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Bills of Interest May 2016
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AB 648 (Low)
Virtual Dental Home Implementation Project.
This bill would establish the Virtual Dental Home (VDH) Grant Program to facilitate, coordinate, and encourage development and expansion of the delivery of dental health services through use of the VDH model.

CSPD Position: Support

Comment: Efforts to find funding for the bill raised administrative complexities that could not be resolved prior to the first session legislative deadline. It is now likely that funding will be needed from the General Fund or from the Denti-Cal Medicaid Waiver in the form of a Dental Transformation Initiative pilot project.

AB 2207 (Wood)
Medi-Cal Dental Program.
This bill would attempt to improve the Medi-Cal Dental Program by, among other provisions, expediting provider enrollment and increasing access and utilization oversight responsibility of the Department of Health Care Services. The bill would require a Medi-Cal managed care health plan to provide dental screenings and appropriate referral of beneficiaries to dental providers.

CSPD Position: Support

Comment: The bill would add to the performance measures reported by the DHCS for both the dental fee-for-service program and dental managed care plans the total number of patients seen on a per-provider basis and the total number of dental services rendered by each provider during each calendar year. The bill was developed in conjunction with, and has the support of, the Department of Health Care Services, partly in response to the April 2015 Little Hoover Commission report.

AB 2235 (Thurmond)
Pediatric Anesthesia.
This bill would require the Dental Board of California to investigate and report if current laws, regulations, and state policies are sufficient to minimize the risk of injury or death stemming from the administration general anesthesia or “deep sedation” to minor dental patients. It would also require that an informed consent for a minor dental patient contain information regarding monitoring equipment.

CSPD Position: Support

Comment: The bill has been considerably modified since its initial introduction, which would have required that an informed consent for a minor dental patient contain the information that if the dental procedure and the administration of general anesthesia / conscious sedation are performed by the same individual there is an increased risk of an adverse event, including death. The current provisions of the bill require posting on the DBC website detailed anonymized data concerning all adverse events involving pediatric dental anesthesia or deep sedation. The position of the Board of CSPD is that while adverse occurrences in the administration of anesthesia in the dental or oral surgery office are extremely rare, even one is too many, and we agree with the need to examine closely any tragedy to see if it provides clues of ways to make sedation and anesthesia even safer for children.

AB 2495 (Santiago)
Dental Corps Loan Repayment Program.
The bill would move the California Dental Loan Repayment Program (DCLRP) under the jurisdiction of the Dental Board of California (DBC) to the Health Professions Education Foundation (HPEF housed in the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).

CSPD Position: Under Consideration

Comment: The Legislature passed the DCLRP in 2002, allocating $3 million from the State Dentistry Fund (derived from licensing and other fees) to be disbursed as educational loan repayment for dentists practicing in underserved areas. Fourteen years later, a little more than half of these funds are still sitting in the grant fund, yet to be awarded. This bill would place these funds (for the same purpose) to the HPEF, which is better able to administer the program.

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