The Impact of Loan Repayment Grant Expansion Using Proposition 56 Tobacco Tax Revenue on Dentist’s Employment in FQHCs, Tribal Health Centers, and Rural Health Centers

California, the nation’s most populous state, has longstanding dental access and utilization issues in Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. In 2018, funding from a tobacco tax was used to establish Proposition 56 Medi-Cal Physicians and Dentists Loan Repayment Act Program and appropriated $220 million for a loan assistance program for recently graduated physicians and dentists. In 2016 and again in 2019, HRSA provided oral health workforce and capital expansion grants, which many health centers received in California. Together, these initiatives should result in fewer dental vacancies in FQHCs. The data from this study will come from our comprehensive database of dental providers in California that captures Medi-Cal participation by demographics (of providers and patients), provider type, setting of care, geography, and payment type, as well a health center database that details location. Health Center Program Uniform Data System (UDS) data will provide reference information for assessing the impact of the loan repayment placements. We will collaborate with NNOHA and the ADA for this project.