Regulatory Updates

EPA Dental Rule Compliance- Amalgam Waste and Mercury Discharge

On June 14, 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency announced pretreatment standards to reduce discharge of mercury from dental offices into a publicly owned sanitary sewer system. This new federal rule is separate from the state rule, and took effect on July 14, 2017. It applies to most dental offices, with some exceptions. The rule requires offices to submit a one-time certification form and comply with updated Best Management Practices. For more information, please review this DEQ factsheet, which includes more information on exceptions to the rule and municipality contact information.

Board of Dentistry Statement on Diabetes Screening

At its Board Meeting on December 14, 2018, the Board of Dentistry recognized that it is within the scope of practice for a licensee to perform in-office A1C diabetes screening test for at-risk patients. The Board noted that: a) such testing is not presumed to be the standard of care; and b) for A1C screenings beyond the normal range, licensees should refer patients to a physician for a formal evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.

For information regarding HbA1c testing, the American Dental Association has published a guide point of care, diabetes testing and reporting.

OHA's Oregon Acute Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has released the final version of their Oregon Acute Opioid Prescribing Guidelines. The full report is available online here. For additional information and resources from OHA, please visit their website.

Board of Dentistry Rule Changes

The Board of Dentistry changes to dental implant rules go into effect on January 1, 2024. Full FAQ is available here.

NPI Enrollment Requirements for Medicaid Prescribing Providers

Are you a provider serving Medicaid patients? Make sure you are enrolled with OHA by August 31, 2018, to ensure prescriptions for your patients can be filled and paid for seamlessly. Starting September 1, 2018, ODA will only pay for pharmacy claims when they include the National Provider Identifier (NPI) of an ODA-enrolled prescriber.

This applies to:

  • Paper, point of sale, and Provider Web Portal claims billed to OHA, and
  • All pharmacy claims reported to OHA by coordinated care organizations (CCOs)

This means that by September 1, any providers who write prescriptions for OHP members must enroll with OHA, including certified pharmacists who administer vaccines or prescribe birth control to members. For more information, please click here to view OHA's memo to prescribers.

Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)

House Bill 4143, passed during the 2018 Legislative Session, was targeted at the opioid epidemic in Oregon. As part of that bill, all prescribers with an active United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) registration must register with the PDMP by July 1, 2018. Learn more information and access the registration portal.

Paid Leave Oregon Program: Information & Webinar

The Paid Leave Oregon program will be funded by employer and employee contributions in the form of payroll deductions. Starting on Jan. 1, 2023, employers are expected to begin submitting contributions.

Those with 25 or more employees will both participate in and pay into the program, covering 40% of the contribution while employees pay 60%. Small employers with fewer than 25 employees will not pay into the program, although they do still need to collect and submit their employees’ contributions. Eligible employees can begin accessing the benefits on Sept. 1, 2023.

The state of Oregon has gathered resources and guides for businesses to learn more about the program and share information with their employees.

Helpful links:
Paid Leave Oregon: Employer Information and Resources
Paid Leave Oregon: Employer FAQ
Paid Leave Oregon: Equivalent Plan Submission
Oregon Employment Department Recorded Webinar on Paid Leave Oregon

Mask Requirements in Healthcare Settings

Oregon Health Authority
Per the Oregon Health Authority, masks in healthcare facilities, including dental offices, will no longer be required beginning April 3rd, 2023. Facilities may still require masks at their own discretion.

Read the full update here.

CDC Guidance on Masking in Healthcare Facilities June 6, 2023
With the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced new guidance to help dentists determine how to best implement mask use in their offices. Dentists are still required to follow standard and transmission-based precautions when treating patients, including wearing proper personal protective equipment and adhering to Occupational Safety and Health Administration workplace safety rules and state and local requirements regarding masking.

The new CDC guidance provides information for dentists with questions about broader masking in health care facilities, suggesting that facilities consider the following factors:

  • The types of patients the facility treats, including those who may have a higher risk for severe COVID-19
  • Input from stakeholders like patients and office personnel
  • Plans from other facilities with which the facility shares patients
  • Available data, such as local COVID-19 incidence data

Read additional information about the new guidance in ADA News.