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.
   23  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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         381.4019Dental 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         381.40195Donated 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.