Washington Update

HRSA Seeks Comment on Ryan White Dental Reimbursement Program Forms

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The Dental Reimbursement Program (DRP) and the Community Based Dental Partnership Program under Part F of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program offer funding to accredited dental education programs to support the provision of oral health services for HIV-positive individuals. Institutions eligible for these Ryan White HIV/AIDS program funds are accredited schools of dentistry, advanced dental education programs and dental hygiene programs. The DRP Application includes the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part F Dental Services Report (DSR), which schools and programs use to apply for funding of non-reimbursed costs incurred in providing oral health care to patients with HIV or to report annual program data.  

The DSR collects data in four different areas: program information, patient demographics and services, funding and training. It also requests that applicants provide narrative descriptions of their services and facilities, as well as their links and collaboration with community-based providers of oral health services.

The form used to collect this information is being revised to comply with the National HIV/AIDS Strategy directive to standardize data collection and reduce grantee reporting burden. The revised form implements data collection standards and eliminates some narrative description items; however, the average burden per response is anticipated to remain unchanged.

In January, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced plans to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to revise the form. Prior to submitting the ICR to OMB, HRSA sought comments from the public regarding the burden estimate of the DSR. As a result, ADEA asked dental education schools and programs for input prior to submitting a formal comment to HRSA. In a letter dated February 28, Dr. Rick Valachovic, ADEA President and CEO, submitted formal comment on behalf of ADEA members.  

In his letter to HRSA on behalf of the ADEA membership, Dr. Valachovic requested significant revision to HRSA’s data collection process and suggested ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collected. He urged HRSA to implement the recommendations so new institutions are encouraged to participate in the Part F program and so as not to jeopardize the continued involvement of schools that are currently contributing services.

“The Ryan White Part F dental programs are a critical health benefit, and lifeline to adequate oral health services for thousands of adults living with HIV/AIDS,” Dr. Valachovic said.

In a letter dated March 12, the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau thanked ADEA for its detailed response and agreed with ADEA that the current HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau estimate of, on average, 20 hours to complete a Ryan White Part F Dental Services Report is wholly inaccurate. Additionally, HRSA noted that it is in the process of revising its forms to standardize data collection and reduce grantee reporting burdens. HRSA also expressed appreciation for several specific recommendations, including automating data collection, assuring platform compatibility and preserving patient confidentiality.

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