(1) The Legislature finds that:
(a) The availability and accessibility of quality, affordable oral health care for all residents of the State of Nebraska is a matter of public concern and represents a compelling need affecting the general welfare of all residents;
(b) The development and sustainability of a skilled workforce in the practice of dentistry is a public health priority for the State of Nebraska; and
(c) According to research sponsored by the Office of Oral Health and Dentistry of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Nebraska Rural Health Advisory Commission, and the Health Professions Tracking Service of the College of Public Health of the University of Nebraska Medical Center:
(i) A majority of the ninety-three counties of the State of Nebraska are general dentistry shortage areas as designated by the Nebraska Rural Health Advisory Commission and more than twenty percent of the ninety-three counties have no dentist;
(ii) Eighty-two counties are shortage areas in pediatric dentistry as designated by the Nebraska Rural Health Advisory Commission;
(iii) The uneven distribution of dentists in the State of Nebraska is a public health concern and twenty-four percent of the dentists in Nebraska are estimated to be planning to retire by 2017;
(iv) Sixty percent of the children in the State of Nebraska experience dental disease by the time they are in the third grade; and
(v) It is estimated that more than twenty-five thousand children attending public schools in Omaha, Nebraska, do not have a means of continuing dental care.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature to provide for the development of a skilled and diverse workforce in the practice of dentistry and oral health care in order to provide for the oral health of all residents of Nebraska, to assist in dispersing the workforce to address the disparities of the at-risk populations in the state, and to focus efforts in areas and demographic groups in which access to a skilled workforce in the practice of dentistry and oral health care is most needed. In order to accomplish these goals, the Legislature recognizes that it is necessary to contract with professional dental education institutions committed to addressing the critical oral health care needs of the residents of Nebraska.
(3) The Oral Health Training and Services Fund is created. The Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education shall administer the fund to contract for reduced-fee and charitable oral health services, oral health workforce development, and oral health services using telehealth as defined in section 71-8503 for the residents of Nebraska. Any money in the fund available for investment shall be invested by the state investment officer pursuant to the Nebraska Capital Expansion Act and the Nebraska State Funds Investment Act.
(4) To be eligible to enter into a contract under this section, an applicant shall be a corporation exempt for federal tax purposes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and shall submit a plan to the commission as prescribed in subsection (5) of this section to provide oral health training, including assistance for the graduation of dental students at a Nebraska dental college, to provide discounted or charitable oral health services focusing on lower-income and at-risk populations within the state, and to target the unmet oral health care needs of residents of Nebraska. In addition, the applicant shall submit at least five letters of intent with school districts or federally qualified health centers as defined in section 1905(l)(2)(B) of the federal Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 1396d(l)(2)(B), as such act and section existed on January 1, 2010, in at least five different counties throughout the state to provide discounted or charitable oral health services for a minimum of ten years. An application to enter into a contract under this section shall be made no later than January 1, 2017.
(5) The plan shall include (a) a proposal to provide oral health training at a reduced fee to students in dental education programs who agree to practice dentistry for at least five years after graduation in a dental health profession shortage area designated by the Nebraska Rural Health Advisory Commission pursuant to section 71-5665, (b) a proposal to provide discounted or charitable oral health services for a minimum of ten years to residents of Nebraska, and (c) a proposal to provide oral health services to residents of Nebraska using telehealth as defined in section 71-8503.
(6) Any party entering into a contract under this section shall agree that any funds disbursed pursuant to the contract shall only be used for services and equipment related to the proposals in the plan and shall not be used for any other program operated by the contracting party. If any of the funds disbursed pursuant to the contract are used for equipment, such funds shall only be used for patient-centered oral health care equipment, including, but not limited to, dental chairs for patients, lighting for examination and procedure rooms, and other equipment used for oral health services for patients and for training students in dental education programs, and shall not be used for travel, construction, or any other purpose not directly related to the proposals in the plan.
(7) The contract shall require matching funds from other sources in a four-to-one ratio with the funds to be disbursed under the contract. The party entering into the contract shall specify the source and amount of all matching funds. No applicant shall receive an award amount under a contract under this section of more than eight million dollars. If more than one applicant meets the requirements of this section to enter into a contract and provides evidence that private or other funds have been received by the applicant as matching funds for such a contract in an amount greater than or equal to sixteen million dollars, each of such applicants shall receive an award amount under a contract equal to eight million dollars divided by the number of such applicants. If one of such applicants qualifies for a contract award amount of less than four million dollars, any other such applicant may receive a contract award amount up to eight million dollars minus the amount awarded to the applicant qualifying for less than four million dollars. The contract amount shall be awarded first to the applicant qualifying for the lowest contract award amount. The contract shall require full and detailed reporting of the expenditure of funds disbursed pursuant to the contract. Any party entering into a contract under this section shall report electronically to the Legislature within one hundred twenty days after the expenditure of the funds disbursed pursuant to the contract detailing the nature of the expenditures made as a result of the contract. In addition, any party entering into a contract under this section shall report electronically to the Legislature on an annual basis the charitable oral health services provided in school districts and federally qualified health centers and the number of recipients and the placements of students receiving oral health training at a reduced fee in dental education programs.
(8) The State Treasurer shall transfer the June 30, 2017, unobligated balance in the Oral Health Training and Services Fund to the Cash Reserve Fund on such date as directed by the budget administrator of the budget division of the Department of Administrative Services.