Colorado State Legislature Adopts Two Key Dental Bills

Krysia GabenskiFeatured News

May 19, 2015

Colorado’s state legislative session ended May 6, 2015. Two key dental bills received legislative support and approval during this year’s state legislative session.

HB 1191, which will protect dentists from insurer rating systems that calculate ratings solely based on treatment fees, passed the state legislature in late March and was signed by the governor in April. The takes effect in August 2015. All insurer rating systems for dentists will be required to comply with protections and fairness standards outlined in the bill at this time.

HB 1309, which authorizes dental hygienists to perform interim therapeutic restorations (ITR) subject to appropriate training, experience and supervision requirements, passed during the final days of the state legislative session and is awaiting signature by the governor. This bill was a collaborative effort among Colorado’s oral health community to improve access to dental services and connections to dentists through hub-and-spoke models and telehealth technologies. Once signed, the bill will take effect in August 2015. An advisory committee will be appointed to design the curriculum standards for training of dental hygienists. Standards developed by this advisory committee will be shared with the State Dental Board by the end of 2015 for adoption. Training programs are expected to be developed and offered in spring 2016, with permitting for the ITR procedure expected to begin around mid-2016. The ITR program for dental hygienists is a five-year pilot program that will be evaluated by the state legislature in 2021 for efficacy and any needed adjustments. Grant funding should be available for some practices interested in implementing this model, and additional information on these opportunities will be provided in coming months.

Look for a full 2015 state legislative session wrap-up in the summer edition of the Journal of the Colorado Dental Association.