A bill to establish an advanced dental hygiene practitioner (ADHP) as developed and promoted by the American Dental Hygienists Association was introduced at the state legislature this week. The chief authors of this legislation are Representative Cy Thao (DFL-St. Paul) and Senator Ann Lynch (DFL-Rochester). The bill would create a new kind of dental hygienist who, after completing a masters program at Metro State University and Normandale Community College, would be able to:
An advanced dental hygiene practitioner would be able to perform the procedures listed above under a collaborative management agreement with a dentist as identified below:
Adoption of such a proposal would put patients at risk and compromise quality by creating a second tier of care. Procedures authorized by such a proposal should only be taught by an accredited dental school. The MDA has been actively opposing and lobbying against this proposal. What is new this week is the actual language of their bill. All MDA members are strongly encouraged to contact their local legislators and encourage them to oppose the creation of an ADHP. Legislators should be encouraged to oppose House File 3247 and Senate File 2895.
At the same time, you should be sure to inform legislators of the many things that both you and the MDA do to address the needs of the underserved and to inform them that the MDA has a bill to address dental access. Legislators should support Senate File 3122 and House File 3254 as a better way to address dental access. Legislators should also be encouraged to understand what new dental tools they have recently enacted that should be given time to work. They should also understand there are many programs that the MDA and the U of M School of Dentistry have developed to address the needs of the underserved.
A house subcommittee has scheduled a hearing for this bill on Monday at 6:00 p.m. This is a public hearing and anyone may attend. Testimony at this hearing is being severely limited by the chair of the committee.
To review the bill in its entirety, you may find it on the legislature’s Web site. You may contact the MDA for assistance in contacting your local legislators.
February 25: Licensing Subcommittee Meeting (300 North State Office Bldg, St. Paul)
February 26: Sen. Lynch (DFL-Rochester) meeting with Rochester dentists
February 27: Dental Day at the Capitol (St. Paul)
Note: Please notify us if you have a meeting scheduled with a local legislator that we can add to this calendar. We can also assist you in preparing for the meeting. Please contact MDA Director of Legislative Relations Laura Fenstermaker, firstname.lastname@example.org.