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Legislative Update

Front Line Innovations – Policy Changes to Improve Oral Health

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the face of oral health care. Virginia Health Catalyst is highlighting innovations in oral health through the Front Line Innovations blog series. This week’s blog from Pat Finnerty, Catalyst’s policy committee chair and a former director of the state’s Medicaid program looks at federal policy innovations to improve access to oral…

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Understanding the Public Charge Ruling and its Impact on the Health of Virginians

Yesterday the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule took effect. The rule will affect approximately 10 million documented immigrants across the country, making it harder for immigrants to get a green card if they use public benefits like Medicaid or SNAP While there are legal challenges still moving forward regarding the rule, the Supreme Court in…

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Legislative Day Recap

Today on January 28th, 2020 Virginia Health Catalyst hosted our annual Legislative Action Day, where constituents meet with their legislators to talk about the importance of oral health and advocate for an adult dental benefit in Medicaid. Thank you to all who attended and to all of our partners who shared this important day with…

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DMAS Study Highlights Need for Dental Benefit

A study released today by the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) found a high usage of the emergency department (ED) for dental issues among Medicaid recipients. Currently, Virginia’s Medicaid program does not provide a comprehensive dental benefit for all enrollees. In 2018, nearly 16,000 Medicaid recipients visited the ED roughly 19,000 times for…

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2019 Legislative Session Recap

The 2019 session was a ‘short’ session (legislative sessions alternate between short sessions, which are six weeks, and long sessions which are 8 weeks), which means a lot of legislation was reviewed in a short amount of time.  Overall I think the commonwealth made strides toward more equitable access to quality, comprehensive health care through…

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Policy Priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session

The 2019 legislative is underway in Richmond. The Coalition staff is excited about several bills put forward to improve access to oral health care. Be sure to join us on January 30 for our Legislative Action Day and share your support for three bills we’re watching closely: Study on Emergency Room Dental Visits (Item 281 #1s,…

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Medicare Dental Bill Introduced – How it Could Affect Virginians

Earlier this month Maryland Senator Ben Cardin introduced The Medicare Dental Benefit Act of 2019 that will, if enacted, add a dental benefit in Medicare Part B. This is a terrific policy step to help ensure Medicare beneficiaries have equitable access to comprehensive care. As a federal program, Medicare provides medical coverage and pharmacy services…

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Why the Census Matters for Health Care

In 2020 the federal government will count the roughly 330 million people in the United States (US) through the census, a tally that is mandated by the Constitution. The census occurs every ten years and requires every resident in the US to complete forms that detail household size, income, and other demographic details. The data…

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