E-Alerts & Press Releases

Dental Action Committee's Interim Report

John M. Colmers, Secretary
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
201 W. Preston St., Suite 500
Baltimore, MD 21201
 
Dear Secretary Colmers:
 
In response to your request in May 2007, the Dental Action Committee was formed and charged with making recommendations to you regarding increasing access to dental care for poor and low-income children in Maryland. Four months later, on September 11, 2007, the Committee submitted to you a 134 page report, that included seven major recommendations. Since that report 16 months ago, there has been significant activity to address the disparities in oral health in Maryland.


The Dental Action Committee offers the enclosed interim report to summarize the progress that has been made and the areas that need further attention. For the 2009 legislative session, we draw your attention in particular to the following three priorities:

  • Include in the FY 2010 budget at least $1.5M to sustain the new and expanded oral health safety net and school health operational grants launched by the Office of Oral Health in 2008.
  • Include in the FY 2010 budget $7M for the second of three installments to bring Maryland Medicaid dental reimbursement rates up to the 50th percentile.
  • Include in the FY 2010 budget $500,000 for additional capital infrastructure investment in dental clinics in more Maryland counties.
  • Secure at least $500,000 in funding to enable DHMH to begin implementation of the unified oral health messaging education campaign.

We also ask that the Department be prepared to sponsor, perhaps through its contract with the new statewide dental vendor, a significant multimedia effort to inform providers and enrollees about the new delivery system. The goal is to minimize disruptions to care and frustrations for providers and parents.
Thank you for your unwavering support of better access to dental care for Maryland’s low-income children.
 
Sincerely,
 
Jane Casper, RDH, MA, Chair                    
Norman Tinanoff, DDS, MS, Vice-Chair
Dental Action Committee
Click here to see the full progress report.



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