Virginia Oral Health Coalition Update

January 2016

In This Issue

2016 VaOHC Legislative Day

 Tuesday, February 2


VaOHC staff, board and partners will visit the Virginia General Assembly on Tuesday, February 2 to discuss oral health policy issues with legislators. Anyone is welcome to attend. A light breakfast and talking points will be provided.


View this webinar to learn more about our 2016 legislative priorities.



Missouri Approves Medicaid Adult Dental Program


Missouri joins a long list of states that recognize the importance of oral health and has added a dental benefit for adults enrolled in Medicaid. 

Aside from pregnant enrollees who have access to comprehensive dental benefits, the Virginia Medicaid program only covers emergency dental extractions for adults. 

VaOHC convenes an Adult Dental Access workgroup to discuss state Medicaid adult dental programs, like Missouri's, to identify policy strategies that can increase access to dental care for adults. View the VaOHC website for more info on the Adult Dental Access workgroup.



Special Needs Training Opportunity


New Date! 
Friday, February 26

Due to the recent snowstorm, we have rescheduled the free CE training "Dental Care Approaches for Adults with Disabilities" -- the training will now be held Friday, February 26 in Oakton, Virginia (view the course agenda). The course is designed for dental professionals who wish to improve their skills caring for adults with special healthcare needs.




Workgroup Opportunities


VaOHC convenes several stakeholder workgroups to collectively advance Virginia Oral Health Plan goals.


We invite you to join one of three active workgroups:

  • Kindergarten Policy
  • Early Dental Home
  • Adult Dental Access


If you are interested in joining a workgroup, contact Carrie Wampler and indicate the group(s) of interest.


View workgroup descriptions and upcoming meeting dates.




Loan Repayment Program


The Virginia Student Loan Repayment Program is a tool to help recruit dental and medical providers to work in health safety net facilities in Virginia's health professional shortage areas. 

Applications are accepted January - July 31, 2016. Amount available is limited. Click here to learn about eligibility requirements and access the VHCF sponsorship form.


Free Dental CE Course 


The Virginia Department of Health, co-sponsored by the Virginia Dental Association (VDA) and VDA Foundation, is offering the following free continuing education course for actively practicing dentists, Dental Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) and Very Young Children: A Case-Based Approach


AAP Oral Health Webinar


The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Oral Health will be hosting a webinar for members and others to review the framework outlined in the Qualis Health White Paper, Oral Health - An Essential Component to Primary Care.


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Virginia Oral Health Coalition

4200 Innslake Drive

Glen Allen, Virginia 23060


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Legislative Update
The General Assembly session is in full swing and several bills will support efforts related to the state oral health plan, including a workforce legislation championed by both the Virginia Dental Association and the Virginia Dental Hygienists' Association. If passed, this legislation will enable dental hygienists to work under remote supervision in safety net sites and additional settings to better serve the underserved in the commonwealth. 

View information regarding VaOHC's 2016 legislative priorities.


CMS Announces Funding for Collaboration 
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced funding that could provide support to many of the efforts at work in the commonwealth to ensure comprehensive health care includes primary, oral and behavioral health, as well as community supports, such as housing and transportation. 

The CMS Innovation Center developed the Accountable Health Communities (AHC) Model and will provide up to $157 million to enable health and community service organizations to come together to assess the health and social needs of Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries, such as housing or transportation, and create alignment between clinical care and community services. 

To learn more, register for the the CMS webinar on Wednesday, January 27 at 3:00 p.m. For information about integrated clinical care models that may be appropriate for the grant, contact Sarah Holland.


Clinical Advisory Board
Members of VaOHC's Clinical Advisory Board (CAB) are medical or dental clinicians who guide efforts to integrate oral health services, education and referrals into every applicable health care setting. Members weigh in on practice integration guidelines, referral protocols and strategies to support integration as it relates to their clinical specialty. They also have the opportunity to share their expertise in continuing professional development and speaking engagements, serving as ambassadors for oral health integration in the community. The CAB meets once annually and via conference call, as needed. View a full position description and CAB application. All clinical disciplines, such as OBGYN's and pediatric providers, are welcome to apply.

If interested, or have further questions, please contact Sarah Holland.
Oral Health Equity Policy Brief
The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network released it's first policy brief on oral health equity, Taking a Bite out of Oral Health Inequities: Promoting Equitable Oral Health Policies for Communities of Color. The report highlights oral health disparities within communities of color, identifies some of the causes of these inequities and provides policy recommendations to advance equity for our communities.


Of Interest
Oral Health and Overall Health

Oral health and overall health are fundamentally intertwined. The following links present current information on how oral health is connected to overall health and well-being. 
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Study: Medicaid-enrolled Adults Less Likely to Receive Dental Care

A new study published by the ADA Health Policy Institute shows low-income adults enrolled in Medicaid are less likely to receive dental care than privately insured peers. The study calls on policymakers to "rethink" how dental care is handled at the state and federal levels, citing that the cost for a comprehensive adult Medicaid dental benefit is similar to the money spent on emergency room visits for dental issues.

Virginia's adult Medicaid program provides a limited emergency extraction benefit for adults and a comprehensive dental benefit for pregnant enrollees. Our Adult Dental Access workgroup is identifying strategies to increase dental care access for adults - learn more.

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Virginia Health Opportunity Index

The Virginia Department of Health - Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (VDH-OMHHE) released the second iteration of the Virginia Health Opportunity Index (HOI). VDH-OMHHE has created interactive and user-friendly visualizations that help identify areas and 
populations of Virginia most vulnerable to adverse health outcomes, based on social determinants of health. A Legislative Districts dashboard is also available, providing state-level policy makers, and the voters they represent, with insight into how social determinants of health impact health in their districts.
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Report: Emergency Department Referral Programs for Non-traumatic Dental Conditions

The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors Best Practices Committee released a new report, Emergency Department Referral Programs for Non-traumatic Dental Conditions. The use of emergency departments for dental-related conditions, especially non-traumatic dental conditions, is a growing public health concern. The report includes five examples of successful programs.
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