Bill Summary for H 144 (2021-2022)

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Summary date: 

Feb 24 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 144 (Public) Filed Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Intro. by Lambeth.

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Bill summary

Section 1

Amends GS 90-29 to exclude registered dental hygienists qualified to administer local anesthetics from the practice of dentistry. Expands the practice of dentistry to include individuals who, by use of electronic or digital means, own, manage, supervise, control or conduct any enterprise wherein any act otherwise defined as the practice of dentistry is done, attempted to be done, or represented.

Enacts GS 90-30.2 authorizing teledentistry services to be delivered by a licensed dentist or licensed dental hygienist who is under the supervision of a licensed dentist. Requires informed consent of the patient or authorized person to be obtained prior to rendering teledentistry services and to be reflected in the patient's records, as specified. Allows for the transmission of data, electronic images, and related information appropriate to provide teledentistry services. Provides guidelines for patient care and explicitly authorizes evaluations to be conducted by a licensed dentist using teledentistry modalities. Details the determination of the encounter location for services provided. Mandates confidentiality consistent with HIPPA and other confidentiality laws and regulations regarding medical records. Additionally, requires patient records to be kept in the same manner as in-person dental records, as specified. Requires licensed dentists prescribing medication, lab services or dental lab services through teledentistry to adhere to applicable law and current standards of care, including appropriate documentation. Requires compliance with the NC Controlled Substance Reporting System, as appropriate. 

Expands grounds for disciplinary action by the State Board of Dental Examiners (Board) authorized by GS 90-41 to include (1) allowing fee-splitting for the use of teledentistry services, and (2) limiting a patient's right or ability to raise grievances or file complaints with any appropriate oversight body.

Section 2

Expands the definition given for dental hygiene in GS 90-221 to include the administration of local anesthetics by infiltration and block techniques by certified dental hygienists under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist. Adds direct supervision to the defined terms used in Article 16, the Dental Hygiene Act. 

Enacts GS 90-225.2 to establish clinical instruction requirements for licensed dental hygienists to qualify to administer local anesthetics. Requires instruction by lecture and lab or clinical formats at UNC School of Dentistry, ECU School of Dental Medicine, or a program accredited by the Council on Dental Accreditation (CODA), or similar federally approved organization. Requires at least a 30-hour session composed of 16 didactic hours and 14 clinical hours, with instruction by a dentist with a DDS or DMD degree. Sets standards for class ratios and scoring. Requires awarding a certificate upon successful completion.

Enacts GS 90-225.3 to establish requirements for the Board to approve licensed dental hygienists to administer local anesthetics, including completing the required education and training, and practicing under the supervision of a licensed dentist for the preceding two years. Requires two hours of continuing education annually, as specified. Details further authorities of the Board regarding additional education and training when applicants cannot satisfy the specified requirements. 

Applies to licenses granted or renewed on or after October 1, 2021. 

Authorizes the Board to adopt temporary implementing rules.