HB 1033 Receives Committee Approval

February 22, 2010

Today, the House committee on Health and Human Services (HHS) considered HB 1033, which would allow provider reimbursement for SBIRT (screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment) services provided to Medicaid patients at risk of substance abuse. A special thanks to Dr. Brett Kessler, who testified on CDA’s behalf in support of the bill.

Dr. Kessler was able to speak to the importance of these interventions and the positive impacts they have had in patient lives. It was also critical to emphasize that there are many settings where these interventions may happen, not just within hospitals or physician offices. There are some situations where a dentist might notice signs of abuse first. We hope that this bill would encourage more practitioners (including dentists) to get trained and perform substance abuse interventions.

In a desperate fiscal climate, we expected a challenging environment in moving this bill forward. However, the committee voted in favor of the bill, to give the bill sponsor the opportunity to work on finding a funding solution. At this point, the bill goes to the appropriations committee. We will continue to work with the bill’s supporters to find a funding source for the bill. If the bill makes it out of appropriations, it seems like it will have a good chance on the House floor.

Today, House committees considered two other bills with dental implications:

  • HB10-1227 Financial Responsibility Requirements
    Expands the insurers that can provide liability coverage to healthcare professionals to include insurers not licensed by the state.
  • HB10-1283 Malpractice/patient safety bill
    Requires physicians to complete professional development activities as a condition of licensure renewal. Requires all healthcare providers, including dentists, to verify seven years of past employment history (check references) for each worker hired. Commissions a study of alternatives to the existing medical liability litigation system.

HB 1283 gained initial approval from the House HHS committee and was referred to the Judiciary committee for further action. HB 1227 was referred from the House Business Affairs and Labor committee to the House floor for further action.