Catalyst prioritizes systems change work to improve the health care system and the health of Virginians. Systems change, which addresses the root cause of a problem, often involves changes in policies that impact large numbers of people. To affect policy change, advocacy is needed at the local, state, and federal levels. Effective advocacy depends on the dedication and enthusiasm of the people, for policy change requires trust, patience, and persistence.


Catalyst works to identify policy priorities and engage partners in advocacy by lifting up community voices. Policy is a foundational pillar in the strategic vision that guides our work.

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Past Legislative Successes

Medicaid Dental Reimbursement Rate Increase


Catalyst partnered with the Virginia Dental Association to advocate a 30% increase in Medicaid dental reimbursement rates, the first increase since 2005. This change can help ensure a large network of providers in the Medicaid dental program to care for members.

Adult Dental Benefit in Medicaid


Catalyst and its partners advocated for over 10 years for the addition of a comprehensive adult dental benefit in Medicaid. About 800,000 Virginians now have affordable access to services that will help Virginians manage chronic disease, improve pregnancy outcomes, and secure employment. You can learn more here.

Medical Assistants & Fluoride Varnish


Increasing the number of providers able to apply fluoride varnish makes medical offices more efficient by utilizing each health care provider at the top of their license. Fluoride varnish is easy to apply, safe for the patient, and an effective oral health tool.

Medicaid Expansion


Catalyst joined several partners across Virginia to support an expansion of Medicaid enrollment eligibility to include individuals ages 19-64 with income at or below 138% of the federal poverty limit. This provided affordable health care coverage, including dental, to hundreds of thousands of Virginians.

Pregnancy Dental Benefit


Poor oral health during pregnancy can lead to negative health outcomes for both mother and child. It is safe and recommended that pregnant people go to the dentist during pregnancy, and this benefit in Medicaid improved access to affordable dental care.

Advocacy Efforts

Future of Public Oral Health Taskforce logo

Join the Future of Public Oral Health Taskforce

The Future of Public Oral Health Taskforce recommends improvements to Virginia's public oral health systems by supporting, amplifying, and maximizing technology, integration, workforce, and data. If you are interested in joining the Future of Public Oral Health Taskforce, please contact Policy Director, Ben Barber at bbarber@vahealthcatalyst.org.


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Policy Information

Stay up-to-date on the latest policy updates and legislation affecting health care by signing up for Virginia Health Catalyst's monthly newsletter. 


Contact Your Legislator

Tell your elected officials about your oral and overall health experiences in the commonwealth. Contact them today.