Passed out of Health
Prohibiting dentists from working in big box stores (HB2301)
Testimony in support of the bill claimed that practices in big box stores have no control over the facility. Dentists are not able to attend to patient needs 24 hours a day. Although they can make house visits for some situations like some medical doctors do, they wouldn't be able to attend to serious events that would require access to specific equipment. Supporters of the bill repeated frequently that dentists have an obligation to serve their patients and practices in big box corporation can't fulfill this obligation under third party regulations. The Health Committee passed the bill for more discussion. Rep. Josh Green, committee chair, recognized that dentist practices in commercial arenas lack 24 hour availability, but also said that the bill seems to target big box stores such as Wal-Mart and Cosco, and that the advertising provision seems problematic.
More money for TB treatment (HB2118)
This measure passed with an amendment proposed by the Attorney General's Office changing language in regards to the administrator of the funds.
Money wanted for epilepsy assistance (HB2286)
This measure, which would create a fund to help epilepsy victims and families, and create a committee to make recommendation for a treatment and education program, was passed with amendments that will add a task force and change and tighten language.
Center for Nursing asks for continual funding from nurses (HB2134, HD1)
While some nurses are opposed to a bill that would require them to pay a $40 fee each time they renew their nursing license, the Board of Nursing supports the funding of the Center for Nursing in order to continue efforts to alleviate nursing shortage in Hawaii. The Health Committee passed the bill extending the sunset date by only one year. Rep. Green said that although $40 may not seem like a lot of money, it shouldn't be coming from the pockets of Hawaii nurses. The Center for Nursing has proven its worth to the community, he said, and the State should start helping financially.
Keeping mental health counselors (HB2566)
This bill would repeal sunset provisions for Chapter 453D, Hawaii Revised Statutes, relating to mental health counselors. The chair agreed with the testimony in support of this bill and passed it out of health.
Tax credits for long-term care facilities (HB2171, HD1)
Although recognizing the points of the opposition, the health chair passed this bill that he said is prudent in addressing the shortage of long-term care facilities. Rep. Gene Ward said that if there is anyway to provide more beds for long-term care than it should be done. The bill does not need to be heard by another committee.
Name of medical board (HB2169, HD1)
With no opposing testimony, the bill that would change the "Board of Medical Examiners" to the "Hawaii Medical Board" was passed out of health.
Jury exemptions for practicing psychologists (HB2385)
Rep. Josh Green recommended passing this bill because although psychologists are not medical doctors they are still health care providers with huge work loads. Rep. Karl Rhoads (D-Downtown) voted with reservation on this recommendation because he believes that no one should have jury duty exemptions because. Rep. Karen Awana (D-Nanakuli) and Rep. Rida Cabanilla (D-Ewa) also voted with reservations.
False advertising = sanctioned dental license (HB2298)
This measure, which was vetoed last year by the governor, was deferred indefinitely on the recommendation of the chair because he claimed that it was not ready as opinions have not changed yet.
Informing patients of mercury effects (HB2286)
Rep. Green deferred the bill indefinitely because of insufficient evidence by public officials and experts attesting to the possible negative effects of vaccines containing any amount of mercury.