Last week, Kentucky governor Matt Bevin (R) proposed changes to their states health plan known as Kentucky HEALTH. Upon review of these changes, the court ruled AGAINST implementation of these changes mostly due to one key suggestion – the addition of a “community engagement” requirement that would require enrollees to work, volunteer, or job train for 80 hours a month in exchange for insurance – so Kentucky’s version of a work requirement. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services spokesman wrote in an email that the state made it clear that dental and vision would be cut without implementation of the governor’s suggested changes to the Kentucky Health plan.
And so they were. Now 460,000 Medicaid beneficiaries are left without dental, vision, as well as transportation to their appointments. This transportation cannot be minimized as it is transportation assistance benefits for trips like dialysis and substance use disorder treatment.
Dental Therapy is one of, if not the most controversial topic in dentistry right now. Dr. Zeller interviews experts that support and oppose the dental therapy model in her multi-episode series.
Both educational and uncomfortable. While listening to these episodes, Dr. Zeller challenges you to stay open. First with your mind, then with your mouth.
In this week’s episode of Removing the Bite Block, Dr. Zeller interviews Chief Economist of the ADA, Dr. Marko Vujicic. They discuss his controversial guest editorial in the March 2018 JADA including many other controversial topics. Dr. Vujicic describes how he believes we approaching an era where major changes will be happening in our profession. He supports expanding dental care in government funded programs, tying reimbursement partially to patient outcomes, and developing an oral health measurement system so that we can better treat and improve the health of our patients.
To view Dr. Zeller’s deconstruction of the dental community’s response to Dr. Vujicic’s editorial, click here.
Dr. Zeller and Dr. Marcia Brand discuss where they believe dentistry is going, and how that will look entirely different than many expect. They also discuss the utility in an integrated healthcare model and those that support and hinder change. Finally, Dr. Brand describes how the dental community can best advocate for oral health to their state and federal lawmakers.
Marcia K. Brand, Ph.D. is a Senior Advisor to the Dentaquest Foundation and the Executive Director of the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health. She has held a number of leadership positions in the Federal government and academics and currently serves as a consultant and advisor on matters related to access to oral and rural health care. From 2009 until 2015, Dr. Brand was the Deputy Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an Agency within the US Department of Health and Human Services that works to fill in the gaps for people who live outside the economic and medical mainstream. The Agency uses its $10 billion annual budget to expand access to quality health care in partnership with health care providers and health professions training programs. She held other leadership positions within HRSA, including associate administrator for the Bureau of Health professions and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Brand worked in the US Senate as a legislative assistant, and held academic appointments in the dental hygiene departments at Thomas Jefferson University and Old Dominion University. She earned a doctoral degree in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania, and both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in dental hygiene from Old Dominion University.