Ohio Dental Association supports House Bill 184 to expand access to dental care
The Ohio Dental Association supports House Bill 184 – the Ohio Dental Care Optimization Act of 2017 – which was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives by Reps. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Anthony DeVitis (R-Green) on April 12.
The bill will update Ohio’s laws to allow for the use of tele-dentistry to deliver dental care to Ohioans, especially in remote underserved areas, and to provide other reforms to improve access to dental care in Ohio.
This comprehensive legislation was developed with the input of various interested parties, including representatives from the Ohio Dental Association, The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital and will allow for the use of state-of-the art technology and provide innovative strategies to ensure Ohioans have access to quality dental care.
Specifically, this legislation will:
- Update Ohio’s dental laws to allow for the use of tele-dentistry to extend care into underserved areas of Ohio
- Double the capacity of the Ohio Dentist Loan Repayment Program, which provides loan repayment for dentists who practice in underserved areas of the state through a surcharge on dental licensure fees
- Create the Primary Care Dental Student Scholarship component of the Choose Ohio First Scholarship Program providing dental school scholarships for dental students who agree to practice in designated underserved areas upon graduation
- Enhance the ability of dental auxiliaries to provide preventive dental services in schools and other public health settings
- Promote licensure portability to enhance Ohio’s attractiveness as a state in which qualified dentists establish their dental practices
“House Bill 184 is important legislation that will allow for the use of state-of-the-art technology in delivering dental care and provides innovative strategies to ensure Ohioans have access to quality dental care,” said ODA President Dr. Kevin Laing, a general dentist from Van Wert. “The Ohio Dental Association and its 5,300 member dentists from across the state strongly support House Bill 184.”
About the Ohio Dental Association
The Ohio Dental Association represents more than 5,000 member dentists, about 70 percent of the state’s licensed dentists. ODA member dentists provide more than $40 million in donated care and services annually, and they are bound by the highest ethical standards and have access to superior ongoing education, training and resources.
David Owsiany, JD
Ohio Dental Association Executive Director