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Groundbreaking Legislation

It’s been a long time since something truly groundbreaking has happened that may impact the way individuals practice their professions.

It’s been a long time since something truly groundbreaking has happened that may impact the way individuals practice their professions. The licensure process hasn’t changed since time immemorial, especially the concept of reciprocity…or lack of it. All that was upended on April 10, 2019, when Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2569. With the stroke of a pen, licensed professionals from ANY state can practice in Arizona—without the necessity of being re-licensed merely because they moved to a different state.

“Plumbers, barbers, nurses, you don’t lose your skills simply because you pack up a U-Haul truck and move to Arizona,” Ducey told the Associated Press.1 Of course, oral health professionals don’t either. The new law enables licensed individuals to work in Arizona as long as they are becoming Arizona residents and have practiced their profession in another state for at least 1 year. It also permits spouses of military personnel who are stationed at a military facility in the state to continue working in their profession. As someone who has experienced the challenges of re-licensure every time my military spouse was transferred, I can personally say that this is a welcome and long overdue change. The legislation mirrors recommendations presented in the recent report Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition.2 Released in December 2018, the report resulted from an executive order by President Trump to determine ways to provide quality health care at affordable costs. (See my January 2019 Editor’s Note for more information.)

THE NEW LAW ENABLES LICENSED INDIVIDUALS TO WORK IN ARIZONA AS LONG AS THEY ARE BECOMING ARIZONA RESIDENTS AND HAVE PRACTICED THEIR PROFESSION IN ANOTHER STATE FOR AT LEAST 1 YEAR.

While it’s unclear how the new law will affect dental and dental hygiene licensure, certain stipulations apply, including that the licensee may be required to pass a jurisprudence test and is subject to practice according to the laws and practice acts of the state. In order to find out the latest information, I contacted the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners. I was told there were not any specific requirements that had been determined yet. At the time of my writing this editorial, the signed bill is not yet law and will not become law until 90 days after the close of the legislative session, which will likely occur sometime this spring. The Attorney General and the Board of Dental Examiners would then need to review the provisions of the law and determine how to proceed.

Lots of questions are still unanswered, and much work needs to be done before a dental hygienist can move to Arizona and practice immediately. But the wheels are in motion and that day is coming. Perhaps other states will follow Arizona’s lead and pass similar legislation. Now that would be not only groundbreaking, but transformative.

Jill Rethman, RDH, BA
Editor in Chief
jrethman@belmontpublications.com

A full text version of HB 2569 is available at: tinyurl.com/y64wm3jr.

REFERENCES

  1. Fischer H. Arizona becomes first state to match out-of-state work licenses. Available at:apnews.com/​1f88f1f8a32a4ef7ab5608e2367dfa27. Accessed April 17, 2019.
  2. United States Department of Health and Human Services. Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition. Available at: hhs.gov/​about/​news/​2018/​12/​03/​reforming-americas-healthcare-system-through-choice-and-competition.html. Accessed April 17, 2019.

From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. May 2019;17(5):6.

1 Comment
  1. Avatar
    Fabi says

    This is awesome!

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