Rep. Houston Gaines Passes Bipartisan Bill to Help Deliver Health Care to Low-Income Georgians

Staff Report From Athens CEO

Friday, February 28th, 2020

State Representative Houston Gaines (R-Athens) led a bipartisan effort to pass House Bill 521, which is a legislative effort to increase access to free dental care for low-income citizens in Georgia. Sponsored by Rep. Gaines, the legislation passed out of the House unanimously with a vote of 162 – 0 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020.

“I am proud to lead this bipartisan effort to ensure that every Georgia family has greater access to quality health care in communities across our state,” said Rep. Gaines. “The unanimous passage of House Bill 521 in the House is a major victory for Georgia patients, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to open up another avenue to ensure that every Georgian can get the dental health care that they need.”

House Bill 521 would allow non-Georgia licensed dentists and dental hygienists who are licensed and are in good standing in other states to provide dental treatment and services to low-income Georgians on a volunteer basis. This bill would authorize temporary, limited licenses to dentists and dental hygienists to practice dentistry in Georgia under the direct supervision of a Georgia-licensed dentist at free and charitable events. The temporary license would be valid for five days every six months, and these out-of-state dental care providers would be able to treat patients at free or charitable dental events, approved dental clinic sites or a private dental office owned by a Georgia licensed dentist.