Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oklahoma Dentistry Board Amendments Signed into Law

 SB 1690 modifies various provisions of the State Dental Act, including:
  • Expanding provisions related to dental intern permits to include residents.
  • Adding to the list of acts that constitute grounds for penalties imposed by the Board of Dentistry the use or administration of nitrous oxide gas in a dental office in an inappropriate or unauthorized manner by a dentist and pleading guilty or nolo contendere to, or being convicted of, a felony, a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, or a violation of federal or state controlled dangerous substances laws by a dental laboratory permit holder.
  • Requiring every dentist, hygienist and licensees or permit holders licensed by the board to submit a renewal application annually.
  • Specifying that every license or permit issued by the board will expire on Dec. 31 of each year.
  • Extending the reinstatement deadlines for expired licenses.
  • Increasing to 70 from 65 the age after which a licensed dentist or hygienist in good standing for 35 years or more are not required to pay the annual renewal fee.
  • Limiting the kind of information considered competent evidence in court to matters directly related to actions of the board and matters where criminal charges are filed in a municipal, district or federal court action.
  • Prohibiting from being open to the public all other information and investigation records where complaints have not been found to be actionable in either an administrative civil or criminal matter. 
  • Adding that at the request of the board, district attorney or attorney general, attorneys employed or contracted by the board may assist the district attorney or attorney general in prosecuting charges under the act or any violation of law relating to an investigation conducted by the board upon approval of the board or the executive director.
  • Excluding from the malpractice liability insurance requirement those dentists practicing in another state who will not practice in Oklahoma during the license renewal year.
  • Requiring any person conducting a diagnosis for the purpose of prescribing medication or treatment or any other dental practice action via the internet or other telecommunications device on a patient physically located in the state to hold a valid Oklahoma dental license.
  • Requiring dentistry licensees to notify the board within 24 hours of the discovery of a death or ER visit of a patient causally related to the licensee’s practice of dentistry and to submit a report to the board within 30 days on this or a fatality or serious injury occurring during the practice of dentistry.
  • Requiring dentists to notify the board within 24 hours of discovery that an employee or other person has forged or authorized a prescription without the dentist’s permission.
  • Requiring dentists to maintain all written prescription pads in a safe place not directly accessible to patients and to ensure that all prescriptions issued clearly identify the name and address of the dentist.
  • Prohibiting the dentist from issuing a prescription on a prescribing form in a pre-printed format that lists the name of another dentist not presently licensed by the board.

SB 1690 transfers from the board to the executive director the authority to maintain an office staff and to hire investigators for alleged violations. It also authorizes the executive director to enter into contracts and perform other duties on behalf of the board. The measure requires criminal background checks of every applicant for any type of license or permit issued by the board. Applicants must submit payment for the background check and two fingerprint cards, one each for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.
It also authorizes the president of the board to issue temporary dentistry licenses for up to 90 days to eligible persons. The measure requires the geographic eligibility of dentist members of the board to be determined by the primary location listed on their licenses.

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