Ohio Dental Association applauds governor, General Assembly for approving HB 463

Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 463 into law on Friday, which offers a comprehensive solution to improving access to dental care in underserved areas of Ohio.

“House Bill 463 will improve access to much needed dental care for all Ohioans in a safe, effective way,” said Dr. Thomas Paumier, Ohio Dental Association president. “The Ohio Dental Association would like to thank the governor and the General Assembly for passing this important legislation.”

Ohio Rep. Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) introduced House Bill 463 to expand access to dental care in a comprehensive, safe, high-quality way and maximize the current dental care infrastructure and delivery system. It passed both the House and Senate unanimously and is strongly supported by the Ohio Dental Association.

House Bill 463, the Ohio Dental Care Modernization Act, will:

  • Double the capacity of the Ohio Dentist Student Loan Repayment program, which provides loan repayment assistance for new dental graduates who practice in a designated shortage area and treat patients regardless of their ability to pay. The program is fully funded by a surcharge on dentists’ licensure renewal fees.
  • Expand the role of current dental team members, including hygienists and Expanded Function Dental Auxiliaries (EFDAs), to help meet the needs of underserved populations.
  • Provide an incentive for participation in dental residency programs, which are an important part of the dental safety net that provides care to underserved populations.
  • Create a study committee on Medicaid reimbursement rates for dental services to analyze the current program and make recommendations on proper reimbursement levels and policies.
  • Reform the “Choose Ohio First” scholarship program to permit scholarship awards for qualified applicants to dental schools in Ohio.

The ODA serves more than 5,400 member dentists, nearly 75 percent of the state’s licensed dentists, through programs, services and member benefits. In addition, the ODA reaches out to consumers, educators, health professionals and others through education, advocacy and public service programs.