Building a Stronger (Dental) Health Care Workforce. Lynn Bethel, RDH, MPH Director, Office of Oral Health Massachusetts Department of Public Health October 4, 2011. Oral Health is an essential part of everyday life.
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Lynn Bethel, RDH, MPH
Director, Office of Oral Health
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
October 4, 2011
Source: CDC Oral Health 2010 (www.cdc.gov) May 2011
$2.3 trillion spent on health care (2008)
100 million (33%) Americans do not have dental insurance
4% of $2.3 trillion is spent on dental care
of Health Professional Shortage Area
Ratio of Underserved to Total Population
= between 10% - 20%
Numbers = Practitioners Needed to Remove Designation
Source: Pew Charitable Trusts- Pew’s Children’s Dental Campaign
ACA Dental Workforce Initiatives
*** $16 million – W K Kellogg Foundation
Demonstration/Evaluation of Alternative Dental Workforce
Not everyone sees this
as a step forward.
Urgent action is needed. Please click here to write your Senator today. This week the Senate appropriations committee will consider the FY 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bill. The American Dental Association (ADA) is aware that various groups have lobbied the committee in support of funding for the “Alternative Dental Health Care Provider Demonstration Projects,” which were created as part of the new health care reform law and would likely permit non-dentists to perform irreversible/surgical dental procedures. The ADA strongly opposes federal funding for these demonstration projects.
Please write your Senator who is a member of the Appropriations committee today and let him/her know that:
· The existing dental workforce model is a proven delivery system.
· The dentist workforce is growing, as five dental schools have opened since 2000 and over a dozen schools are at varying stages of development.
· Dental practices have become more efficient. Today it takes only 88 practices to serve the same number of dental patients as 100 practices during the 1980s.
· There is no evidence to support the economic feasibility of mid-level providers, such as dental therapists who are trained to perform irreversible, surgical procedures.
A few states – using either state funds or private funds – are already testing new dental delivery models. We should not use scarce federal dollars to duplicate these efforts.
· Federal funding for oral health programs should focus on fullyimplementing the prevention and public health infrastructure programs, as education and prevention are the most cost effective ways of minimizing untreated dental disease.
· A recent article published in JAMA concluded that increasing Medicaid reimbursements levels to dentists boosted the number of Medicaid-eligible children treated.
· The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released two reports on oral health this summer. Neither endorsed the mid-level provider.
Click here to write your Senator on this important issue.
Thank you for all you do for the profession, and please forward this email to other dentists in your state so they too can take action.
Ray Gist, DDS
“A registered dental hygienist practicing as a public health dental hygienist may perform in a public health setting, without the supervision or direction of a dentist, any procedure or provide any service that is within the scope of his practice and that has been authorized and adopted by the board as a delegable procedure for dental hygienists in private practice under general supervision.”
“Public health dental hygienists shall be directly reimbursed for services administered in a public health setting by MassHealth or commonwealth care health insurance…”
Residences of the homebound,
Schools and Head Start programs
Licensed nursing homes and long-term care facilities
Clinics, health centers, hospitals, and medical facilities
Prisons, residential treatment facilities,
Federal, state or local public health programs,
Mobile dental facilities and portable dental programs; and
Other facilities or programs deemed appropriate by the Board and the Department.
to anyone 21+ yrs.