Patient Access to Records (Assembly Bill 318/SB 258/Enacted Into Law as 2017 Act 116)


Wisconsin is one of 12 states that allows non-dentists to own dental practices, and has done so for several decades. While the practice of dentistry is regulated by the Dentistry Examining Board (DEB), their authority over certain aspects of non-dentist owned practices is unclear.  This is particularly true with access to records.

The number of non-dentist practice owners has grown considerably over the past decade.  The Dentistry Examining Board lacks authority to reprimand or discipline for non-dentist owners. For example, non-dentist owners who have shut down practices and then prohibited employee dentists and/or patients from accessing patient records are referred to local district attorneys rather than going before the DEB.


Read Assembly Bill 318 here

Working with the Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO), we have created language that ensures patient and DEB access to records when requested or required.  The bill contains the following provisions:

  • Requires that, regardless of whether the owner is a dentist or a non-dentist, the person managing/controlling a dental clinic is responsible for maintaining patient health records, and producing those records on request of the DEB or the patient;
  • Recognizes that the business and administrative support functions provided by DSO’s do not constitute the practice of dentistry;
  • Explicitly prohibits instituting quotas for the number of patients seen or number of procedures performed.


The WDA thanks lead authors State Rep. David Steffen (R-Green Bay) and State Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) for working to introduce Assembly Bill 318/SB 258.  We also extend our gratitude to the bipartisan coalition of co-sponsors listed below.  The bills have been referred to the Assembly Committee on Health, and the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services.

Senate Bill 258 was passed unanimously by both the Assembly and the Senate, and was signed into law by Governor Walker on November 30, 2017.  It is 2017 Act 116.

Watch the testimony from the Assembly hearing (Begins approximately 58 minutes in)

Watch the Senate hearing video here (begins at 44 minutes)

Please contact WDA Government Services Director Matt Rossetto (414-755-4130 or [email protected]) with questions about the bill.


* indicates a member of the Assembly Health Committee


Sen. Van H. Wanggaard (R-Racine)

Sen. Janet Bewley (D-Ashland)

Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee)

Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills)

Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee)*

Sen. Frank G. Lasee (R-De Pere)

Sen. Stephen L. Nass (R-Whitewater)

Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon)

Sen. Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville)

Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton)

Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse)


Rep. David Steffen (R-Green Bay)

Rep. Scott Allen (R-Waukesha)

Rep. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan)

Rep. Terese Berceau (D-Madison)

Rep. Kathy Bernier (R-Lake Hallie)*

Rep. Jill Billings (D-La Crosse)

Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls)

Rep. Robert Brooks (R-Saukville)

Rep. Dave Considine (D-Baraboo)

Rep. Steve Doyle (D-Onalaska)

Rep. Jason Fields (D-Glendale)

Rep. Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay)

Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh)

Rep. Debra Kolste (D-Janesville)*

Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum)*

Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa)

Rep. David Murphy (R-Greenville)*

Rep. Jeffrey Mursau (R-Crivitz)

Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville)

Rep. Romaine Quinn (R-Rice Lake)

Rep. Daniel Riemer (D-Milwaukee)

Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah)

Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield)

Rep. Mark Spreitzer (D-Beloit)

Rep. Lisa Subeck (D-Madison)*

Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel)