(Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced March 9 that
its staff has submitted a comment to the Ohio state Senate on proposed legislation
that would broaden dental hygienists’ ability to work without a supervising
legislation would also allow for the licensure of dental therapists. These
therapists are new to the dental industry and they offer some of the same basic
services that dentists provide.
The FTC staff wrote
that the legislation could help consumers by providing increased choice,
competition and access to care, especially for those who are under-served. The
staff noted, however, that under the current terms of the proposed legislation,
supervising dentists would need to authorize general supervision of dental
hygienists and therapists in mandatory written supervision agreements. The FTC
staff believes this part of the bill could be removed, a reduction that
would benefit consumers.
The FTC supports the licensure of dental therapists, as it would help consumers via enhanced competition. The staff noted the current language of the bill would allow the therapists to only practice in certain under-served areas. “This restriction would prevent many patients in Ohio from obtaining lower-cost and more accessible dental care from a dental therapist,” the comment stated.
voted 2-0 to issue the comment, which was sent to Ohio state Sen. Peggy
Lehner on March 7. The staff contact for the case is Karen A. Goldman of the
Office of Policy Planning.