Over two months have passed since the initial Senate Health Committee hearings, but SB 1362 has passed the House Committee of Whole. The vote ended in a unanimous 57-0 decision, with 1 vote excused and 1 vote vacant. Since it has now passed both the Senate and House unanimously, it will be sent over to the Governor for signature.
As has been highlighted, multiple ASDOH students played an integral part in getting the Bill passed which cuts out a $2,000 credentialing fee for recent graduates wishing to receive a license in the state of Arizona but did not take the WREB licensing exam. The Bill also addresses an excess of Dental Board funds and updating definitions of teledentistry apart from the license portability issue.
Read more about SB 1362 below:
Dental Board Fund is currently at $5 million — more than 4 times the annual operating expenses of the Board! SB 1362 will repeal antiquated language that will allow the Board to more aggressively lower fees and will provide a mechanism for the Board to reduce the balance of the Fund by granting a renewal fee waiver for all existing licensees for the next three years (2018, 2019 and 2020).
SB 1362 addresses license portability for new graduates. US News and World Report says that dentistry is the “number one” profession, but it is also the profession that carries the largest amount of education debt. New dentists should not be forced to pay unreasonable fees based on which clinical examination they took. SB 1362 requires the Board to accept clinical licensing examinations administered by any other regional testing agency in the U.S. and removes the requirement for those new graduates to pay a $2,000 credentialing fee.
SB 1362 makes other updates to definitions of teledentistry and affiliated practice dental hygiene to provide more flexibility to utilize enhanced dental teams to address underserved areas. It also removes a barrier for expanded function dental assistants from other states to be credentialed here.