Denti-Cal and Oral Health Programs heard in Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1

On Monday, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services heard items related to the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and the California Department of Public Health(CDPH). As asked, DHCS provided an update on the newborn hearing screening program and the progress with restoring the automated system.

DHCS also provided an overview of the Denti-Cal program followed by member and stakeholder proposals. Members of the Committee discussed low reimbursement rates for Denti-Cal providers and also inquired about the coordination of Denti-Cal and managed care.

CDPH discussed allocations related to the passage of Proposition 56, which increased the excise tax on cigarettes by $2.00 per pack and imposed an equivalent tax on other tobacco products. The Proposition allocated $6 million per year to CDPH for enforcement and $30 million per year for CDPH’s state dental programs. Remaining revenues are allocated as follows:

  • 82% to DHCS
  • 13% to CDPH and the Department of Education for tobacco prevention; and
  • 5% to the University of California for medical research.

Dr. Kumar, the State Dental Director with CDPH, conveyed to members that CDPH has and will continue to work directly with local health departments to allocate resources and create flexibility through multi-year contracting.

All items noted above were held open. The agenda can be viewed here.