It is a scenario that regularly plays out in statehouses during times of fiscal austerity: funding for Medicaid dental services goes on the chopping block. A shortage of Medicaid dental providers already is a major problem in many communities and dentists often blame low reimbursement rates and budget cuts for making the problem worse.
A chronic shortage of Spanish-speaking health care providers has contributed to a lack of access to care and widespread health disparities among Hispanics, they stressed. Continue reading
New federal grants will help safety net clinics across the country to provide more dental care in their communities.
Nearly $156 million in oral health funding will enable clinics in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to employ oral health professionals to provide new or expanded services, federal officials recently announced. Continue reading
Denti-Cal, California’s Medicaid dental program, faces ongoing challenges in getting care to its roughly 13 million beneficiaries. Only about half the children and a quarter of the adults covered by the program are getting dental services. As in other states, a shortage of participating dentists is a major problem and there are other troubles as well.
In a recent piece for California Healthline, reporter Ana Ibarra looked at efforts to reform the system. In this new Q&A for AHCJ, Ibarra reflects upon the future of Denti-Cal and discusses the rest of her complex and rich beat as a web reporter for California Healthline. She also shares some advice on the value of journalism fellowships in developing skills and making connections that can help reporters excel. Read more.
With good public dental benefits, extensive community water fluoridation, and reductions in tooth loss among seniors, Minnesota has earned top marks in a new report card that ranks the oral health of elders in states across America.