SECTION 1: Chapter 71 Section 57 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting the following after the first paragraph:
Upon entering kindergarten or within 30 days of the start of the school year, the parent or guardian of each child shall present to school health personnel certification that the child within the previous 12 months has received a dental screening by a qualified licensed dental professional that was performed no earlier than 12 months prior to the date of initial enrollment of the pupil.
The parent or legal guardian of a pupil may be excused from complying by indicating that the dental screening could not be completed because of one or more of these reasons:
(A) Completion of a screening poses an undue financial burden on the parent or legal guardian.
(B) Parents or legal guardians does not consent to a dental screening.
SECTION 2: Chapter 71 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after Section 34H, the following new section:-
Section 34I. A public school shall notify the parent or legal guardian of a pupil described in the second paragraph of Section 57 of Chapter 71 concerning the screening required. The notification shall, at a minimum, consist of a letter that includes all of the following:
(1) An explanation of the administrative requirements of this section.
(2) Information on the importance of primary teeth.
(3) Information on the importance of oral health to overall health as it relates to learning.
(4) Contact information for public health departments.
(5) A statement of privacy applicable under state and federal laws and regulations.
SECTION 3: Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended in Section 185A by inserting at the end of the Section the following sentence:-
The department shall provide information to parents and legal guardians about programs and services to access affordable dental care.
SECTION 4: In order to ensure uniform data collection, the department of public health, in consultation with interested persons, shall develop and make available on the internet website of the department, a standardized notification form as specified in section 2 that shall be used by each school district. The standardized form shall include all of the following:
(1) A section that can be used by the licensed dental professional performing the dental screening to record information that includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(A) Date of the dental screening
(B) School name
(C) Name and address of the licensed dental professional performing the screening
(H) Charting of untreated cavities
(I) Number of missing teeth
(J) Number of filled cavities
(K) Presence of sealants on permanent molars
(L) Treatment urgency
(2) A section in which the parent or legal guardian of a pupil can indicate the reason why a screening could not be completed by marking the box next to the appropriate reason. The reasons for not completing a screening shall include those detailed in section 1 subparagraphs (A) and (B).
SECTION 5: Upon receiving completed screening forms, all school districts shall, by December 31 of each year, submit a report to the department of public health. The department of public health shall create, in consultation with interested persons, an internet-based application for the collection of the reports. The report shall include all of the following:
(1) The total number of pupils in the district, by school, who are subject to the requirement to present proof of having received an oral health assessment pursuant to Section 1.
(2) The total number of pupils described in paragraph (1) who present proof of a screening.
(3) The total number of pupils described in paragraph (1) who could not complete a screening due to financial burden.
(4) The total number of pupils described in paragraph (1) who could not complete a screening due to lack of access to a licensed dentist.
(5) The total number of pupils described in paragraph (1) who could not complete a screening because their parents or legal guardians did not consent to their child receiving the screening.
(6) The total number of pupils described in paragraph (1) who are screened and found to have untreated decay.
(7) The total number of pupils described in paragraph (1) who did not return either the screening form or the waiver request to the school.
SECTION 6: The department of public health shall maintain the data described in section 5 in a manner that allows the department to release it upon request. This section does not prohibit any of the following:
(1) The department of public health from sharing aggregate data collected pursuant to section 5 with other governmental agencies, philanthropic organizations, or other nonprofit organizations for the purpose of data analysis.
(2) Use of the screening data that is compliant with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 for the purposes of conducting research and analysis on the oral health status of public school pupils in the commonwealth.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.