Wash. governor signs dental therapist tribal bill

Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a bill that permits the use of federal funding for care provided by dental therapists on tribal lands in Washington state, according to an article in the Washington Times.

SB 5079 was sponsored by Sen. John McCoy (D-Tulalip). It passed in the House by 80-18 and was unanimously approved in the Senate. It will become effective in the summer of 2017.

While it is illegal for dental therapists to provide care in Washington, tribes can allow them to do so on reservations. However, federal law requires states to approve the use of dental therapists for tribes in order for their services to be paid through Medicaid.

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