In Florida, bills in the House (HB 369) and Senate (SB 764) have been pre-filed for the next legislative session seek to establish a Dental Student Loan Repayment Program. The Program would enable participating dentists to receive up to $50,000 per year for up to five years to help pay off dental school loans. In order to be eligible for the funds, dentists need to be practicing in a designated health professional shortage area and participating in a public health program that serves Medicaid recipients.
A very similar bill passed both chambers with near-unanimous support in 2015 before being vetoed by Governor Rick Scott in 2015.
In Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker unveiled a proposed bill that seeks to address the state’s opioid crisis. Among the many provisions in the CARE Act related to preventing opioid abuse is a requirement for all prescribers to convert to secure electronic prescriptions and to cease the use of oral and paper prescriptions by 2020. Also, the bill seeks to create a commission that will develop recommendations on appropriate prescribing practices for the most common oral and advanced dental procedures.
In Maine, a ballot measure seeking to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was approved by voters on November 7, 2017. The ballot measure approval is set to make Maine the 32nd state to expand Medicaid under the ACA.
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