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Action for Dental Health Act of 2017 (H.R.2422)

Posted February 27, 2018

The House of Representatives passed Rep. Robin Kelly's (D-IL) bill, the Action for Dental Health Act of 2017 (H.R.2422). The bill was passed by a vote of 387-13 yesterday.

H.R. 2422 would reauthorize the CDC Oral Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Programs along with the Health Resources and Services Administration’s grants to states to support oral health workforce activities. The bill would authorize $18 million annually from fiscal 2018 through 2022 for oral health promotion and disease prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It would establish a new “Action for Dental Health Program” within that account that would provide grants for oral health education, dental disease prevention, and reducing barriers to dental services. Eligible entities would include state or local dental associations, state oral health programs, dental education programs, and community organizations that help facilitate dental services for underserved populations.

The bill also would authorize $13.9 million annually for five years for grants to states for innovative dental programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration. As part of those grants, the bill would expand programs that provide oral health services in dental health professional shortage areas to include:

  • Establishing dental homes, which the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has defined as comprehensive oral health care for children and adults.
  • Establishing initiatives to reduce the use of emergency departments for dental services.
  • Providing dental care to nursing home residents.

The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration. Click here to check for updates.