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.
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
A recent news package in The Seattle Times by reporter Will Drabold took a look at how the controversy over dental therapists is unfolding in the state of Washington.
Drabold examined the challenges faced by poor Medicaid patients in seeking dental care. He spoke with health care advocates who believe that technically-trained mid-level providers could bring much-needed care to poor and isolated communities. He also interviewed tribal leader Brian Cladoosby, whose Swinomish tribe had just defied state restrictions to hire a dental therapist. And he spoke with state dental association officials, who made it clear that they – like the American Dental Association – believe dental therapists lack the training to perform these expanded duties. Continue reading