Oral Health Highlights in the New Healthcare Reform Bill
Thanks to the Children's Dental Health Project (cdhp.org) for providing this overview of highlights from the recently passed Healthcare Reform bill:
- Expanded coverage. A significant investment in ensuring access to public and private dental coverage for children in America.
- Prevention. Dental disease prevention initiatives including public education, school-based sealant programs in all 50 states and research grants to improve the prevention and management of tooth decay in young children.
- Tracking and monitoring. Resources for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other federal agencies to assess American's oral health and dental care with a special emphasis on pregnant women.
- Workforce development. Expanded education of dental professionals and those who train and educate future dental caregivers in rural areas and among underserved populations. Grants to allow study options for new dental care providers.
- Safety net improvements. Support for dental programs in school-based and community-based health centers. Creation of a new commission to study oral healthcare workforce capacity.
- Medicaid and CHIP. Expands Medicaid coverage and increases the Federal government's contribution to Medicaid in all states, extends the CHIP program for five years, and addresses payment to dentists and other healthcare professionals through the Medicaid and CHIP Access and Payment Commission ("MACPAC").
- Infrastructure improvements. Support for states to bolster their dental public health programs through leadership development, oral health data collection and interpretation, and best use of science to improve oral health.