The use of snuff and other smokeless tobacco products by American high school students is up significantly, even among high school athletes typically more inclined than their peers to be health conscious, federal health officials say.
Just the same, there are times when her beat leads her to health care stories. Last month, she filed a story (site registration required) that offered a troubling look at dentistry in South Florida. She reported on a state investigation into two dentists suspected of fraudulently billing Medicaid for dentures and extractions that frail and elderly patients may not have needed – or even received.
It wasn’t her first assignment at the intersection of dentistry and crime. A couple of summers ago, she took a look at the problem of unlicensed dentists and their unlucky victims.
In a new Q&A, Alanez tells us more about her work reporting on crime and health care. She also shares a little wisdom for health care reporters who may want to do more writing with an eye toward crime.
Even as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) extends public and private health benefits to millions of Americans, the new beneficiaries may still face challenges finding the services they need.
But now there is money in the nation’s health care reform law to help address such shortages.
Last week, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced almost $500 million in new ACA funding to assist public and private nonprofit health centers across the country to provide more primary care to their communities.
The funding includes roughly $350 million in awards that will enable 1,184 centers to increase dental, medical, behavioral, pharmacy and vision services. Another $150 million is targeted to 160 centers with plans to renovate or enlarge their facilities in order to see more patients or offer more services.
“These awards will give 1.4 million more Americans across every state access to comprehensive quality health care,” said Burwell in her September 15 announcement. Continue reading
Back in May, reporters in Florida stayed busy covering the nightmarish story of a Jacksonville dentist under investigation for Medicaid fraud by the state attorney general’s office.
Howard S. Schneider, who made nearly $4 million from Medicaid over five years, according to state records, gave up his license in the wake of allegations that he had overtreated and abused children. Continue reading
With millions of school athletes headed back to playing fields across the country, protecting teeth from loss and damage should be on the minds of parents, coaches, teachers and players too.
Ray Padilla spends plenty of time thinking about sports-related dental injuries.
He’s the team dentist for the Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer team, for athletes at the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a consulting dentist for U.S. national and Olympic soccer teams.
A featured speaker at the recent annual meeting of the California Dental Association, Padilla shared his expertise with other dentists, and DrBicuspid.com assistant editor Therese Pablos, who caught up with him for an interview. Continue reading
Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act has brought health coverage to millions of new beneficiaries.
But even with the new benefits, poor adults in many states still are likely to lack dental care. While children are entitled to dental services under Medicaid, in many states, dental benefits for adults are lacking. What’s more, even in states that do offer dental coverage for adults, participating dentists can be extremely hard to find. Continue reading
His name is Bart Roach.
When Roach is not taking care of his own patients and pitching in at a local clinic for the poor, he is trekking to faraway places where children are suffering from untreated disease.
The walls of his office are decorated with images and souvenirs of his travels. The computer in his office is filled with the photographs, Schilling writes. Continue reading
The agency responsible for overseeing dental education in the United States is moving forward with plans to establish a national accreditation process for dental therapist training programs.
In a move that was greeted with both criticism and praise, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) voted Aug. 7 to begin the accreditation process for programs to train non-dentists to perform certain dental procedures, including drilling and extracting teeth.
Such providers are already providing care on tribal lands in Alaska as well as in Minnesota. A number of other states are considering employing the dental therapists, who work as part of a team of providers supervised by dentists. Continue reading
With dental care in short supply and oral disease rates high on tribal lands, Native American leader Brian Cladoosby recently announced that his Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in Washington state will begin employing midlevel dental providers to offer preventive and restorative services to the tribe.
The Dental Health Aide Therapist (DHAT) model that the tribe has endorsed has been used in many parts of the world, including Alaskan tribal areas, as a way of expanding services in poor, isolated and minority communities. Continue reading
Dental care and medical care have long been provided separately in America. New research and evolving models of care are challenging that traditional gap.
Chronic diseases are responsible for billions of dollars in health care costs and millions of deaths each year. Dental office screenings for diabetes, as well as other common conditions such as high cholesterol and hypertension could save the nation’s health care system as much as $102.6 million annually, researchers from the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Resources Center concluded in a study published in the American Journal of Public Health.
In this new tip sheet, Mary Otto explains some of the screenings and interventions that may be coming to a dentist’s chair near you, as well as some of the question around providing such care.