February 2009  Edition
Word of Mouth
A newsletter from the Maine Dental Access Coalition
In This Issue
Nominate an Oral Health Hero
Maine News
At the Legislature
KOHP News
MDAC News
Quick Links
 
 
 
 
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Dear Sarah,
Welcome to Word of Mouth, the newsletter for all who care about improving the oral health of Maine's people.  To ensure that you continue to receive emails from us, add mdac@mcd.org your address book today.
 
heroineOral Health Heroes
 
This is the first year MDAC has  recognized some of Maine's Oral Health Heroes. What we quickly learned is that there is no shortage of worthy candidates, and we look forward to honoring them all in years to come.  Thanks to everyone who submitted nominations; they made our choices difficult because so many were notable. 
 
This year's awards go to a legislator, an individual, and an organization who have demonstrated sustained
  • Outstanding leadership in oral health advocacy and/or organizing
  • Strong commitment to improving the state of oral health in Maine
Representative Lisa Miller: For her years as a public health advocate working for community-based efforts to prevent disease and promote health, as a consistent and powerful voice for for oral health on the Health and Human Services Committee, and her work for affordable health care for all Mainers.
 
Wendy Alpaugh DMD:  For her longstanding contributions to the Maine Dental Access Coalition, and leadership on the Education and Steering Committees where she worked to promote oral health awareness for non-dental providers, and her work on behalf of the oral health of pregnant women and their children.
 
Oral Health Program of the Washington County Children's Program: Thisprogram has been serving Washington County for over 3 decades, and for many of those years,Teresa Alley RDH and Sherri Camick RDH have been been bringing oral health care to children across the county. In 2003 they created The Tooth Ferry, a mobile unit they drive schools and childcare centers all over the county, bringing clinical services to nearly 800 children in 2008.  
winter state houseLegislative Breakfast: Come, and Invite Your Representatives  

MDAC will be hosting a breakfast at the state house to get to know our Representatives, share our knowledge and ideas on oral health, and most important, honor our heroes. We want you to reach out and personally invite your Representative and Senator. Click here to find out who your Representatives are, and how to contact them.
 
Feel free to copy or forward the full invitation to your representatives and others you think may be interested.
Maine News
 
An editorial in the Bangor Daily News by Dr James Schmidt decries the closing of the Bangor Dental Health Program. Inadequate MaineCare rates and under utilization are the prime reasons for the closing, which is symptomatic of larger system problems. Read on
 
Save May 8th for Synergies in Comprehensive Patient Care: Integrating Oral Health with Total Health,
a day in Freeport for medical and dental professionals. Check here for details.
At the Legislature
 
legislationThese are the bills MDAC is following so far this session:
 
LD 13 An Act To Expand the Diagnostic Functions of Independent Practice Dental Hygienists This bill expands the diagnostic functions of an independent practice dental hygienist by allowing an independent practice dental hygienist to perform x rays and to own x-ray equipment.

LD 17 An Act To Prohibit the Sale of Energy Drinks to Minors
This bill prohibits the sale of energy drinks to minors. An energy drink is a soft drink specifically designed to provide energy that contains 80 or more milligrams of caffeine per 8 fluid ounces.

LD 18 An Act To Ensure Access to MaineCare Services Resolve, to Implement Certain Recommendations of the Governor's Task Force on Expanding Access to Oral Health Care for Maine People.
This bill ensures access to MaineCare services by providing incentives for health care practitioners to serve MaineCare members. The incentives, which will be established by routine technical rulemaking that must be completed by January 1, 2010, may include reimbursement or other incentives.
 
LD 100 An Act To Improve Oral Health Care for Maine's Children This bill expands health screening in schools to include oral health screening. The bill requires oral health screening for students prior to entering kindergarten and for new students to a school district entering grades 1 to 6 and periodically thereafter. The bill coordinates oral health screening done under the new requirement with oral health screening done through a grant program with the Department of Health and Human Services under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 6454 and Title 22, section 2128
 
LD 177 An Act To Modify the Maine Dental Education Loan Program  (EMERGENCY) This bill allows the Finance Authority of Maine to make more than 3 loans or loan repayment agreements annually under the Maine Dental Education Loan Program if funds permit.

LD 233 An Act To Include Independent Practice Dental Hygienists in MaineCare This bill provides for reimbursement under the MaineCare program to directly reimburse dental hygienists practicing independently as authorized under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 32, section 1094-I for all procedures performed under Title 32, section 1094-Q, subsection 1. The bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services to adopt rules to implement this provision, and designates the rules as routine technical rules.
 
LD 234 An Act To Expand Access to Oral Health Care
This bill requires dental insurers and health insurers and health maintenance organizations that include coverage for dental services in their policies and contracts to provide coverage for dental services performed by an independent practice dental hygienist if those services would be covered under the policy or contract and those services are within the lawful scope of practice of the independent practice dental hygienist. The bill applies to all individual and group policies and contracts issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2010.

Resolve, to Implement Certain Recommendations of the Governor's Task Force on Expanding Access to Oral Health Care for Maine People. NO LD #YET. This will update MaineCare rates to accord with the top recommendation of the 2008 Governor's Task Force on Expanding Access to Oral Health. The bill asks for an increase in reimbursement rates to the 75th percentile of the New England dental fees for 17 dental procedures. Representative Meredith Strang Burgess has agreed to sponsor the bill.
 
The Maine Dental Association will resubmit the oral health services for pregnant women bill, this time as  Resolve, Directing the Department of Human Services to Extend MaineCare Dental and Oral Health Services. NO LD # yet. This will amend the rules regarding MaineCare services to allow for a pregnant woman, regardless of age, who is eligible for MaineCare, to receive dental and oral health services during pregnancy and for 60 days following the delivery of the child. 
February is National Children's Dental Health Month 
This is the 60th year the American Dental Association has sponsored this month. For resources and ideas on how to observe the month go here. .
 
Kids Oral Health Partnership News
 
If your organization or office would like to receive free training on promoting early oral health, and identifying and addressing oral health problems in children 0-5 yearskohp logo, contact Bonnie Vaughan at bvaughan@mcd.org. or go to the Resources for Providers page at www.kohp.org to sign up directly.
For notification of up coming training, contact Bonnie at the above email.
MDAC News
Next Quarterly Meeting: March 13, 2008 
mdac logoin Augusta, at MCD  at 9:00 AM
 
 
Become a Word of Mouth Contributor  
 If your organization has an event or an accomplishment you would like to share please send it on. If there are oral health issues and policies you would like to  to see addressed in this forum, let us know.
The mission of the Maine Dental Access Coalition is to advocate for and improve access to quality preventative  and comprehensive oral health care  for all Maine people.
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