House Bill 2611, a bill that amends the long-standing “50% Rule” regarding the amount of time an owner dentist must be in a satellite practice during its time of operation, passed the full Senate today by a vote of 40-0. The bill had been placed on the Consent Calendar and, without objection, automatically moved to a vote by the full Senate after three days. The bill would amend that nearly seventy-year-old law by requiring that an owner dentist be in a satellite practice twenty-percent of the time in which patients are being treated. The bill now advances to the Governor.
“This situation can be a win-win-win,” said Kansas Dental Association President-Elect Cindi Sherwood. “A win for the people of the area that have a dental office closer to their home. A win for the dentist owner who can develop a profitable business that may only require one day a week of his/her physical presence. A win for the new graduate dentists who can make money and gain experience as a dentist.”
HB2611 is a “win-win-win.” patients, dentist owner and new dentists all win says Dr. Cindi Sherwood, KDA Pres-Elect. #ksleg
— Kansas Dental Assoc. (@ksdental) March 12, 2014
One of the goals of the KDA for the past several years has been to develop strategies to increase and improve access to dental care across the state. HB 2611 would offer an opportunity for recent dental graduates to be able to work in a satellite practice full time, but still have the oversight of that practice by the owner-dentist.
“Ultimately the KDA believes that owner oversight and accountability of satellite practices is crucial to ensure quality dental care,” said KDA Executive Director Kevin Robertson. “Not only does this rule keep owner-dentists engaged and aware of the dentistry being performed by their employee-dentists, it also holds owner-dentists accountable to the Kanas Dental Board for the quality dental care performed in their satellite practices. HB 2611 has ben painstakingly vetted through the dental community,”
Dr. Brett Roufs of Newton, a general dentist, and Dr. Daniel Thomas, a Leawood based periodontist, testified on the entrepreneurial aspect of the bill which would allow dentists to open more dental practices in Kansas.
“This bill would allow dentists/small business owners like myself to open and operate additional offices or satellite practices in more locations and provide additional access to Kansans in need of dental care,” said Roufs.
The costs of opening a satellite office of three to four operators can easily exceed $500,000 in equipment alone, Roufs said.
“HB 2611 could make it easier for dentists that are interested in expanding into underserved areas to do so.”