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Dental Action Committee Recommendations to Improve Children’s Dental Health in Maryland

On September 11, 2007, the Dental Action Committee issued its final report to the Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Public Justice Center, along with our advocacy partners Medicaid Matters! Maryland and Advocates for Children and Youth, represented the client perspective on this Committee. We were instrumental in helping the Committee develop and adopt its recommendations (60 overall recommendations in the areas of reimbursement rates, delivery models, public health strategies, provider participation, scope of practice, and outreach and education, and 7 prioritized "main" recommendations). PJC attorney Laurie Norris chaired the sub-committee that had one of the most controversial charges - delivery models. The committee reached near-consensus (1 member opposed) on recommending a completely different service delivery system. We recommended changing from a two-tiered managed care organization (MCO) based system with financial incentives aligned toward profit rather than dental care, to a simple, "administrative services only" (ASO) single vendor delivery system that would align the finances toward provision of care.

The next step is for Secretary Colmers to decide which of our recommendations to accept, for him then to include the dollars for implementation of those recommendations in his request to the Governor for the 2009 budget, and for us to advocate for those dollars to stay in the budget during the legislative session. There may also be legislation necessary to implement some of the other recommendations. We expect that the DAC will continue to meet on a regular basis to provide oversight on implementation. Click here to read the full report.



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