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S. 570 (114th): Comprehensive Dental Reform Act of 2015

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 25, 2015.

Comprehensive Dental Reform Act of 2015

Amends titles XVIII (Medicare) and XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act to cover oral health services.

Increases the federal medical assistance percentage for oral health services, thereby increasing payments to states under Medicaid.

Directs the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to maintain a database of dental benefits available to adult Medicaid enrollees in each state.

Amends the Public Health Service Act to establish, revise, and extend funding for grant programs for:

educating nondental professionals about oral health care; providing dental services in hospital emergency rooms or in community settings; providing scholarships and education loans for oral health professional students; providing oral health services to low-income and underserved individuals; building, operating, or expanding dental clinics in schools; and providing mobile, comprehensive dental services at locations that serve individuals who qualify for benefits under specified programs. Authorizes community based dental residencies.

Authorizes specified agencies to conduct research on oral health issues through FY2019.

Amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to make oral health services an essential health benefit.

Removes restrictions on the authority of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide dental care to veterans (thereby requiring dental care on the same basis as other VA-provided medical care and services).

Authorizes the VA, Department of Defense, Bureau of Prisons, and Indian Health Service to carry out demonstration programs to train and employ alternative dental health care providers in order to increase access to dental services.

Directs the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the expansion of dental service coverage pursuant to this Act.

Directs the Government Accountability Office to evaluate the implementation and utilization of expanded dental service coverage under this Act and the demonstration programs authorized by this Act.