June 2023 Advocacy Updates
MnDHA Legislative report 2023
The Minnesota Dental Hygienists Association (“MnDHA”) had a rather quiet but
successful legislative session. MnDHA followed and supported efforts to expand access
to dental care and laid the groundwork for a 2024 push in support of a new dental
hygienist licensure compact. The dental and dental hygiene licensure compact bill was
introduced but not heard in committees this year. We anticipate its passage in 2024 as
key stakeholders all support this initiative.
The MnDHA routinely offered written testimony and letters of support for proposals
relating to public program reimbursement, clinical infrastructure, and access to care. In
the end, the restoration of a comprehensive adult dental benefit set for individuals on
Medical Assistance is likely a hallmark accomplishment of the session. The following is
an overview of the components of the Omnibus bill MnDHA supported.
Omnibus Health and Human Services Finance Bill (dental components)
Critical Access Dental Infrastructure Program: The bill appropriated $2.5 million in
one-time funding in FY 24 to support a new Critical Access Dental (“CAD”)
Infrastructure Program. The program will provide grants and forgivable loans to CAD
providers for the purposes of supporting the preservation and expansion of their clinical
capacity. The funds can be used to support the construction of new clinics, the
expansion or renovation of existing clinics, or the acquisition of dental equipment
(including that used for mobile and/or tele-dentistry).
Restoring MA Coverage for Adult Dental Services: The bill included language
restoring a comprehensive dental benefit set for adults on Medical Assistance, finally
undoing a cut implemented in response to a series of budget deficits during the
Pawlenty Administration in the early 2000’s. The adult benefit is estimated to cost $30
million in the FY 24-25 biennium and approximately $47.7 million in the FY 26- 27
Adding Dental Professionals to the Rural Health Advisory Committee: The bill
includes language that would add an allied dental professional to the Rural Health
Advisory Committee. Larkin Hoffman and the MnDHA worked with the Minnesota Dental
Association on this language in response to a proposal from the Minnesota Department
of Health that would have converted the existing position dedicated to dentists to a
position for either a dentist or an allied dental professional.
Clinical Dental Education Innovation Grant Program: The final bill includes $1.18
million per year in ongoing funding for the Clinical Dental Education Innovation Grant
Program. These dollars generally replace funds from the Medical Education and
Research Costs (MERC) fund that were deemed no longer available for this use. The
dollars support the clinical training of dental professionals in certain patient care
On May 22, 2023, the Senate passed S.F. 2295 by a vote of 34-32 and the House of
Representatives followed suit later in the day, passing the bill on a vote of 69-64. Gov.
Walz signed the bill into law on May 24, 2023.
The Oral Health Home Pilot Project funding and the Medical Assistance Dental
Rebasing bills did not pass this year.
In 2024 we will be asking for your support in contacting legislators on issues important
to dental hygiene. Also, please save the date, February 20, 2024 for our in-person Day
at the Capitol!
Jeanne Anderson, Advocacy Chair