AAPD Legislative Priorities for Pediatric Dentistry Training Fare Well in Senate Committee FY 2014 Recommendations

There was positive news from the recent mark-up of FY 2014 appropriations legislation by the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee. This was approved by the full Appropriations Committee by a 16-14 vote along party lines on July 11, 2013, and the full report, Senate Report 113-071, is available online by clicking here.

Funding of $8 million was directed to Title VII pediatric dentistry, consistent with the AAPD’s request.  This would restore funding to the FY 2012 pre-sequester level.  Overall funding for the Title VII primary care oral health programs (of which pediatric dentistry is a part) was $32.654 million, consistent with the AAPD’s request  and also representing a restoration to the pre-sequester level.  Report language indicates that "The Committee encourages HRSA to focus on training programs that target vulnerable populations in risk-based clinical disease management of all populations."

Once again this year no Title VII funds were diverted toward evaluating alternative dental workforce models such as dental therapists.  Instead, this report language was adopted:  "The Committee urges HRSA to work with CMS on the evaluation of additional models for expanding access to oral healthcare. Such models should include emergency room diversion programs and efforts under State law to deploy and evaluate new provider types."  It is noteworthy that so far in 2014 no state legislature has passed dental therapist legislation.

The AAPD also advocated for continuation of funding for leadership centers in pediatric dentistry education under the HRSA Maternal and Child Health Block Grant. These programs are threatened with elimination.  Report language directed the agency as follows:

"Oral Health- The Committee recognizes the key role that Maternal and Child Health Centers in Pediatric Dentistry provide in preparing dentists with dual training in pediatric dentistry and dental public health, fostering academic leadership, and developing expertise in the treatment of children with special healthcare needs. The Committee encourages HRSA to provide incentives for these centers to leverage resources to strengthen and expand their activities.

 

The AAPD thanks all of those advocates who attended the Public Policy Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. in March, which included advocacy for these programs. The AAPD thanks ADA and ADEA for their support for these programs and our collaborative advocacy efforts.  For further information, please contact AAPD Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel C. Scott Litch at slitch@aapd.org.

 


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