Tag Archives: scope of practice

Minnesota’s dental therapist experiment receiving good reviews

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Mark via Flickr

Minnesota’s first dental therapists went to work six years ago. Now approximately 70 of the licensed midlevel providers are offering preventive and restorative care in clinics and dental offices around the state.

When state legislators approved the dental therapist model in 2009, they hoped the addition to the state’s dental workforce would expand access for underserved Medicaid patients. Lack of care for poor patients is a problem in the state, as it is across the country. 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 and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached 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

Coverage of legislative fight over hygienists spotlights work of regional health news service

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Image by Official U.S. Navy Page via flickr.

Photo: Official U.S. Navy Page via Flickr.

Through public fights, complicated amendments and rumors of passage, Andy Miller of Georgia Health News followed the drama of House Bill 684.

And when the bill recently died a sudden death in the Georgia statehouse, Miller was there to let readers know.

“A bill to allow Georgia dental hygienists to work in safety-net settings without a dentist present appeared to get a strong push forward when it was approved by a House health committee,” he wrote. “But the chamber’s rules committee then blocked House Bill 684 from a vote on the floor, effectively killing it for the year.” Continue reading

Dental hygienists’ hope for a wider role in Georgia put on hold

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Image by Official U.S. Navy Page via flickr.

Photo: Official U.S. Navy Page via Flickr.

In recent weeks, advocates were hopeful for the passage of legislation that would have allowed Georgia dental hygienists to work in safety net settings, such as long-term care facilities, schools and nonprofit clinics, without a dentist present.

The state has roughly 150 federally designated dental provider shortage areas, and supporters of the measure said the auxiliaries would bring care to people who are otherwise going without. Continue reading

Research using new private insurer data sheds light on how system is and isn’t working in six areas

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Six research reports released today by the Health Care Cost Institute show how the health insurance system is working and failing to work in such six major areas. Researchers report, for example, that mental health parity laws have not increased access to mental health services for some patients, and that consolidation among providers drives up treatment costs for cancer patients.

The research also shows that: Continue reading