President Signs 2014 Spending Bill
January 24, 2014
The President signed the FY 2014 $1.1 trillion spending package January 17. The law will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year, until the end of September. Here are the major dental provisions in the spending measure:
- Once again Congress has decided not to fund the workforce demonstration projects that the Affordable Care Act called for.
- The report accompanying the bill specifically states that Congress has included “not less than” $8 million for general dentistry and not less than $8 million for pediatric dental residencies. This puts these programs back to 2012 levels. Last year, the sequester resulted in no new dental residency funding.
- The report also contains language requesting a report from the Health Resources and Services Administration outlining its requirements for allowing community health centers to add new, or expand existing, dental facilities. Congress specifically wants to know if HRSA considers the number of providers already available to populations before providing health centers with dental grants.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—Division of Oral Health
The bill funds this division at $14.75 million, $869,000 above the sequestration figure and $106,000 above the fiscal year 2012 level. This is definitely good news for dentistry.
This agency of the National Institutes of Health is funded at $398.7 million, which is $14 million below the fiscal year 2013 pre-sequestration funding. The accompanying report language requests (but doesn’t direct) the NIH director to “make the development of alternative dental restorative materials a high priority.”
Other Dental Programs
- Oral Health Training
This important dental program is funded at $32 million, an amount that includes the $16 million for dental residencies (see above) as well as grants to the states for programs designed to improve dental care access for underserved populations. This is $384,000 below the fiscal year 2012 funding level.
- Maternal Child Health
Report language requires that oral health set-asides continue. This funding prior to the sequester was $3.78 million.
- Ryan White Dental
The dental portion of this AIDS/HIV program is funded at $13.12 million, which is $446,000 below fiscal year 2013 levels, pre-sequester.
Military Dental Research
While this amount ($6 million) remains the same as fiscal year 2013 levels, the ADA considers this a victory considering that under the Omnibus bill the Defense Department funding was $24 billion below the House approved amount. This research focuses on improving treatment for facial wounds and gum disease and cavity prevention among troops overseas.
Indian Health Service
Lawmakers have not determined an exact funding level for IHS due to a technical matter regarding a mandatory program. The accompanying report language, however, states that the bill:
- Includes funding for the early childhood caries initiative. The ADA expects that this will be $300,000 for a caries coordinator the Association and several requested.Encourages IHS to work with the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) and to consult with tribes about increasing preventive dental care for children by bringing dentists and hygienists into BIE schools.
- Instructs IHS to continue to make significant strides towards completion of electronic dental records. This was an ADA request.
- Encourages IHS to explore establishing a centralized credentialing system to address workforce needs similar to those of the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, to consider a pilot program for the credentialing of dentists, and to propose funding for fiscal year 20 15. (This was another joint ADA/tribal request)