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February, 2013  
In This Issue:
Legislation of Interest
Legislative Breakfast & Hero Awards
Pediatric Dental Benefi
February is National Children's Dental Health Month.
From the First Tooth media campaign
Thanks to Our Supporters
MDAC Quarterly Meeting
Quality Counts Conference 2013
MDHA Conference.
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Word of Mouth
Dear Diane,

Word of Mouth is the newsletter of the Maine Dental Access Coalition. We welcome your comments and invite your ideas for content.
Legislation of Interest
winter state house
The Coalition is supporting the introduction of a bill that will add one preventive visit per year for adult MaineCare members to include, if necessary, an oral examination, prophylaxis and radio-graphs. The sponsor is Representative Carey. There is not yet an LD number.

Other bills of interest:

 LD 499 ";An Act To Promote Dental Care for Low-income Populations"; This bill provides funding for the staff and operating costs of the dental clinic operated in Portland by Riverview Psychiatric Center. These positions and funding are proposed for elimination in the Governor's proposed biennial budget for 2014-2015. Community Dental has provided the dental professionals to this clinic for almost 20 years.The clients served here have complex behavioral, medical and social special needs. There is no other place for them to go
LD 276 ";Resolve, To Improve Access to Oral Health Care for MaineCare Recipients";

This resolve increases MaineCare dental reimbursement rates for 20 preventive, diagnostic and restorative dental procedures to the 10th percentile.The hearing will be on February 27th at 10:00AM in room 209, Cross Office Building. The work session is scheduled for March 6 at 9:00 AM in the same location.


LD 440 An Act to Support Community Health Centers through Tax Credits for  Dentists and Primary Care Professionals Practicing in Underserved Areas";
This bill extends the existing dental care access tax credit indefinitely, and creates a similar credit for primary care professionals practicing in underserved areas. It requires the ME CDC's Oral Health Program to certify up to 5 eligible dentists, who have unpaid student loans - a new requirement - and who will commit to practice full time for at least 5 years in an underserved area, for the dental care access credit in each taxable year beginning on January 1, 2016. It also requires DHHS to certify up to 5 eligible primary care professionals, who have unpaid student loans and who will commit to practice full time for at least 5 years in an underserved area, for the primary care access credit in each taxable year beginning on January 1, 2013. These eligible dentists and primary care professionals may claim a credit, not to exceed $12,000, for up to 5 years or until their student loans are paid in full, whichever comes first.

LD 180, ";An Act Concerning the Use of Tobacco Settlement Funds for Children's Health Care"; This bill amends the law on the Fund for a Healthy Maine to require that funding for children's health care not be reduced in order to address a budget deficit.

LD 507 ";Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services To Amend Its Rules To Improve the Oral Health Education of Children";
This Resolve requires the DHHS to amend its rules to require a child care provider to assist children in brushing their teeth as a part of a daily curriculum.

There will be a number of other bills we will be following, some of which we will be actively supporting. Among these is a bill to raise cigarette taxes by $1.50, with revenues going to the Fund for a Healthy Maine.  

Legislative Breakfast  & Hero Awards heroine
Mark your calendars for his years breakfast and hero awards will be held on March 28th at the Cross Cafeteria in the Cross Office building in Augusta. The event is from 8:30 to 10:30 AM, awards presentation begins at 8:45. Invite your legislators to come and learn about Coalition policy priorities and appreciate our heroes.

Among the many fine examples of people doing extraordinary work to improve access to care, quality of care, and the oral health system of care, the following have been selected for this year's Oral Health Hero awards:

  • The Dental Home Initiative, or more correctly the many people that now work together to provide dental homes to more children in Head Start. This effort includes ( but is not limited to) dentists and their staffs, such as - John Willis DMD the Dental Home Initiative State Leader, Donald Cassidy DMD, Bev Litchfield RDH, DHI coordinator, Bonnie Vaughan RDH and staff from Head Start and MaineCare.
  • Mary Repole RDH, the long time dental disease prevention coordinator for the Passamaquoddy Indian Township who worked with WIC and others to bring attention to the importance of prenatal oral care, and to bring good results for Passamaquoddy women.
  • Kathryn Young LD. who, as a denturist, worked with all the dentists in Lincoln County to establish the Lincoln County Dental Clinic, which is held in her office where she serves as clinical director.
  • Senator Justin Alfond who has advocated for retaining adult Medicaid service, increasing payment rates for dental services, and fighting to require insurance companies to provide family coverage for dental services that begins at birth.


Understanding the Affordable Care Act & the Pediatric Dental Benefit

The Essential Health Benefits rules for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the Pediatric Dental Benefit have just been released. There are potential financial disincentives for families in seeking dental coverage through ";stand alone"; dental plans, but there is an opportunity to correct these through state action. According to a brief from the Children's Dental Health Project:
";Fortunately, states have wide flexibility in setting their own standards for how pediatric dental coverage must be offered. States may decide that families are only required to meet the cost-sharing limits established by the ACA so that no family is unnecessarily burdened by additional costs simply for purchasing their child's dental coverage separately from their medical insurance. States may go further in ensuring equitable treatment by applying the same consumer protections to medical and dental plans or by requiring that all insurers be responsible for tracking families' out-of-pocket expenses and notifying them when they've reached their limit."; The full brief is here

Understanding the Pediatric Dental Essential Health Benefit is just one piece of the ACA. For a better understanding of the ACA there are many resources available on how it will affect specific groups. A downloadable list of brochures and power point presentations is available here, designed for a number of audiences from small business, to providers, to seniors and many more. There is also the Kids Well website which follows the latest developments in implementation and has great data and developments from all 50 states.

February is National Children's Dental Health Month 
Resources on children's oral health with downloadable tip sheets and much more, suitable for dental, medical and childcare providers as well as parents are available at Kids Oral Health PartnershipFrom the First Tooth, and at the Maine CDC Oral Health Program.


From the First Tooth launches media campaign
FTFT logo

The From the First Tooth's marketing and outreach campaign launched February 1st, appearing in public transportation (interior ads in buses), on radio and MPBN TV, and Facebook.  Campaign materials depict photographs  of babies and toddlers (both boys and girls, of various ages and races, between 6 mos. and 4 years) alongside the headline: ";How can I protect her baby teeth?";, with a tagline that says "; Ask your child's doctor for a simple fluoride application";.  To learn more, visit";. A second phase will follow that is targeted to primary care practices that provide care to very young children. Phase Two will use the same graphics and messages on posters, counter cards, and brochures that can be used in waiting rooms and exam rooms.


Thanks to Our Supporters 
MDAC completed its first fund raising campaign in December. We exceeded our goal, thanks to many of you, for which we are deeply appreciative.  The list of our generous supporters can be found here on our website.
Save the Date MDAC Quarterly Meeting- DIFFERENT LOCATION  mdac logo small
March 15, 2013 9:00 - 2:00 at the Maine Medical Association, Association Drive, Manchester. Directions here We will have a work-site wellness expert talk to us about how oral health can be part of work-site wellness plan, as well as legislative updates, and other news from Coalition members around the state. Lunch is included, but please register. Contact or 622-7566 x248 for more information. 
April 3, 2013 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Augusta Civic Center. ";Aligning Maine's Forces to Become the First State to Reach the Triple Aim of Population Health, Cost Reduction and Care Experience.";
Save the Date: MDHA Conference 

The Maine Dental Hygienists' Association (MDHA) has its Annual Spring Fling Conference meeting on Friday & Saturday, April 26 & 27, 2013.



The Maine Dental Access Coalition (MDAC) is a public-private partnership focused on improving access to oral care. The Coalition's mission is ";To advocate for and improve access to quality preventive and comprehensive oral health care for all Maine residents.";
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Maine Dental Access Coalition | 11 Parkwood Drive | Augusta | ME | 04330