Earlier this year, we discussed a Washington State bill that would remove a barrier of sorts between DSOs and patients, allowing DSOs to own or lease the assets and work more directly with their associated practices.
A short time after our initial post, the language from the proposed bill was rolled into another bill concerning DSOs. The second bill, SB 5322, was drafted in part to prohibit DSOs from dictating dentist activities (the amount of time spent with a patient, available treatments, access to patient records).
This new, combined bill contains what industry experts have described as the most direct language on non-dentist influence in the doctor-patient relationship at dental offices while at the same time loosening restrictions on DSO activity in Washington State.
The bill passed unanimously in both the Washington State House and State Senate; on May 16, Governor Jay Inslee signed it into law.
In response, the Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO)—a trade organization representing dental groups—released a statement applauding the state of Washington for clearly recognizing the value of DSOs. The ADSO membership currently includes 8 DSOs that operate in Washington State; the group hopes that this legislative victory will help further its cause in other states.
Stay tuned here as we continue to track dental legislation across the country and provide updates on changes to state and federal laws.