SECTION 1. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the office of oral health within the department of public health shall establish a special commission on oral health for the purpose of making an investigation and study of the current burden of oral disease in the Commonwealth, identifying the gaps in care and developing a strategic plan to address specific barriers, integrate oral health with general health, and improve access and quality of oral health care provided for the residents of the commonwealth. Said commission shall consist of:, the commissioner of public health or a designee, who shall serve as chair; the current members of the department of public health office of oral health advisory committee; the assistant secretary for MassHealth or a designee; two members of the house of representatives to be named by the speaker of the house, two members of the senate to be named by the senate president; and twelve members to be named by the Governor; one of whom shall be a representative of the health policy commission; one of whom shall be a representative of the center for health information and analysis; one of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Dental Society; one of whom shall be a representative of the Massachusetts Dental Hygiene Association; one of whom shall be a representative of Health Care For All; three of whom shall be representative of geographically, racially, socioeconomically and ethnically diverse communities in the state; one of whom shall be a representative of an organization representing older adult; two of whom shall be representatives of community health centers that provide dental health services; one of whom shall be a representative of the Boston Public Health Commission; one of whom shall be a representative of the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement; one of whom shall be dean of a Massachusetts school of dental medicine or a designee; one of whom shall be a dean of a Massachusetts school of dental hygiene or a designee; one of whom shall be representative of the Massachusetts Public Health Association; one of whom shall be representative of the Massachusetts Academy of Pediatric Dentistry; one of whom shall be representative of hospital that provides dental services to children; and one of whom shall be representative of a health organization participating in an accountable care payment model. The commission membership may be comprised of members of the department of public health oral health advisory council. The commission may select additional or replacement members as appropriate and may consult with relevant experts to support the commission’s objectives and the production of its report.
(b) Said commission shall investigate the current oral health status and needs of all residents of the Commonwealth, including adult and pediatric populations; assess gaps in access to oral health care and services; develop a plan and timeline to conduct a statewide oral health needs assessment to be led by the oral health advisory council; create guidelines to establish a statewide oral health data and surveillance system using contemporary information technologies and national comparisons of key indicators’ and provide workforce, infrastructure, and policy recommendations that address oral health disparities, increase public awareness of oral health services, and work towards building health equity in the Commonwealth. Said commission shall utilize data to examine oral health status and dental care access for underserved and diverse populations including but not limited to racially, ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse communities across all geographic regions in the commonwealth; assess provider capacity or shortages inclusive of provider enrollment by payer type; propose solutions to improve access to culturally competent care and services, dental care provider enrollment in MassHealth; public oral health prevention and promotion programs, considering the impact of social determinants of health on oral health; telehealth; and such other matters as the commission shall determine to be of relevance and priority.
(c) Said commission shall file its findings and recommendations with the house and senate committees on ways and means, the joint committee on health care financing, the joint committee on public health, the clerks of the house of representatives and senate on or before December 31, 2023. The statewide oral health needs assessment shall be completed no later than December 31, 2025.
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