HB 2979: Dental Management and Delivery Act: A 21st Century Solution to Increase Access to Dental Care in Oregon
This proactive measure addresses access to dental care in Oregon in comprehensive, tangible ways. The concept would:
- Expand Cover All Kids dental benefits to include adults up to 26, and COFA populations.
- Create a dental student debt forgiveness program. Dentists can receive student debt forgiveness for treating Medicaid patients.
- Require OHA to undertake a rate-setting review process on dental rates and capitation, and return to 2022 Legislature with a presentation on how dental rates are set, how they compare with dental rates across the country, and how they compare to private insurance rates. OHA to include relevant stakeholders in recommendation-making process.
- Insurance Process Streamlining: OHA and DCBS to encourage administrative consistency (e.g., use of uniform reporting forms) across dental plans, as well as encourage dental plans to remove or agree to a common set of prior authorization requirements. Administrative consistency should also apply to Medicaid processing.
- Increase and extend the Rural Practitioner Tax Credit to ensure dentists and other medical providers can operate in underserved areas with lower patient volumes, supporting access in remote areas.
HB: 2977: Budget Request: Funding of the State Dental Director Position
Oregon is currently missing out on federal grant money because it does not have a state dental director. Oregon needs a state dental director who will establish clinical, fiscal and policy priorities for oral disease prevention and care. ORS 413.083 requires OHA to appoint a dental director, yet OHA has not included the position in their 2021-2023 budget request. OHA especially needs oral leadership amidst its COVID response to ensure oral health access is maintained in the state.
HB 2978: Tribal Scholarship for Equity in Dental and Medical Education
ODA supports diversity and inclusion in the dental profession in Oregon and equity in culturally relevant care. This concept will allow Tribal members in Oregon to attend graduate programs at the Oregon Health and Sciences University for free, including the School of Dentistry.