Legislation to Watch
Securing funding for a comprehensive dental benefit for all adults enrolled in Medicaid is the top priority for Virginia Health Catalyst. Doing so will ensure all Virginians have access to the dental services they need which will lower costs for Virginia while improving health outcomes. A recent study from DMAS highlights the need for an adult dental benefit, in one year alone Medicaid enrollees went to the emergency department 19,000 times for dental related issues. Virginia Health Catalyst and its partners are advocating strongly for a budget amendment that would fund a comprehensive adult dental benefit in Medicaid.
Virginia Health Catalyst is supporting legislation that would allow any trained professionals working under the direction of a physician or dentist to apply fluoride varnish. This would ensure that, with training, all members of medical and dental offices are able to apply fluoride varnish, under current regulations certified medical assistants are not able to apply fluoride varnish. Because fluoride varnish is a simple and effective tool to improve the health of Virginia's children Virginia Health Catalyst and its partners strongly support this legislation. The legislation is cost neutral.
Water Bottle Filling Stations (HB 1085)
The American Heart Association is advocating for legislation to put water bottle filling stations in schools across Virginia, Virginia Health Catalyst is proud to support this legislation as well. The legislation would require water bottle filling stations to be included when a new school is built, or when major renovations are done to an existing school. Adding water bottle filling stations will provide Virginia's students with an opportunity to easily access safe, fluoridated water throughout the day. The legislation is cost neutral.
Get Involved During Legislative Session
Throughout the legislative session, Virginia Health Catalyst needs your support to share with legislators the important role oral health plays in overall health. Lend your voice in the following ways:
- Attend Legislative Action Day: Join Virginia Health Catalyst and health advocates from across Virginia for Legislative Action Day on January 28. During the day, you'll meet as part of a group with your elected officials to share the important role oral health plays in overall health. Virginia Health Catalyst will provide messaging and talking points. Register to attend here.
- Send advocacy postcards: Tell your legislators that an adult dental benefit is important with one of Virginia Health Catalyst’s advocacy postcards. Each of the five versions highlights a way in which an adult dental benefit would support Virginians. Bring the postcards to your next meeting or event to share with your partners, fill out our postcard request form here.
- Share advocacy messages with your partners: Support from every community in Virginia is critical this legislative session. Share advocacy updates with your partners and the community members you serve through social posts or your newsletter. Contact Virginia Health Catalyst for support in drafting content.
For additional ways to get involved during the legislative session, including having Virginia Health Catalyst present a policy update at your upcoming meeting, contact Chloe Van Zandt.