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Ohio Bill Prescribes Rules For Mobile Dental Units

Alex_Alekseev, Shutterstock.com

Some Ohioans, especially in rural or low-income areas, have been able to get basic dental care in mobile units. But the state doesn't regulate those. A new bill that would change that.

Rep. Scott Lipps (R-Miamisburg) says Medicaid patients treated in mobile dental units often find themselves in a pickle when they went back to get copies of x-rays or records. The mobile dental units are often gone and there's no way to recover those medical records. And sometimes, this leaves Medicaid patients having to come up with money out of pocket to get new x-rays or records.

It's not just patients who have a hard time finding these mobile dental units. Lipps says the state can’t find them either.

“I cannot tell you if there are five mobile dental clinics in Ohio, or if there are 500 or 5000. We don’t know," Lipps says.

The bill would require mobile dentists and dental units to register with the state’s dental board and provide patient records through a statewide database. It’s passed the House and is now being heard in the Senate.

NOTE: An earlier version of this story included a stock photo of an Onsite Dental mobile unit. The company does not operate in Ohio.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.