ADA offers dental workforce solutions to Senate: 5 notes

The American Dental Association recently proposed to the U.S. Senate several solutions to dental workforce challenges.

Five things to know: 

1. The dental agency wrote a letter May 9 to members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions with its proposals, according to a May 15 news release.

2. The ADA said its proposals could broaden the workforce pipeline, improve distribution of the health workforce and enhance access to care.

3. The proposals include the reauthorization of Action for Dental Health grants through 2028 to increase federal funding for dental care in underserved areas and a mandate that the secretary of Health and Human Services report to Congress the extent of the grants' impact on dental care access. The ADA also proposed passing the Restoring America‚Äôs Health Care Workforce and Readiness Act, which would increase funding for National Health Service Corps scholarships and loan repayment programs for healthcare professionals who serve in federally designated shortage areas. 

4. The ADA also proposed that Congress support legislation allowing student loan borrowers to modify the interest rate on student loans to the current applicable rate and pass the Resident Education Deferred Interest Act, a bipartisan bill that would allow borrowers serving in a medical or dental internship or residency program to qualify for interest-free deferment on student loans.

5. The organization requested that its proposals be included in any legislative packages the committee considers regarding the healthcare workforce.

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