In the years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), California has employed Medicaid expansion and the state health insurance marketplace – Covered California – to dramatically increase health care coverage.
Still, roughly 3 million state residents, many of them vulnerable, poor, young, old and/or undocumented remain medically uninsured. And more – far more – are dentally uninsured. Continue reading
The California Dental Board is investigating the case of a 4-year-old boy who died after receiving anesthesia at an Oakland dental office.
The Dental Board of California has confirmed that it is investigating the death of a patient at the Oakland office of Youthful Tooth. In a written statement, the board declined to comment on the specifics of the case. Reporter Gwendolyn Wu offered these details in a May 16 story for the San Francisco Chronicle: Continue reading
Much remains unknown about the oral health status of more than two million incarcerated Americans, but research suggests that many dental needs go unmet behind bars.
Reporting on the problem can be challenging. But in a recent project we wrote about, Keri Blakinger, who covers breaking news, prisons and the death penalty for the Houston Chronicle, found a way to document the desperate wait for dentures in Texas state prisons. Continue reading
Two high-profile safety breaches have highlighted the importance of close adherence to infection control protocols in dental clinics and offices.
In both recent cases, patients have been advised to undergo testing for HIV and hepatitis B and C due to possible exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
In Seattle and nearby Vashon Island, news broke in early April that nearly 1,300 students face infection risks because equipment used in school clinics was improperly sterilized. Ten school-based dental clinics operated by Neighborcare, a local health center have been impacted by the safety breach. Continue reading
America’s first community health centers opened their doors in 1965 and the system has been growing ever since.
Today, about 1,400 federally-supported health center programs provide primary care to an estimated 28 million patients – roughly 1 in 12 U.S. residents.
These clinics have always focused on reaching underserved populations. That has meant finding ways to bridge the financial, cultural and geographic barriers that contribute to the nation’s deep health care disparities. Continue reading
The approaches vary from state to state, but the new year is bringing renewed efforts to broaden access to dental services to millions of Americans who have long lacked care.
In many places, the need is particularly acute among poor adults. Across America, roughly 38 million of them rely upon Medicaid for a broad range of health care benefits. But while children are entitled to dental care under Medicaid, adult dental benefits are considered an optional part of the program. Continue reading