-is-wrong-about-access-to-dental-care/
How much is the ADA spending on PAC's?: http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.php?strID=C00000729
Scope of Practice Issues:
For the .pdf to write your legislators go to www.wsdha.com
or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canadian Dental Hygienists are considered primary health
care providers! See Article
***************Visit Hygienetown to see article and comments for the Topic Forum: Should we be considering independent practice for dental hygienists? http://www.towniecentral.com/Hygienetown