HBA-DMH C.S.H.B. 479 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 479 By: Naishtat Human Services 3/16/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under current law, nursing home residents are asked at least once a year if the resident desires a dental examination and treatment at the resident's own expense. If a resident is unable to afford dental care through this process, the only Medicaid dental services available are long-term care emergency dental services. The Senate Committee on Human Services reported that since little attempt is made to deal with dental problems until residents are in pain or unable to eat, the care eventually received is often more expensive than preventative care. C.S.H.B. 479 requires, subject to the availability of funds, that all Medicaid nursing home residents receive yearly dental services. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Health and Human Services Commission in SECTION 2 of this bill. ANALYSIS C.S.H.B. 479 amends the Human Resources Code to require the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), subject to the availability of funds, to provide dental services annually to a resident of a nursing facility who is a medical assistance recipient. The dental services must include a dental examination by a licensed dentist; a prophylaxis by a licensed dentist or licensed dental hygienist, if practical considering the health of the resident; and diagnostic dental x-rays, if possible. The bill requires HHSC, by rule, to develop a fee schedule for such dental services in cooperation with Texas Department of Health and the Texas Department of Human Services. The bill requires HHSC to conduct a study regarding the need for and cost of expanding such dental services and requires the commissioner of health and human services to report the results of the study to specified entities no later than December 1, 2002. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.H.B. 479 modifies the original by providing that the requirement that HHSC provide dental services is subject to the availability of funds.