Kathleen Roth, DDS, president of the ADA, told members of the House Small Business Committee that legislation establishing loan incentives for health care providers, including dentists, would help them establish practices in underserved communities, such as rural areas or those with low-income families.

Roth’s testimony supported a legislative proposal that would decrease the cost of obtaining small business- administration loans for physicians, dentists, and other health care professionals, who open offices in designated health professional shortage areas. The proposal would reduce origination fees and increase the guarantees offered to lenders.

According to Roth, many dentists want to provide services to underserved communities, but can’t currently afford to set up their practices in those areas. The loan incentives under consideration by the House Small Business Committee would be a good step toward making that possible, she testified, thereby improving the oral health care of poor populations.

[Associated Press, March 8, 2007]