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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2020 04:04 PM
From: Representative Kathy L. Rapp
To: All House members
Subject: Boosting Oral Health Care in Rural Communities
I plan to introduce a resolution to boost oral health care in rural communities. For quite some time, rural Pennsylvanians have faced significant societal barriers such as lack of insurance, lack of transportation, or a shortage of oral health providers.
My resolution will explore ways to reduce the cost of dental care while increasing availability. It will include a review of the benefits of teledentistry, mobile dentistry, and a cost benefit analysis of increasing oral care to those living in rural communities.
Currently, teledentistry is practiced in 23 states with most of those states allowing their Medicaid agencies to authorize reimbursement. Teledentistry can be practiced in many ways such as video consultation, provider education courses, and patient monitoring to address a patient’s oral health.
Mobile dentistry has become a valuable tool in delivering oral health services to rural Pennsylvanians. In fact, at least 40 state Medicaid programs reimburse for mobile dental services. However, it is important to note that most of the funding for this program is through grants, health care reimbursements, or donations.
Lastly, I believe a cost benefit analysis should be conducted to showcase the need for additional funding and services in rural areas throughout Pennsylvania. As a result, I intend to direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a cost benefit analysis pertaining to the cost of oral care for those living in Pennsylvania’s most rural areas.
I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this resolution so we can continue protecting individuals who live in rural areas, especially those who lack the necessary coverage.

Introduced as HR68