NADP attended
the National Conference of State Legislatures session on oral health on
August 8. Panelists included representatives from academia,
pediatricians, dentists and consumers. The focus was on state activities
to improve oral health, and gave a broad perspective. Dr. Edelstein
(Children’s Dental Health Project) raised the issue that return on
investment (ROI) needs to be part of the conversation with providers.
Dr. Vujicic (Health Policy Institute, American Dental Association)
provided data that the providers participating in Medicaid were not as
limited as anticipated and that increasing adults coverage within
Medicaid should be the priority. A few audience members pushed back on
Vujicic’s data when he clarified that the providers surveyed were asked
who accepted Medicaid and did not instead ask how many Medicaid patients
the provider was seeing. Ms. Lynch, American Dental Hygienists’
Association (ADHA), explained how they were able to pass mid-level
provider legislation in Minnesota, while Dr. Glassman (Univ. of the
Pacific) described teledentistry projects he was leading in California.

impacting the dental benefits industry included: a) why dental coverage
is separate from medical, and b) cost still remains the #1 issue for
consumers even with dental benefits. These issues were not discussed
broadly, but continue to resonate with consumers and legislators.   

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