ADA supports bill to improve health for underserved

By DrBicuspid Staff

August 12, 2020 -- The ADA is supporting proposed legislation that would improve health disparities in minority and underserved communities in the U.S.

The ADA sent a letter of support to the sponsors of HR 7158, which would allow nonprofits or local government agencies along with healthcare professionals to request that certain areas be designated as health empowerment zones. If the bill moves forward and is signed into law, organizations would need to submit a sustainable plan for a proposed area that focuses on the following actions:

  • Reducing health disparities
  • Lowering costs to the healthcare system
  • Improving health outcomes
  • Using one or more incentives to address healthcare provider capacity, improve health services delivery, effectuate community improvements, or conduct outreach and education efforts
  • Identifying specific diseases or indicators to improve outcomes in cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes, dental health, behavioral health, maternal and birth health, sexually transmitted infections, and obesity

"Many of the provisions in the Health Enterprise Zones Act are essential to the goal of ensuring that every community receives access to the quality and affordable healthcare they deserve, including oral healthcare," Chad Gehani, DDS, president of the ADA, and Kathleen O'Loughlin, DMD, executive director of the ADA, wrote in a letter to lawmakers.

The ADA also supports the following incentives that would attract more dentists to these underserved communities:

  • A student loan repayment program for eligible providers, including dentists
  • A tax credit for qualified health workers
  • Grant programs to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes


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