What is the Law?
OBRA ’87 set the standard for all nursing homes when it comes to providing care and services to elderly residents. More specifically, this act also addresses the guidelines for dental services and makes each nursing home directly responsible for providing both routine and emergency dental services.
There are six dental service regulations that every nursing home should uphold:
Assist residents in obtaining routine and 24-hour emergency dental care.
Provide or obtain routine and emergency dental services by either hiring on staff or contracting with a dentist to meet the needs of each resident in a skilled nursing facility.
Charge (if desired) a Medicare resident (but not a Medicaid resident) an additional amount for routine, and again for emergency, dental services.
Provide or obtain from an outside resource emergency dental services as well as routine dental services (to the extent covered under the State Medicaid Plan) to meet the needs of Medicaid residents.
Assist the resident in making appointments and arranging for transportation to and from the dentist’s office.
Promptly refer a resident with lost or damaged dentures to a dentist.