Calif. bill would double Denti-Cal reimbursement rates | N.Y. bill aims to draw dentists to underserved communities | Commentary: Nation's poor oral health is a problem that can be solved
May 25, 2017
NADP SmartBrief
News affecting dental benefits
Top Story
CBO: AHCA would cut deficit, increase uninsured rate
CBO: AHCA would cut deficit, increase uninsured rate
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The House's American Health Care Act now being reviewed by the Senate would leave 23 million more US residents without insurance by 2026 than would be under existing law, though allowing states to opt out of mandating essential benefits coverage would encourage some employers to continue offering coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office. If adopted as-is by the Senate, the AHCA would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion by 2026, and though premiums for some consumers would be lower than they are now, they would be higher for people with existing health conditions, the CBO said.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (5/24),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (5/24),  The Hill (5/24) 
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Industry News
Calif. bill would double Denti-Cal reimbursement rates
The California Assembly health committee approved a bill that would double payment rates for certain dental services provided under Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, but the bill is being stalled under rules for legislation with significant fiscal impact. A state audit found that 16 counties had an insufficient number of dental care providers and 16 more "had either no active Denti-Cal providers or none willing to accept new patients," Lisa Renner writes.
Capitol Weekly (Sacramento, Calif.) (5/22) 
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N.Y. bill aims to draw dentists to underserved communities
The New York Senate approved a bill that would include dentists in the state's Doctors Across New York initiative, allowing the state health department to recruit dentists and offer financial incentives to dentists working in underserved communities.
The Buffalo News (N.Y.) (5/23) 
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Oral Health
Commentary: Nation's poor oral health is a problem that can be solved
Commentary: Nation's poor oral health is a problem that can be solved
(Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images)
Oral health is tied not only to physical health but also to financial health, yet lawmakers declined to include adult dental care as an essential health benefit under the Affordable Care Act, nor is Medicaid required to cover adult dental care. "Unlike a lot of chronic disease where we're still struggling with the science of how to prevent these diseases, we know how to do this in oral health. This is actually a problem we can solve," said Julia Paradise of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (5/23) 
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AAP updates guidelines on pediatric fruit-juice intake
Infants younger than age 1 should not be given any fruit juice, while youths ages 1 to 3, 4 to 6 and 7 to 18 should drink no more than 4 ounces, 4 to 6 ounces and 8 ounces of 100% fruit juice daily, respectively, according to an updated American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement in Pediatrics. The recommendations also urge pediatricians to support policies to lower fruit-juice consumption and boost whole fruit intake among children.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (5/22),  National Public Radio (5/22),  MedPage Today (free registration) (5/22) 
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Gottlieb forms opioid abuse task force
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb convened a steering committee to develop a "more forceful" approach to reducing opioid abuse and addiction. Possible policies include restricting prescription duration, requiring education programs for prescribers and setting stricter drug approval criteria.
HealthDay News (5/23),  Regulatory Focus (5/23) 
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Company News
Delta Dental of Ky. investing $1M in pediatric oral health
Delta Dental of Kentucky is donating $200,000 to each of five regional nonprofit ventures focused on improving the oral health of Kentucky children. Business leaders, educators and health professionals in each region will devise a plan to improve some aspect of pediatric oral health in the region and identify measurable goals.
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Louisville, Ky. (5/22) 
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Ark. moves ahead with Medicaid dental management contracts
The Arkansas Legislative Council Review Subcommittee voted to review $366 million contracts awarded to Delta Dental and Managed Care of North America to manage dental benefits for the state's Medicaid beneficiaries. A lawsuit filed by DentaQuest asking that the contracts be reopened for bidding or that the state reimburse DentaQuest for costs and lost profits remains unresolved.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock) (free registration) (5/18) 
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Delta Dental keeps sanctioned N.M. dentist out of network
Delta Dental of New Mexico will not allow back into its network an Albuquerque dentist accused of altering X-rays and causing patients pain. The dentist is still licensed and is opening a new office.
KOB-TV (Albuquerque, N.M.) (5/23) 
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Boost your brand with CONVERGE sponsorship
Highlight your brand to the dental benefits target audience that matters most with a CONVERGE 2017 sponsorship. CONVERGE attendees are CEOs, executives, managers, directors, dental directors and consultants. For details, contact Director of Meetings and Events Jeremy May (972.458.6998 x123) or Director of Administration Shayne Leatherwood (972.458.6998 x102). Hurry: Sponsorship opportunities are going fast! CONVERGE 2017 is Sept. 25-28 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.
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Sign up for Yoga Morning at CONVERGE
Recharge and relax with Yoga Morning, sponsored by PPO USA, on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at CONVERGE 2017. Log in to RSVP to the Yoga Morning. Click "Register" then "Complete Registration Now." Then check out (the event is free with a CONVERGE registration). You will receive a confirmation email after you have submitted your RSVP.
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If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.
Timothy Ferriss,
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