Florida Senate - 2019 SB 716 By Senator Hooper 16-00819A-19 2019716__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to dental services; providing 3 legislative intent; creating s. 381.4019, F.S.; 4 establishing the Dental Student Loan Repayment Program 5 to support dentists who practice in public health 6 programs located in certain underserved areas; 7 providing definitions; requiring the Department of 8 Health to establish a dental student loan repayment 9 program for specified purposes; providing for the 10 award of funds; providing the maximum number of years 11 funds may be awarded; providing eligibility 12 requirements; requiring the department to adopt rules; 13 creating s. 381.40195, F.S.; providing a short title; 14 providing definitions; requiring the Department of 15 Health to establish the Donated Dental Services 16 Program to provide comprehensive dental care to 17 certain eligible individuals; requiring the department 18 to contract with a nonprofit organization to implement 19 and administer the program; specifying minimum 20 contractual responsibilities; requiring the department 21 to adopt rules; providing an effective date. 22 23 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 24 25 Section 1. It is the intent of the Legislature to promote 26 programs and initiatives that help make available preventive and 27 educational dental services for the citizens of the state, as 28 well as provide quality dental treatment services. The 29 geographic characteristics among the citizens of the state are 30 distinctive and vary from region to region, with such citizens 31 having unique needs regarding access to dental care. The 32 Legislature recognizes that maintaining good oral health is 33 integral to the overall health status of individuals and that 34 the good health of the residents of this state is an important 35 contributing factor in economic development. Better health, 36 including better oral health, increases workplace productivity, 37 reduces the burden of health care costs, and improves the 38 cognitive development of children, resulting in a reduction of 39 missed school days. 40 Section 2. Section 381.4019, Florida Statutes, is created 41 to read: 42 381.4019 Dental Student Loan Repayment Program.—Subject to 43 the availability of funds, the Legislature shall establish the 44 Dental Student Loan Repayment Program to promote access to 45 dental care by supporting qualified dentists who treat medically 46 underserved populations in dental health professional shortage 47 areas or medically underserved areas. 48 (1) As used in this section, the term: 49 (a) “Dental health professional shortage area” means a 50 geographic area designated as such by the Health Resources and 51 Services Administration of the United States Department of 52 Health and Human Services. 53 (b) “Department” means the Department of Health. 54 (c) “Loan program” means the Dental Student Loan Repayment 55 Program. 56 (d) “Medically underserved area” means a geographic area, 57 an area having a special population, or a facility which is 58 designated by department rule as a health professional shortage 59 area as defined by federal regulation and which has a shortage 60 of dental health professionals who serve Medicaid recipients and 61 other low-income patients. 62 (e) “Public health program” means a county health 63 department, the Children’s Medical Services program, a federally 64 funded community health center, a federally funded migrant 65 health center, or other publicly funded or nonprofit health care 66 program designated by the department. 67 (2) The department shall establish a dental student loan 68 repayment program to benefit Florida-licensed dentists who 69 demonstrate, as required by department rule, active employment 70 in a public health program that serves Medicaid recipients and 71 other low-income patients and is located in a dental health 72 professional shortage area or a medically underserved area. 73 (3) The department shall award funds from the loan program 74 to repay the student loans of a dentist who meets the 75 requirements of subsection (2). 76 (a) An award may not exceed $50,000 per year per eligible 77 dentist. 78 (b) Only loans to pay the costs of tuition, books, dental 79 equipment and supplies, uniforms, and living expenses shall be 80 covered. 81 (c) All repayments shall be contingent upon continued proof 82 of eligibility and shall be made directly to the holder of the 83 loan. The state shall bear no responsibility for the collection 84 of any interest charges or other remaining balances. 85 (d) A dentist is eligible to receive funds under the loan 86 program for at least 1 year, up to a maximum of 5 years. 87 (e) The department shall limit the number of new dentists 88 participating in the loan program to no more than 10 per fiscal 89 year. 90 (4) A dentist is no longer eligible to receive funds under 91 the loan program if the dentist: 92 (a) Is no longer employed by a public health program that 93 meets the requirements of subsection (2). 94 (b) Ceases to participate in the Florida Medicaid program. 95 (c) Has disciplinary action taken against his or her 96 license by the Board of Dentistry for a violation of s. 466.028. 97 (5) The department shall adopt rules to administer the loan 98 program. 99 Section 3. Section 381.40195, Florida Statutes, is created 100 to read: 101 381.40195 Donated Dental Services Program.— 102 (1) This act may be cited as the “Donated Dental Services 103 Act.” 104 (2) As used in this section, the term: 105 (a) “Department” means the Department of Health. 106 (b) “Program” means the Donated Dental Services Program as 107 established pursuant to subsection (3). 108 (3) The department shall establish the Donated Dental 109 Services Program for the purpose of providing comprehensive 110 dental care through a network of volunteer dentists and other 111 dental providers to needy, disabled, elderly, and medically 112 compromised individuals who cannot afford necessary treatment 113 but are ineligible for public assistance. An eligible individual 114 may receive treatment in a volunteer dentist’s or participating 115 dental provider’s private office or at any other suitable 116 location. An eligible individual is not required to pay any fee 117 or cost associated with the treatment he or she receives. 118 (4) The department shall implement and administer the 119 program. The department shall contract with a nonprofit 120 organization that has experience in providing similar services 121 or administering similar programs. The contract must specify the 122 responsibilities of the nonprofit organization, which may 123 include, but are not limited to: 124 (a) Maintaining a network of volunteer dentists and other 125 dental providers, including, but not limited to, dental 126 specialists and dental laboratories, to provide comprehensive 127 dental services to eligible individuals. 128 (b) Maintaining a system to refer eligible individuals to 129 the appropriate volunteer dentist or participating dental 130 provider. 131 (c) Developing a public awareness and marketing campaign to 132 promote the program and educate eligible individuals about its 133 availability and services. 134 (d) Providing the necessary administrative and technical 135 support to administer the program. 136 (e) Submitting an annual report to the department which 137 must include, at a minimum: 138 1. Financial data relating to administering the program. 139 2. Demographic data and other information relating to the 140 eligible individuals who are referred to and receive treatment 141 through the program. 142 3. Demographic data and other information relating to the 143 volunteer dentists and participating dental providers who 144 provide dental services through the program. 145 4. Any other data or information that the department may 146 require. 147 (f) Performing any other program-related duties and 148 responsibilities as required by the department. 149 (5) The department shall adopt rules to administer the 150 program. 151 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.