Final FY 2014 Appropriations Includes $8 Million for Pediatric Dentistry Training No Funds Provided for Alternative Dental Providers

The House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership on Jan. 13, 2014 released the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, an omnibus agreement providing funding for all 12 spending bills, including Labor-HHS-Education.  The AAPD’s top appropriations priority, funding for Title VII pediatric dentistry, received our requested amount of $8 million.  The AAPD also worked closely with the ADA to obtain language that prohibits federal funding for dental therapist or other alternative provider demonstration projects.

Background:  The authority to fund Pediatric Dentistry residency training under Title VII was first enacted under the Health Professions Education Partnerships Act of 1998. This expanded the existing General Dentistry training authority, providing "start up" funds to either increase Pediatric Dentistry positions at existing programs or initiate new programs. In the first decade-plus of funding, almost $60 million has supported over 60 Pediatric Dentistry programs, including 10 new programs. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Title VII authority was expanded to create a primary care dental funding cluster under Section 748 of the Public Health Service Act. Authority was broadened to allow use of funds for faculty development, predoctoral training, and faculty loan repayment. The latter initiative had long been advocated by the AAPD, on account of the significant difficulties in recruiting qualified individuals to fill faculty positions. 

FY 2014 Final Appropriations:  The bill provides $245.4 million for health professions training (Title VII), an 11.3 percent increase over FY 2013 post-sequestration funding levels, and $228.8 million for Title VIII (nursing), a 5.2 percent increase over FY 2013 post-sequestration funding levels.  Most programs received a slight increase over the FY 2013 post-sequestration funding levels, while the geriatrics, oral health, mental and behavioral health, public health and prevention, and workforce information line items received larger increases.  The bill provides a 4.3% increase for the oral health primary care training cluster, with the following report language:

"HEALTH WORKFORCE

Oral Health Training.- The agreement includes not less than $8,000,000 for General Dentistry programs and not less than $8,000,000 for Pediatric Dentistry programs. The agreement includes bill language prohibiting health workforce funds to be used for section 340G-1, the Alternative Dental Health Care Providers Demonstration program."

The bill can be found at: http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20140113/CPRT-113-HPRT-RU00-h3547-hamdt2samdt_xml.pdf.  The explanatory statement, which includes the specific funding charts, can be found at:  http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20140113/113-HR3547-JSOM-G-I.pdf.  The final bill was signed by President Obama on Jan. 17,. 2014.

The AAPD thanks all of those advocates who attended the Public Policy Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. in March 2013, which included advocacy for this program.  The AAPD especially thanks Congressional Liaison Heber Simmons Jr. and Mike Gilliland and Kate McAuliffe at Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C. for all of their efforts through-out the long budgetary process.  For further information, please contact AAPD Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel C. Scott Litch at slitch@aapd.org.

 


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