SSB 5322

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

C 320 L 17

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Concerning agreements between dentists and third parties that provide supportive services to dentists.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Health Care (originally sponsored by Senators King, Frockt, Miloscia, Conway, Hobbs and Becker).

Senate Committee on Health Care

House Committee on Health Care & Wellness

House Committee on Appropriations

Background: Practice of Dentistry. Dentists are licensed and regulated in Washington by the Dental Quality Assurance Commission (DQAC). The practice of dentistry is defined as:

Corporations are prohibited from practicing dentistry or soliciting dental patronage for dentists employed by a corporation. This restriction does not apply to corporations or associations that furnish information or clerical services to a licensed dentist, so long as the information or services can be furnished by unlicensed persons and the dentist assumes full responsibility for the information and services.

Summary: Language providing that the prohibition on corporate practice of dentistry does not apply to entities that furnish information or clerical services to a dentist is removed.

Persons not licensed to practice dentistry may:

A person not licensed as a dentist, or an entity that is not a professional entity, practices dentistry in violation of the law and is subject to enforcement under the Uniform Disciplinary Act (UDA) if it interferes with a dentist's independent clinical judgment by:

An attending dentist may not neglect, ignore, abandon, or refuse to complete the current procedure for a patient without reasonable cause. A dentist who withdraws responsibility for a patient must advise the patient that: (1) termination of treatment is contemplated and that another dentist should be sought; and (2) the dentist will be reasonably available for up to 15 days to render emergency care.

Communications of complaints or information to a state agency relating to a violation of the Dental Practice Act are covered by whistleblower protections.

Votes on Final Passage:








July 23, 2017