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California dental students advocate for dentistry, patients during Grassroots Advocacy Days

Student representatives from six California dental schools met earlier this year with state legislators to discuss critical issues affecting dentistry and oral health as part of  Grassroots Advocacy Days. The students highlighted solutions through state budget funding and CDA-sponsored legislation.

Congressional spending deal nears: Medicare dental benefit unlikely to be included

The U.S. Congress is working to finalize the details of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act, and the framework of a final deal is near. While the details of the negotiated agreement have not been made public or acted on by Congress, it appears unlikely that a Medicare dental benefit will be included in the final legislation. 

Dentists receive unprecedented $30M for student loan repayment in state budget

The 2018-19 state budget signed by Gov. Jerry Brown dedicates $210 million from the Proposition 56 Tobacco Tax revenue to Denti-Cal providers, a $70 million increase from last year’s amount. This effort is the result of years of activity to improve the Medi-Cal dental program and increase access to oral health care for the state’s 13.5 million Medi-Cal enrollees.

Former CDA Cares patient now regularly volunteers at clinics - with a big smile

Catherine’s dental phobia was once so severe that dental advertisements or even passing a dental office could trigger a panic attack. Worse, her debilitating phobia kept her from seeing a dentist for over 10 years. Eventually, she developed a life-threatening oral infection and lived with it for over a year and a half. “I was in pain, but I was too scared to receive care,” said Catherine, a resident of Bakersfield, Calif.

'Life-changing' grants awarded to 38 dentists committed to Medi-Cal

Marc Bernardo, DMD, MPH, and Michelle Galeon, DMD, are among the first recipients of a new grant funded by Proposition 56, a voter-approved tobacco tax that CDA and other health care organizations sponsored in 2016. The grant program awarded $10 million in debt relief to 38 dentists (up to $300,000 each) in exchange for the dentists maintaining a 30% or more Medi-Cal patient caseload for five years.

Local dental society, community clinics successfully advocate to protect oral health care access

The Oakland City Council passed an ordinance that requires individuals ages 12 and older to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before they can enter certain indoor places. Dental offices were included in the initial proposal, but the Alameda County Dental Society and local community clinics successfully advocated to have dental offices removed to protect everyone's access to essential dental care.

Message to dentists from Dr. Reggiardo, executive director of CSPD, about the CalHealthCares program

I love spreading good news, and the CalHealthCares professional education loan repayment program is about the best news for current pediatric dental residents and recent post-doctoral alumni I can imagine. In July 2019, the program, funded through Proposition 56 tobacco tax revenues and administered through contract by the Department of Health Care Services, awarded $10 million in student debt relief to 38 California dentists.

New benefits for Denti-Cal adults in 2018

More than 7 million adults enrolled in Denti-Cal, California’s Medicaid dental program, will have a fully restored package of dental benefits in 2018. The adult benefit package was drastically cut in 2009 due to the state budget crisis and was partially restored in May 2014. The restoration of the adult dental benefit services is a result of legislative action taken during the 2017-18 budget process.

New CalAIM proposal by DHCS promises broad Medi-Cal reforms, adds SDF as statewide benefit

Health care providers can expect to see major revisions to the Medi-Cal program over the next couple of years as a result of a new initiative by the Department of Health Care Services. Released in late October, the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) proposal will implement “broader delivery system, program and payment reform across the Medi-Cal Program,” according to the proposal summary.

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