State Update

August 2013 Reports of Interest

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The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors issued a summary report providing a synopsis of state dental public health programs using data and information from FY 2011–12. The report provides information regarding the number of community-based dental clinics for low-income residents; local health departments with restorative dental services; local health departments with education and preventative oral health programs; and mobile dental clinics with preventative dental services. In addition, the report provides dental workforce data including the percent of counties in a state that do not have a dentist and that do not have a dentist enrolled as a Medicaid provider.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has issued an opinion recommending that obstetricians and gynecologists perform routine oral health assessments at the first prenatal visit and encourage their patients to see a dentist during pregnancy.  

The North Carolina Institute of Medicine, a quasi-state agency created to provide nonpartisan information to the public, issued a report making recommendations to achieve the following two goals: increase the percentage of children enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) who receive preventive dental services and dental sealants, and increase the utilization of preventive oral health services among children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP by any appropriate health professional. Some of the recommendations include reducing barriers that discourage dentists from participating in Medicaid and CHIP, increasing reimbursement for dental sealants, and creating systems for greater collaboration between primary care providers and dental professionals.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Health Affairs published a policy brief which explains how the new premium tax credits under the Affordable Care Act will function, who is eligible to receive the tax credits, and what state and federal government agencies, as well as outside groups, are doing to educate the public.