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NEW JERSEY REGISTER
VOLUME 35, NUMBER 9
MONDAY, MAY 5, 2003
RULE PROPOSAL

LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
NEW JERSEY STATE BOARD OF DENTISTRY
FEE SCHEDULES


Proposed Amendment: N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.1

Authorized By: New Jersey State Board of Dentistry, Kevin B. Earle, Executive Director.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:6-3 and 45:6-19.4, with the approval of Peter C. Harvey, Acting Attorney General.
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
Proposal Number: PRN 2003-179.

Submit comments by July 4, 2003 to:

Kevin B. Earle, Executive Director

New Jersey State Board of Dentistry

124 Halsey Street

PO Box 45005

Newark, New Jersey 07101

The agency proposal follows:

Summary

The New Jersey State Board of Dentistry (the Board) proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.1, which sets forth the Board's fee schedules. Under the statutory authority set forth in N.J.S.A. 45:1-3.2, a professional board's fees must be established in an amount necessary to defray proper expenses incurred in performing its duties, but such fees may not be raised in an amount in excess of the amount estimated to allow the Board to carry out its duties. A fiscal analysis conducted by the Division of Consumer Affairs (the Division) revealed that the proposed fee increases are necessary and appropriate to satisfy the Board's current and anticipated expense levels and to comport with the requirements of N.J.S.A. 45:1-3.2.

Based on the analysis conducted by the Division, the Board is proposing that all initial and renewal registration fees be increased for dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants, in order to raise revenues to meet anticipated expense levels consistent with the Board's statutory obligation. The Board is also proposing an increase in the initial and renewal branch office registration fees imposed upon licensed dentists. The Board is proposing an increase to the annual renewal fee currently charged to all industrial and corporate agencies which operate a dental clinic pursuant to the requirements of N.J.A.C. 13:30-4. In addition, the Board is proposing that the fees currently imposed upon licensed dental hygienists to obtain, and renew, branch office registrations be deleted in their entirety.

The fees established in N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.1 provide the Board with its primary source of revenue and are all allocated to the Board's on-going maintenance costs including: salaries of Board staff and Board member per diem compensation; costs incurred in regulating the licensed community, such as reviewing and filing data submitted by licensees; responding to complaints and concerns of consumers and the public at large; adjudicating disciplinary matters with regard to licensees; regulating compliance requirements of licensees; and the general regulation of the licensed community.

Moreover, the Board must reimburse different Divisions and Bureaus of the State for services rendered and costs prorated to the Board for various initiatives. These costs include: costs allocable to the Division of Law for legal services; costs incurred by the Enforcement Bureau of the Division of Consumer Affairs for routine and special inspections and investigations of licensee facilities and practices; and compliance costs of Division-wide initiatives, such as the purchase and implementation of a Division-wide licensing database system.

The Board, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:1-3.2, must establish and/or increase fees to cover its expenses. The fees that are the subject of this proposal are necessary for the Board to perform its statutory obligations to the regulated community and to the public at large in maintaining professional and ethical business practices in the practice of dentistry.

The Board adopted a fee increase for all initial and renewal license registrations in August 1999. The fees established in 1999 were set at a level lower than was required for the Board to operate in order to deplete an existing surplus of funds that resulted when Board revenue was greater than expenditure levels over the preceding four years. The Board is prohibited from collecting a surplus of funds during the biennial period pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:1-3.2, and, therefore, the current fees were established to eliminate that surplus.

As a result of the foregoing, and in light of the fact that expenditure levels have risen six percent to 12 percent per year and that revenue levels have only risen approximately four percent over the last two renewal cycles, and that Board enforcement activities have significantly increased over the past two years, an increase in fees is now necessary to ensure that the Board will generate sufficient funds to cover expenses for the next biennial registration period.

Specifically, the projected administrative costs for fiscal years 2004-2005 (July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2005), which encompass the upcoming biennial period (November 1, 2003 through October 31, 2005), are $3,441,000. The Board anticipates that during the biennial period, $1,669,000 will be incurred as on- going maintenance costs of the Board, including salaries of Board staff and per diem compensation to Board members, costs associated with reviewing and filing of data submitted by licensees and the general regulation of the licensed community. In addition, the Board anticipates that $515,000 will be expended to reimburse the Division of Law for various legal services, $689,000 will be expended to reimburse the Bureau of Enforcement for routine and special investigations and inspections, and that $568,000 will be expended in order to comply with various Division-wide initiatives. The proposed fee increases will enable the Board to raise sufficient funds to cover these expenses, as well as allow the Board to generate a deferral of $57,340. The deferral will be used toward the Board's expenses for the first four months of fiscal year 2006, as the Board's next renewal period for dentists commences November 1, 2005, which is four months into fiscal 2006.

In order to meet its statutory obligations, the Board proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.1(b)1i to provide that the initial registration fee for dentists will be increased from $170.00 to $280.00, if licensure is granted in the first year of the biennial period, or from $85.00 to $140.00, if licensure is granted during the second year of the biennial period. The proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.1(b)1ii and iii provide that the fee for active registration renewal will be increased from $170.00 to $280.00, and from $70.00 to $110.00, for inactive registration renewal. The initial branch office registration fee for dentists will be increased from $44.00 to $70.00 or from $22.00 to $35.00, depending on which year of the biennial period the registration is initially granted under the proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.1(b)1iv. The proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.1(b)1v further provides that the fee charged for branch office registration renewal will be increased from $44.00 to $70.00.

The Board proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.1(b)2i to provide that the initial registration fee for dental hygienists will be increased from $50.00 to $80.00 or from $25.00 to $40.00, depending on which year of the biennial registration period licensure is granted. N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.1(b)2ii and iii also will be amended to provide that the fee for active registration renewal for dental hygienists will be increased from $50.00 to $80.00, and from $26.00 to $40.00, for inactive registration renewal. As noted above, the Board is proposing that the fees established for initial branch office registrations for dental hygienists, and the renewal of such registrations, set forth at N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.1(b)2iv and v, be deleted. The Board is proposing the deletion of these fees because branch office registrations are not statutorily required for dental hygienists. Moreover, because dental hygienists must work under the supervision of licensed dentists who are statutorily required, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:6-10, to obtain branch office registrations, and given the current state of dental hygiene practice which often entails hygienists working at multiple locations, the Board believes that the imposition of such fees has a negative economic impact upon hygienists in the State, which is not offset by any benefit to consumers.

The Board is also proposing to amend N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.1(b)3i to provide that the initial registration fee for registered dental assistants be increased from $50.00 to $80.00 or from $25.00 to $40.00, depending on which year of the biennial registration period initial licensure is granted. N.J.A.C. 13:30- 8.1(b)3ii also will be amended to provide that the active registration renewal fee for registered dental assistants will be increased from $50.00 to $80.00. The Board is also proposing a technical change to N.J.A.C. 13:30- 8.1(b)3 to clarify that the fees imposed pursuant to that subsection are applicable to limited registered dental assistants and limited registered orthodontic assistants, in addition to registered dental assistants. Although N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.1(b)3 currently refers only to registered dental assistants, the fees referenced in that subsection have been in the past, and continue to be, imposed upon limited registered dental assistants and limited registered orthodontic assistants as well.

The Board also proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.1(e)9ii to increase the annual renewal fee which must be remitted by holders of dental clinic permits from $50.00 to $80.00.

The Board has determined that the comment period for this proposal shall be 60 days; therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5, this proposal is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement.

Social Impact

The Board recognizes that the proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.1 will have an impact upon dentists, dental hygienists, registered dental assistants, limited registered dental assistants and limited registered orthodontic assistants, as well as all persons seeking initial licensure in each of these professions. The proposed amendment may also have an impact upon individuals and entities seeking to renew dental clinic permits obtained pursuant to the requirements of N.J.A.C. 13:30-4. There is a strong State interest in regulating the practice of dentistry, predicated in large part on ensuring the safety of the public. The Board believes that the proposed amendment will have a positive social impact upon the general public to the extent that the Board will have adequate resources to devote to regulating the practice of dentistry so as to safeguard the welfare of patients who utilize the services of these professionals.

Economic Impact

The Board believes that the proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:30-8.1 will have an impact upon dentists, dental hygienists, registered dental assistants, limited registered dental assistants and limited registered orthodontic assistants, and those persons seeking initial licensure in each of these professions. The proposed amendment will have an economic impact upon persons granted initial licensure as dentists to the extent that the initial registration fee for such persons will increase from $170.00 to $280.00 or from $85.00 to $140.00, depending on which year of the biennial registration period they are granted licensure. The proposed amendment will also impact licensed dentists to the extent that the registration renewal fee will be increased from $170.00 to $280.00 for active licensees and from $70.00 to $110.00 for inactive licensees. In addition, the proposed amendment will impact licensed dentists who practice from more than one location as the branch office registration fee for dentists will increase from $44.00 to $70.00 or from $22.00 to $35.00, depending on which year of the biennial period the registration is issued. Licensed dentists will also be required to pay a $70.00 fee, as opposed to the current $44.00 fee, for branch office registration renewal.

The proposed amendment will have an economic impact upon persons granted initial licensure as dental hygienists to the extent that the initial registration fee for such persons will be increased from $50.00 to $80.00 or from $25.00 to $40.00, depending on which year of the biennial registration period they are granted licensure. The proposed amendment will also impact licensed dental hygienists to the extent that the registration renewal fee will be increased from $50.00 to $80.00 for active licensees and from $26.00 to $40.00 for inactive licensees. The proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:30- 8.1(b)2iv and v will also impact licensed dental hygienists to the extent that they will no longer be required to obtain, and remit payment of the fee associated with, branch office registrations.

The proposed amendment will impact persons granted initial licensure as registered dental assistants, limited registered dental assistants and limited registered orthodontic assistants, to the extent that the initial registration fee for such persons will be increased from $50.00 to $80.00 or from $25.00 to $40.00, depending on which year of the biennial registration period licensure is granted. In addition, registered dental assistants and limited registered dental assistants will also be required to pay an active registration renewal fee of $80.00, as opposed to the current renewal fee of $50.00.

The proposed amendment will have an economic impact upon all industrial or corporate agencies who wish to operate a dental clinic in New Jersey pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:30-4. Such agencies will be required to pay $80.00 annually for the renewal of such permit, as opposed to the current renewal fee of $50.00.

The Board believes that the proposed amendment to the fee schedules will have an impact on the Board by ensuring that the Board will be fully funded so as to defray all proper expenses it incurs in the performance of its statutory duties.

The Board does not anticipate that the proposed amendment will have an economic impact upon the general public.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because the proposed amendment is governed by N.J.S.A. 45:6-1 et seq., and is not subject to any Federal standards or requirements.

Jobs Impact

The proposed amendment may have an impact on jobs in the State to the extent that otherwise qualified applicants for licensure as dentists, dental hygienists, registered dental assistants, limited registered dental assistants and limited registered orthodontic assistants may not be able to afford the increased initial and renewal registration fees. In addition, the proposed amendment may also have an impact on jobs in the State to the extent that individuals or entities that wish to operate dental clinics in the State will be required to pay an increased renewal fee for a dental clinic permit. The Board cannot estimate with certainty the number of individuals, if any, who will be unable to afford the increased fees, but notes that the increase is less than five dollars per month for dentists and less than two dollars per month for hygienists and dental assistants over the renewal period. Moreover, the Board believes that any impact on jobs which may result from the proposed amendment will be outweighed by the positive benefits derived from having a fully funded Board that will be equipped to carry out its statutory obligations to the licensed community and to the public at large.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed amendment will have any impact on the agriculture industry in the State.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., requires the Board to give a description of the types and an estimate of the number of small businesses to which the proposed amendment will apply. Currently, the Board licenses approximately 17,263 dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants. If, for purposes of the Act, Board licensees are considered "small businesses" within the meaning of the Act, then the following analysis applies.

The Act requires the Board to set forth the reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements of the proposed amendment, including the kinds of professional services likely to be needed to comply with the requirements. The Act further requires the Board to estimate the initial and annual compliance costs of the rule, to outline the manner in which it has designed the rule to minimize any adverse economic impact upon small businesses and to set forth whether the rule establishes differing compliance requirements for small businesses.

The proposed amendment does not impose reporting or recordkeeping requirements upon licensees. The proposed amendment, however, does impose compliance requirements upon dentists, dental hygienists, registered dental assistants, limited registered dental assistants and operators of dental clinics, which are set forth in the Summary above.

No additional professional services will be needed to comply with the proposed amendment. The cost of compliance with the proposed amendment is discussed in the Economic Impact statement above. Under the proposed amendment, the Board proposes only the level of fees necessary to fund operating expenses consistent with the requirements of N.J.S.A. 45:1-3.2. The Board believes that the proposed amendment should be uniformly applied to all Board licensees in order to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the general public in the provision of dental services and, therefore, no differing compliance requirements for any licensees are provided based upon size.

Smart Growth Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:30- 8.1 will have any impact upon the achievement of smart growth or upon the implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan.

Full text of the proposal follows:

<<NJ ADC 13:30-8.1 >>

13:30-8.1 Fee schedules

(a) (No change.)

(b) The biennial registration fees charged by the Board of Dentistry shall be the following:

1. Dentists:

i. Initial registration fee:

(1) If paid during the first year of a biennial renewal period ............................................... $280.00

(2) If paid during the second year of a biennial renewal period ............................................... $140.00

ii. Active registration renewal .................................. $280.00

iii. Inactive registration renewal ................................ $110.00

iv. Initial branch office registration, dentist:

(1) If paid during the first year of a biennial renewal period ................................................ $70.00

(2) If paid during the second year of a biennial renewal period ................................................ $35.00

v. Branch office renewal registration renewal, dentist ........... $70.00

2. Dental Hygienists:

i. Initial registration fee:

(1) If paid during the first year of a biennial renewal period ................................................ $80.00

(2) If paid during the second year of a biennial renewal period ................................................ $40.00

ii. Active registration renewal ................................... $80.00

iii. Inactive registration renewal ................................. $40.00

3. Registered Dental Assistants, Limited Registered Dental Assistants and Limited Registered Orthodontic Assistants:

i. Initial registration fee:

(1) If paid during the first year of a biennial renewal period ................................................ $80.00

(2) If paid during the second year of a biennial renewal period ................................................ $40.00

ii. Active registration renewal ................................... $80.00

(c)-(d) (No change.)

(e) Other fees:

1.-8. (No change.)

9. Dental clinic permit

i. (No change.)

ii. Annual renewal ............................................. $80.00

(f) (No change.)



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Rule Proposals State Board of Dentistry Consumer Affairs
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Posted May 5, 2003