Category Archives: Oral health

Calls growing to add dental benefit to Medicare Part B

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health, curating related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on oral health resources at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Moodboard via Flickr

Photo: Moodboard via Flickr

A quarter of a million Americans are retiring each month. Many are surprised to learn that Medicare does not include coverage for routine dental care. But could the nation’s health insurance program offer dental benefits? Should it?

There are important reasons to consider the idea, says Beth Truett, president and CEO of the nonprofit Oral Health America.

“More people are living longer. More people are keeping their teeth,” said Truett, who was featured in a recent AHCJ webcast. “Oral health is part of overall health.” Continue reading

San Jose, Calif., no longer nation’s largest city without fluoridated drinking water

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health, curating related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on oral health resources at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Darwin Bell via Flickr

Photo: Darwin Bell via Flickr

It took engineering and fundraising efforts as well as years of work by oral health and children’s advocates, but the Santa Clara Water District is finally providing fluoridated tap water to large sections of San Jose, Calif.

The sprawling city, with a population of more than 1 million, had been known as the largest metropolitan jurisdiction in the nation that lacked a fluoridated drinking water program. The decay-fighting mineral will be phased into water supplies as upgrades to the city’s water treatment plants are completed. Continue reading

2016 in review: What were you reading on Covering Health?

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

disco-ballAs we get ready to gear up for what is sure to be a year full of health-related news, it’s a good time to look back at what was in the headlines in the past year.

Here is a review of the most-read posts on Covering Health that were published in 2016: Continue reading

Briefing focuses on integration of medical, oral health care

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health, curating related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on oral health resources at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Oral health may be essential to overall health but the enduring gap between dental care and medical care impacts everything from how care is accessed to how services are financed, from how providers are educated to how research is pursued.

For millions of Americans, dental care is harder to find and pay for than medical care. Physicians and dentists operate in separate systems and oral and medical services are rarely integrated. Continue reading

Expansion of dental care uncertain under new administration

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health, curating related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on oral health resources at mary@healthjournalism.org.

trumpdental_blog_oral_otto

Photo: Health Trust via Flickr

Amid promises to overturn the health care reform law and re-engineer Medicaid, voters swept Republicans into power in November. Oral health advocates now are wondering what lies ahead for efforts to expand access to dental services to poor, working and uninsured Americans.

Dental benefits were not exactly a high-profile topic in the campaign. More than 100 million Americans, including seniors, working-age adults and children still lack dental coverage according to the National Association of Dental Plans. Continue reading