Maine Dental Home Initiative
Thirty highly engaged participants attended the Dental Home Initiative (DHI) mentorship training last month, and now stand ready to help general dentists include infants and young children into their practices. The event attracted good media attention, including two segments on WABI Channel 5 - a report on the DHI, and an interview with Val Heal, DHI team member, on the importance of baby teeth.
The second phase of the DHI training takes place next month. This training is focused on preparing dental providers who want to learn how to include Head Start children in their practice. This is a free CE seminar, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Man Wai Ng, DDS, MPH, who is Chief of the Department of Dentistry at Children's Hospital and at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Participants will learn how to access the mentor network, learn how to work effectively with MaineCare, and get experience in a ";hands on"; children's clinic. Join DHI State Leader Dr. John Willis and colleagues:
Friday, May 11 8:30am - 4:00pm
Dental Health Programs, Bangor College Center
201 Texas Avenue, Bangor
Call Dr Willis at (207) 781-2272 for more information, or email Bonnie Vaughan at email@example.com
You may register on-line here.
LD 1114, a Coalition initiated bill carried over from last session (after having been saved from the Governor's veto) lingered in the HHS Committee this year, but ultimately died in Committee. The bill would have given DHHS the ability to look at groups of adult MaineCare recipients who, if provided preventive or restorative care, would avoid later, more expensive, emergency treatment at MaineCare expense. The Committee did ask the Department to investigate this issue further however, which leaves the door ever so slightly open. The research described below supports the idea behind this bill, showing that periodontal treatment can significantly reduce costs for diabetes care.
Budget discussions continue to unfold at the State House. The Fund for a Healthy Maine remains largely unaltered for FY 2012, but still faces a cut of 29.7 million in FY 2013. Legislators will adjourn, and return in May to make final decisions on the Fund and the DHHS budget. For the most current proposal for cutting the Fund for a Healthy Maine in FY 2013 go here.
There is a continued need for people who care about public health and oral health to contact their legislators and tell them cutting the Fund and removing the limited adult dental benefit from MaineCare is short sighted, and will cost more in the long term. Go here to find your Representative and how to contact them.
";Striking Data Links Periodontal Treatment to Lower Diabetes Costs";
As reported in the March 27th Health Leaders News:
An insurance industry study, touted as the largest of its kind, shows that medical costs can be reduced by more than $1,800 a year for each diabetic patient who receives periodontal care.
The study examined medical records from more than 1.6 million people who were covered by both United Concordia Dental and Highmark Inc. and identified about 90,000 Type 2 diabetics. About 25% of those diabetics elected to receive periodontal treatment in 2007 and the study compared their medical costs over the next three years with the 75% of diabetics in the group who declined the oral care.Click here
for the full story.
Maine Businesses Including Fluoride Varnish as Medical Benefit.
There are now 10 employers who cover fluoride varnish as part of their medical benefits, thanks to the educational efforts of From the First Tooth.
Congratulations to these employers who recognize the cost and health benefits of this preventive measure:
- Bath Iron Works (as of January 2012)
- Bowdoin College (as of January 2012)
- Jackson Labs
- Maine Education Association Benefits Trust
- Maine Municipal Employees Health Benefits Trust (as of January 2012)
- Mercy Hospital (as of January 2012)
- LL Bean (as of January 2012)
Off and Running: MDAC Plans for the Future
The March 16th Quarterly meeting was a lively affair with attendance that stretched the capacity of the room. The group first heard from three speakers representing organizations that have, or could have, some overlap with oral health- but equally important, they each demonstrated creative approaches to their issues that could inform the Coalition as it expands and engages new constituents going forward. The speakers were Kim Gore from America's Edge, Steve Rowe,from The Maine Early Learning Investment Group, and John Kuropchak from United Way of Eastern Maine. Members then went on to approve a revised governance proposal and identify strategic priorities. As a result, the Steering Committee is developing a nominations process for the new Governing Council which will be communicated with the full membership and in place before the next meeting.