STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1081
RE: H.B. No. 325
Honorable Colleen Hanabusa
President of the Senate
Twenty-Fourth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2007
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Human Services and Public Housing and Health, to which was referred H.B. No. 325, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO DENTAL CARE,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to expand coverage under Medicaid and QUEST to include comprehensive dental care coverage for eligible persons twenty-one years of age or older, appropriate funds to provide the additional coverage, and appropriate funds for hospital dentistry for the developmentally disabled in the County of Hawaii.
The State Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Disability and Communication Access Board, the Hawaii Psychiatric Medical Association, Kokua Council, the Hawai‘i Primary Care Association, Ho‘ōla Lāhui Hawai‘i, the Arc in Hawaii, Full Life, Mobile Care Health Project, the Hawaii Island Dental Task Force, and three individuals submitted testimony in support of this measure. The Department of Health, the Department of Human Services, and the Hawaii Medical Service Association submitted testimony in support of the intent of this measure.
Your Committees find that current dental coverage for eligible recipients age twenty-one years and older does not include coverage for endodontic, root canals, crowns, elective procedures, or periodontal surgery. Since the adults in question are indigent, they cannot pay for any services that they may need if they are not covered benefits. Dentists, therefore, may not even start services if they cannot deliver full treatment for the patient or if they will not be paid for the care. An expansion of services would defray the greater costs that would otherwise likely occur from poor dental care.
Your Committees received testimony from the Department of Human Services that this measure, if passed, would cost the State approximately $12,257,437 to provide comprehensive dental care coverage.
It is the Committees' intent to improve access to dental care for this population of Medicaid and QUEST recipients. Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Establishing a task force to assist in developing ways to recruit and retain dental care practitioners, licensed under chapters 447 and 448, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to support the provision of the expanded coverage;
(2) Making the appropriations for fiscal year 2008-2009;
(3) Changing the effective date from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2008; provided that the section of the measure regarding the establishment of the aforementioned task force shall take effect upon its approval; and
(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive changes for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Human Services and Public Housing and Health that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 325, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 325, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Human Services and Public Housing and Health,
DAVID Y. IGE, Chair
SUZANNE CHUN OAKLAND, Chair