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Last Updated: 3/6/2015
Budget Issue: Dental Hygiene Committee—course review.
Program: Department of Consumer Affairs, Dental Hygiene Committee
Finding or Recommendation: Approve proposal on a two-year limited term—rather than permanent—basis.
Further Detail
Background. The Dental Hygiene Committee of California (DHCC) was created in 2009-10. The DHCC regulates dental hygienists through the development and administration of licensing examinations, enforcement of rules governing the practice of dental hygiene, and evaluation of educational courses. Among other changes, Chapter 662, Statutes of 2014 (AB 1174, Bocanegra), expands the scope of work dental hygienists are allowed to perform to include determining which radiographs to perform and placing protective restorations. Chapter 622 also authorizes dental hygienists to perform these activities in either a dental office setting or using telemedicine. In addition, the new law requires DHCC to approve courses of instruction covering these new activities.

Governor’s Proposal. The Governor’s budget proposes one permanent Staff Services Analyst position and $86,000 ongoing from the State Dental Hygiene Fund (funded through fees paid by licensees) to review and approve courses related the specific activities authorized under Chapter 662.

Workload Largely Temporary. We find that the identified workload is largely temporary. Based on our conversations with DHCC, we expect that course providers would generally seek approval for courses related to these new activities within the first couple of years after Chapter 662 is implemented because they will want to make these courses available to their students. Therefore, the workload associated with Chapter 662 should decline significantly within a couple of years. The DHCC indicated that, if such decline were to occur, it plans to use the requested position to support the committee’s Continuing Education (CE) program.

Recommendation—Approve Position on Limited-Term Basis. Given the temporary nature of the workload associated with Chapter 662, we recommend approving the requested position on a two-year limited-term basis. If the committee determines that additional staff support is needed for the CE program at a later date, it could request staff for that purpose at that time.