House Joint Resolution (HJR) 644 of the 1999 Session of the General Assembly directs the Joint Commission on Health Care to study ways to increase access to dental care throughout the Commonwealth.
HJR 644 requires the Joint Commission to conduct its study in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Health, the Department of Medical Assistance Services, the Virginia Dental Association, the Virginia Dental Hygienists' Association, the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry, the Virginia Board of Dentistry, the Virginia Association of Free Clinics, and the Virginia Health Care Foundation. Specifically, the study is to include, but not be limited to, an analysis of:
(i) the need for practitioner data for dental workforce planning purposes;
(ii) the financial, structural and other barriers to accessing dental care throughout the Commonwealth;
(iii) dental practitioner shortage areas and ways to increase the number of dentists practicing in these shortage areas;
(iv) the number of dentists participating in the Medicaid program and actions that would increase the number of participating dentists;
(v) the current dental scholarship program, and potential revisions to the program that may increase the number of dentists establishing practices in underserved areas;
(vi) the actions taken in other states to increase access to dental care and to increase the number of dentists participating in Medicaid and practicing in underserved areas; and
(vii) other appropriate issues which will increase access to dental care.
A copy of HJR 644 is attached at Appendix A.
This Report Is Presented In Six Major Sections
This first section discusses the authority for the study and organization of the report. Section II discusses the importance of dental care and oral hygiene. Section Ill provides information on the dental workforce in Virginia. Section IV discusses the level of dental care provided in the Commonwealth. Section V examines potential ways of improving access to dental care in Virginia. Lastly, Section VI presents a series of policy options the Joint Commission may wish to consider in improving access to dental care throughout the Commonwealth.
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