Access to Care

CDA is proactively working to improve access to care through nearly a decade of work and numerous evidence-based studies.

CDA Cares draws support from new presenting sponsor
09/10/2019
The CDA Foundation is gearing up for its 16th CDA Cares volunteer dental event with new and continued support from community members and key sponsors. The clinic will take place Sept. 27-28 at the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino, Calif. About 1,950 people are expected to receive oral health care services at no cost, thanks to the support of generous sponsors including Delta Dental, Western Dental, Henry Schein, Planmeca, GES, The Dentists Insurance Company and The Dentists Supply Company.
'Life-changing' grants awarded to 38 dentists committed to Medi-Cal
08/19/2019
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.
New state program awards $10.5M in grants to dentists
07/11/2019
The Department of Health Care Service’s new program designed to expand access to care for Medi-Cal patients has awarded $10.5 million to 40 dentists to pay student loan debt. Approximately 1,300 health care providers, including 350 dentists, applied to the CalHealthCares program, which offers up to $300,000 in debt relief in exchange for meeting certain criteria.
Participate in study to evaluate the Dental Transformation Initiative
07/03/2019
To understand how well the Dental Transformation Initiative program is meeting its goals, the Department of Health Care Services has contracted with Mathematica, an external, independent research organization, to evaluate DTI as outlined in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Special Terms and Conditions.
Budget deal makes multiyear commitment to increased provider rates
07/01/2019
As part of the finalized 2019-20 California state budget, the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom approved a continuation of supplemental Medi-Cal provider rates, including significant dollars for dentists serving Medi-Cal patients. An additional $20 million was dedicated to dentists through a recently launched student loan repayment program.
Students advocate for dentistry, oral health at the state Capitol
04/30/2019
Grassroots Advocacy Days are in full swing as student representatives from California’s six dental schools met with their local legislators and legislative staff to discuss critical issues affecting dentistry. CDA coordinates these small-group advocacy days each year at the state Capitol in Sacramento. The goal is to help members learn about the legislative process and to allow participants to have in-depth, interactive discussions with lawmakers about dentistry and oral health.
State program expands provider incentives to new counties
02/14/2019
Dentists in 26 counties have a new opportunity to participate in the Dental Transformation Initiative to help improve dental health for low-income children enrolled in the Medi-Cal Program while receiving enhanced reimbursement by meeting specific incentive metrics. As part of California's 1115 waiver, the DTI focuses on high-value care, improved access to dental care, and the use of performance measures to improve the program through four “domains.”
Appreciative patients share stories of pain relieved, smiles restored
02/01/2019
In just over a month, CDA Cares volunteers will deliver no-cost dental services to an estimated 1,950 individuals who experience barriers to care. Over two days, March 8-9, at the Solano County Fairgrounds in Vallejo, Calif., dentists, hygienists, lab technicians, dental assistants and other professionals will volunteer their services and time, providing cleanings, extractions, root canals, dentures, triage and oral health education. The Foundation still seeks volunteers in all clinical areas, especially oral surgeons, lab techs and nurses and physicians for medical triage.
Give Kids a Smile 2019 kicks off Feb. 1
01/25/2019
Local dental societies are teaming up with the ADA once again for the annual Give Kids a Smile program, a volunteer initiative to provide dental screenings, treatment and education at no charge to underserved children. Give Kids a Smile kicks off the first Friday in February to coincide with National Children’s Dental Health Month. This year, the date is Feb. 1; however, GKAS programs can take place throughout the year.
Medi-Cal Dental Program improvements aim to recruit, retain providers
01/24/2019
Through the improved Medi-Cal Dental Program, more than 13 million individuals are eligible for dental benefits, and a streamlined application and significant rate increases are prompting more dentists to join the program as providers. The changes follow years of action to improve the program, including CDA’s efforts to educate the public and policymakers about the importance of good oral health care. Jennifer Kent, director of the California Department of Health Care Services, in this Q&A discusses the program’s recent changes and what dentists can expect as providers.
Prop. 56 Dental Loan Repayment Program will award up to $300K
01/10/2019
Preliminary criteria for the Prop. 56 Dental Loan Repayment Program were recently announced by the California Department of Health Care Services. The program will repay up to $300,000 toward student loans for dentists who commit to serving Denti-Cal beneficiaries. Applications will open this spring with participants selected no later than July 1.
Smile, California: Helping Medi-Cal members use their dental benefit
12/17/2018
A campaign to increase Medicaid-enrolled members’ use of Medi-Cal’s dental benefit was launched recently by the California Department of Health Care Services as part of an integrated plan to improve the overall performance of the state’s dental program. The “Smile, California” campaign will educate eligible members about the free and low-cost services available to maintain good oral health and make it easier for members to access care. Outreach efforts also focus on recruiting and maintaining providers.
Higher reimbursement rates in effect for Medi-Cal dental program
10/18/2018
New state revenue from the taxation of tobacco products, along with support from legislators and Gov. Jerry Brown, is putting over half a billion dollars toward increased Medi-Cal dental provider reimbursements for 2018-19. The higher reimbursement follows years of activity to improve the Medi-Cal dental program and increase access to oral health care for California’s 13.5 million Medi-Cal members.
CDA Cares set to return to Modesto, site of first clinic
09/18/2018
After six years and 13 clinics, CDA Cares, the volunteer-run dental program hosted by the CDA Foundation, is preparing for a return to Modesto, Calif. — site of the inaugural clinic in 2012. And while every CDA Cares can be considered successful in terms of the number of patients served — 1,950 on average — and the number of no-cost dental services provided, longtime volunteers say a lot has changed since the first clinic took shape in the Central Valley city.
Dentists receive unprecedented $30M for student loan repayment in state budget
06/27/2018
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. And a new aspect in this year’s budget is an additional one-time allocation of $30 million toward a program that would repay student loans for dentists who commit to serving Denti-Cal beneficiaries and locate their practice in a county or region that lacks adequate providers.
State dental director and CDA present at National Oral Health Conference
06/06/2018
The five-day National Oral Health Conference is an annual meeting of health professionals who are working to improve the oral health of populations in the U.S. and around the world. The conference brings together experts in science, academia, public health, advocacy and clinical practice to explore promising programs and policies for oral health across the lifespan. This year, CDA’s work in this field was showcased in two presentations with California State Dental Director Jay Kumar, DDS, also presenting.
CDA Foundation annual report highlights impact of key programs
05/25/2018
The CDA Foundation has published its annual report highlighting the health, hope and happiness provided to individuals in 2017 through ongoing Foundation programs, including two student loan repayment grants, the Dental Materials and Supplies Grant and CDA Cares — the volunteer-run dental clinic held twice annually in communities throughout California.
CDA Cares Anaheim clinic delivers dental care to 2,019 people
05/04/2018
The CDA Foundation’s volunteer dental clinic, CDA Cares, provided $1,537,951 in charitable dental services to 2,019 people during the April 27-28 event at the Anaheim Convention Center. During the two-day event, dentists and dental professionals provided more than 11,858 procedures, including fillings, extractions, cleanings and oral health education.
Little Hoover Commission examines changes in Denti-Cal program
04/23/2018
California's Little Hoover Commission, an independent state oversight agency, held a special hearing March 22 to assess progress within the Denti-Cal program since the commission released the April 2016 report titled Fixing Denti-Cal. The commission heard from several panels, including Denti-Cal providers who serve the population in a variety of settings. CDA member dentist Nagaraj Murthy, DDS, spoke about his experiences as a long-term Denti-Cal program provider.
Presenting sponsors line up to support CDA Cares Anaheim
04/11/2018
With new and continued support from community members and key sponsors like Global Experience Specialists, Henry Schein, Planmeca USA, Sota Imaging, Western Dental, The Dentists Insurance Company and The Dentists Service Company, CDA Cares is now gearing up for its 13th volunteer dental event April 27-28 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
CDA, CSPD, sponsor bill to expand health plan coverage for dental anesthesia
04/09/2018
If enacted, Assembly Bill 2643, co-sponsored by CDA and the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, would require medical insurance plans to cover general anesthesia costs in the dental office setting when a patient’s developmental or other physical condition prevents that patient from receiving dental treatment unless deeply sedated but does not necessitate a hospital setting for care.
CDA Cares 'brings the profession closer together as a whole'
03/22/2018
As chair of the Anaheim CDA Cares Local Arrangements Committee, John Taylor, DDS, oversees a committee that helps recruit volunteers from the dental profession and general community, raises funds and secures pharmaceuticals and local dental lab equipment before the CDA Foundation’s two-day dental clinic opens its doors April 27 at the Anaheim Convention Center. CDA spoke with Taylor about his past experiences in the clinics, preparations for CDA Cares Anaheim and the regional need for the clinic.
Unexpected opportunities: Q&A with LDPP ambassador Jared Fine, DDS
03/14/2018
For more than 38 years, Jared Fine, DDS, MPH, was the dental health administrator for the Alameda County Public Health Department, where he built one of the most progressive and effective dental health programs in the state. After retiring from the department, Fine became an advocate for sugar-sweetened beverage taxation in Oakland. He is now the community dental ambassador for the Alameda County Local Dental Pilot Project. In this Q&A, Fine talks about that project and the role of private dentists.
A day at the Capitol: Dental students advocate for dentistry and oral health
03/08/2018
Students representing California dental schools traveled to Sacramento in February to meet with legislators and their staff, tour the Capitol building and learn how to advocate as part of Grassroots Advocacy Days. CDA hosts the day-long events every year to give students an opportunity to meet with their district representatives to discuss critical issues affecting dentistry.
CDA Journal features school-based oral health care programs
03/05/2018
The March Journal of the California Dental Association provides readers with a collaborative approach to advancing oral health equity in pediatrics through the use of nontraditional dental clinics such as school-based oral health care programs. Articles discuss financial options for sustaining school-based oral health centers; the impact of those oral health centers on absence rates and dental pain in a K-8 school; web-based software that facilitates communication remotely between patients and oral health care providers and more.
CDA Cares Anaheim is almost here — share why you care in 3 steps
03/01/2018
Thousands of Californians receive no-cost dental treatment at CDA Cares, the CDA Foundation’s biannual clinic. For some of these individuals, the treatment is life-changing, but the lives of volunteers are also changed by giving others health, hope and happiness. CDA Cares comes to Anaheim April 27–28. If you volunteer for or donate to CDA Cares, you can easily share why you care with our social media toolkit.
Dental Materials & Supplies Grant awards up to $25K of in-kind goods
02/16/2018
The CDA Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2018 Dental Materials & Supplies Grant. In partnership with Henry Schein Cares, this program supports nonprofit organizations with the dental supplies and materials they need to provide oral health services to underserved individuals in their communities.
New state oral health plan provides road map for all Californians
02/12/2018
A 10-year plan for addressing the major oral health issues in California was released in late January by the California Department of Public Health. Developed over three years in collaboration with the Department of Health Care Services, the plan identifies strategies to improve oral health over the lifespan and to achieve oral health equity for the state’s diverse population.
Far-flung relatives witness patient's first glimpse of smile at CDA Cares
02/08/2018
In the small, close-knit Tongan community in Hayward and the surrounding region, word spread rapidly about a no-cost dental clinic that would visit nearby San Mateo in spring of 2017. Among those who learned about the CDA Foundation’s two-day, volunteer-run biannual clinic was a woman named Eva.
CHIP funding extension protects health coverage for millions in California
02/05/2018
Affordable pediatric-appropriate health coverage for 2 million children and pregnant women in California and nearly 9 million children nationwide will continue through fiscal year 2027 as a result of a budget deal passed Feb. 9 by Congress and signed by President Trump. The agreement ended the second, if brief, government shutdown in a month.
Providers join forces to protect California’s health care system
01/17/2018
CDA has joined a broad coalition of more than 100,000 California physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, community clinics and pharmacists in a new effort to protect the gains California has made under the Affordable Care Act and improve California’s health care system. The Coalition to Protect Access to Care will actively oppose efforts in Washington to repeal and replace the ACA, which would strip health insurance from millions of Californians.
National Children’s Dental Health Month kicks off Feb. 1
01/17/2018
Local dental societies this February can participate in National Children’s Dental Health Month by planning any number of activities, from offering dental health screenings and giving school presentations to organizing coloring or essay contests and sponsoring a display at the local library. Suggested activities and ideas to assist with publicity efforts are available in the downloadable 2018 NCDHM Program Planning Guide available on the ADA’s website.
Proposed 2018-19 state budget increases Proposition 56 funding
01/10/2018
The following is a statement from Natasha Lee, DDS, president of the California Dental Association regarding Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed 2018-19 state budget that was released today.
Quick reference guide, more details on Denti-Cal adult benefit restoration in 2018
01/04/2018
Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, adults enrolled in the Denti-Cal program are eligible for an expanded set of dental benefits. The Department of Health Care Services on Nov. 9 issued a special provider bulletin to clarify the dental services that providers may render, bill and be reimbursed for by Denti-Cal in 2018, including scaling and root planing, partial dentures and posterior root canals.
Stakes high for California without renewed CHIP funding
12/11/2017
Despite broad bipartisan support, Congress neglected to take action to extend Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP) funding before it expired Sept. 30. The consequences of Congress’ delay are creating stressful uncertainty for states and families across the country. Sixteen states, including California, will run out of funding for the CHIP program by the end of January. CDA is calling on its members to help protect coverage for children and hard-fought improvements in the Denti-Cal program.
Supplemental reimbursements receive federal approval
12/05/2017
Significant rate increases for hundreds of procedures covered by Denti-Cal have been approved by the federal government. The supplemental payments of 40 percent are the result of CDA-sponsored Proposition 56 and the unprecedented investment of $140 million in the Denti-Cal program, which will be matched with federal dollars for a potential total of $350 million for fiscal year 2017-18.
Protect dental coverage for millions: Urge your representatives to extend CHIP funding
11/27/2017
California’s CHIP funding will run out next month and the state will be confronted with a huge budget gap for CHIP children’s Medi-Cal coverage, potentially as much as $1 billion dollars or more. CDA is calling on dentists to act now to protect dental and health care coverage for millions of children and pregnant women in California. Contact your senators and representative in Congress to urge them to take swift action to extend CHIP funding.
Student Loan Repayment Grant recipient to advocate for underserved
11/22/2017
For Daniel Ramirez, DDS, personally encountering barriers to care in his early years ignited a passion for health care and an appreciation for the importance of diversity within the field. Dr. Ramirez, recipient of the CDA Foundation’s 2017 Student Loan Repayment Grant, grew up with two siblings and a disabled mother whose income was more than 500 percent below the poverty level. But he says he now embraces this adversity.
New benefits for Denti-Cal adults in 2018
11/02/2017
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.
Open enrollment for 2018 Covered California dental plans begins Nov. 1
10/16/2017
Covered California, California’s health insurance marketplace for the federal Affordable Care Act, has released the participating dental plans for the 2018 benefit year. Despite concerns about marketplace challenges, limited plan offerings and premium increases around the country, California’s marketplace remains stable and high-performing.
CDA Cares provides $1.25 million in care, marks 12th successful event
10/12/2017
The Oct. 6-7 CDA Cares event in Bakersfield marked the CDA Foundation’s 12th successful volunteer dental clinic — providing more than $1.25 million in care to 1,506 people over two days at the Kern County Fairgrounds. In addition to providing oral health care services at no charge to those in need, CDA Cares educates the public and policymakers about the importance of good oral health and the need for a well-functioning Denti-Cal program.
View stories, photos at CDA Cares Social Hub
10/08/2017
CDA Cares Bakersfield wrapped up Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Kern County Fairgrounds, but volunteers and supporters can still catch up on stories shared during the clinic. To view and post photos and stories, visit the CDA Cares Social Hub, a live feed that captures social media posts using the #cdacares hashtag.
Sponsors contribute to CDA Cares Bakersfield
09/21/2017
Three key sponsors have stepped up to support the next CDA Cares set for Oct. 6–7 at the Kern County Fairgrounds in Bakersfield. Henry Schein Dental and Western Dental are longtime supporters of CDA Cares, contributing $50,000 pledges, a volunteer workforce and equipment and supplies for the events. Patterson Dental also stepped up with a pledge valued at $50,000 to help ensure the Bakersfield clinic is successful.
Up to $50,000 awarded by State Loan Repayment Program
08/16/2017
Applications are being accepted now through Oct. 1 for the 2017 California State Loan Repayment Program. SLRP assists health care providers, including dentists and dental hygienists, with repayment of qualified educational loans in exchange for their initial commitment to either two years of full-time or four years of half-time service.
Rate increases and benefit restoration for Denti-Cal program
08/14/2017
The Department of Health Care Services on June 30 announced hundreds of procedure codes will receive a 40 percent supplemental rate increase as the result of Proposition 56, the tobacco tax measure sponsored and supported by CDA and approved by voters last November. Over $1 billion of the tobacco tax revenue is allocated to improved payments to physicians and dentists who treat Medi-Cal patients.
August Journal addresses barriers to dental care access
07/28/2017
The August Journal of the California Dental Association outlines efforts to set the foundation for two major initiatives supported by CDA — the Dental Transformative Initiative and the Department of Public Health’s State Oral Health Program. Articles discuss the concepts and frameworks of creating a state oral health plan for California; approaches that three local health departments used to address oral health problems in their communities; and more.
Father-daughter duo to volunteer at next CDA Cares
07/20/2017
Retired dentist Bob Chiurazzi, DDS, and his daughter Heather Chiurazzi, a first-year dental student at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry, volunteer side by side at CDA Cares and have missed volunteering just once since CDA Cares held its first event in Modesto in 2012. The pair looks forward to working together again in the oral surgery department at CDA Cares Bakersfield, Oct. 6–7.
CDA engages policymakers as ACA reform efforts continue
06/21/2017
The House of Representatives’ vote May 4 to approve the American Health Care Act is the first step down a long, winding road of a possible repeal or replacement of the Affordable Care Act. CDA and other health care organizations have expressed their concerns to policymakers that the AHCA would harm Californians due to the erosion of pre-existing condition protections, decrease patient access to physicians and dentists and cause over 3 million Californians to lose health care coverage.
Selected local pilot projects to improve children's oral health
06/20/2017
Dentists in selected counties have an opportunity to participate in pilot projects that seek to improve the oral health of California children enrolled in Denti-Cal. In February 2017, the Department of Health Care Services announced the 15 selected proposals for Local Dental Pilot Project funding, with awards totaling $150 million over four years.
Volunteers, community changed by CDA Cares San Mateo
05/19/2017
As the early morning sun slipped through the fog hovering over San Francisco Bay on April 22, thousands of dental professionals and community members began slipping into the San Mateo Event Center for CDA Cares, the Foundation’s biannual volunteer dental program. Some were there to volunteer their time and expertise, while others lined up at the gate to be escorted inside for dental services offered at no charge.
Get the word on dental sealants in May 22 webinar
05/18/2017
Dentists can learn about the scientific evidence that supports the use, safety and benefits of sealants and review the ADA clinical practice guideline for the use of pit and fissure sealants at an upcoming webinar. Registration for the one-hour webinar is quick and easy and participants who complete the webinar can receive C.E. credit.
Action alert: Oppose swipe of dental funds
05/17/2017
CDA encourages dentists to share their opposition to Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal for Proposition 56 funds that voters intended to be used for improving access to care. CDA, the California Medical Association and coalition partners are strongly advocating for Proposition 56 funding to be used as voters intended. Dentists may have their voices heard by visiting www.protectmedi-cal.org and submitting a petition to state legislative leaders, who will make final budget decisions very soon.
Pediatric anesthesia legislation advances
05/15/2017
Three bills that seek to improve safety in pediatric dental anesthesia are moving through the state Legislature, including CDA-supported Senate Bill 392 and Senate Bill 501. The three pieces of legislation passed out of policy committees following robust discussion at the Capitol, April 24-25, with CDA and other medical and dental organizations as well as individual stakeholders presenting testimony on the bills.
Workgroup monitors ACA reform efforts for CDA members
05/03/2017
CDA has assembled a group of volunteer dentists to monitor the impact of federal ACA reform efforts on behalf of CDA members. Since December 2016, this workgroup has been gathering information and meeting regularly with policymakers to assess the potential impact on California dentists of all federal proposals to repeal, amend or replace the ACA. In addition, a course offered at CDA Presents Anaheim will discuss the potential impact of the ACA reform on consumers and the dental profession.
Dental students become advocates at state Capitol
04/26/2017
Two dozen students from California’s six dental schools descended upon the state Capitol over two days in February and March to meet with legislators and discuss issues of pressing importance to the dental profession while gaining insights on the legislative process. These meetings form the backbone of CDA’s Grassroots Advocacy Days and all students arrived with an interest in improving legislative policy as it relates to public health.
Dentists provide $1.6M in donated care
04/24/2017
Charitable dental services totaling nearly $1.6 million were provided to 1,973 people at CDA Cares in San Mateo, thanks to more than 2,300 volunteers, including 930 dentists and dental professionals and hundreds of dental students and community members, who donated their time and services to the event held April 22-23.
CDA sponsors bill to improve quality of oral health data
04/17/2017
Senate Bill 379 (Atkins, San Diego), co-sponsored by CDA, would amend the law to improve both the quantity and quality of the oral health data collected. The statutory updates in the bill will also facilitate the efficient collection of the data by ensuring it is reported to one entity — the Office of Oral Health within the Department of Public Health.
Sponsors make 'powerful' pledges to CDA Cares
04/03/2017
More than 20,000 people to date have benefited from $16.4 million in dental services provided by CDA Cares, thanks to the support of community members like Henry Schein, Western Dental, San Mateo County and TDIC, the key sponsors of the CDA Foundation’s next Cares event set for April 22-23 at the San Mateo Event Center located on the San Francisco Peninsula.
State awards $150 million to Local Dental Pilot Projects
03/21/2017
In February 2017, the Department of Health Care Services announced the 15 selected proposals for Local Dental Pilot Project (LDPP) funding, with awards totaling $150 million over four years. Local Dental Pilot Projects are one of the four domains of the Dental Transformation Initiative and part of California’s 1115 waiver, or Medi-Cal 2020. The DTI represents a huge $740 million investment in the Denti-Cal Program and the oral health of Californians.
New life for Kindergarten Oral Health Requirement
03/03/2017
Students’ oral health is receiving a big push in Los Angeles schools. The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education in January unanimously approved a resolution that seeks to enforce AB 1433, known as the Kindergarten Oral Health Requirement, by recognizing February as Children’s Dental Health Month, among other actions.
Momentum builds for CDA Cares San Mateo
02/28/2017
Preparations for the San Mateo event have been in the works for nearly a year, with local organizers busy with behind-the-scenes details such as fundraising and garnering supplies and volunteer meals. Carliza Marcos, DDS, chair of the local arrangements committee, says that in addition to renewed interest among the army of “regulars” who donate time at CDA Cares, there’s a buzz among new volunteers who plan to experience the event for the first time.
New resources for dentists treating young children
02/14/2017
First-time resources available to participating Denti-Cal providers resulted in increased access to care for the nearly 6 million California children enrolled in the Medicaid dental program in the first half of 2016. In 2016, the Department of Health Care Services rolled out the 1115 waiver, known as Medi-Cal 2020, which allocated $740 million to the Dental Transformation Initiative.
Understanding dental plan audit authority
02/01/2017
The new Congress and administration in Washington are negotiating legislation that would considerably dismantle the Affordable Care Act as one of their first objectives. While it remains to be seen what this repeal and replacement of the ACA will look like, one aspect of the ACA that will likely survive is the idea and objective of “affordable” health care.
CDA Cares volunteers sought for San Mateo event
01/31/2017
“One of the things that I love about being a dentist is working in a profession filled with compassionate and caring people,” Carliza Marcos, DDS, says. “This spring, we will have a unique opportunity to express our commitment to helping those less fortunate in our community.” Marcos is chair of the San Mateo CDA Cares Local Arrangements Committee. CDA Cares will be held April 22-23 in San Mateo.
February is National Children's Dental Health Month
01/27/2017
Now in its 76th year, National Children’s Dental Health Month is observed annually in February with an ADA campaign that brings together dentists and other dental professionals, health care providers and educators to “promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others.”
Signups underway for Give Kids A Smile
01/20/2017
Join the growing number of dentists participating in Give Kids A Smile, the ADA Foundation’s annual volunteer initiative to provide dental screenings, treatment and education at no charge to underserved children. Resources are available on the ADA Foundation website.
Opportunities for dentists serving low-income children
12/19/2016
Dentists in California now have an opportunity to participate in the Dental Transformation Initiative to help improve dental health for low-income children enrolled in the Denti-Cal program, while receiving enhanced reimbursement by meeting specific incentive metrics. As part of California's 1115 waiver, known as Medi-Cal 2020, the DTI focuses on high-value care, improved access and utilization of performance measures to drive delivery system reform.
Dental champions wanted to support community health
12/05/2016
The California Department of Public Health’s Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch is recruiting the next cohort of "champion providers" to help support local health departments’ efforts to improve the health of communities by advancing local policy, systems and environmental change strategies. The department contacted CDA to express the importance of engaging dentists in this endeavor.
Recipients of 2016 CDA Foundation awards announced
11/11/2016
Two ways the CDA Foundation gives are through community grants and educational scholarships. Over the years, these awards have enabled thousands of people to receive more than $109 million in care. The CDA Foundation has announced the recipients of four annual awards and educational scholarships.
Covered California embedded children's dental plans released
11/10/2016
The 2017 open enrollment period for Covered California, California’s health insurance marketplace for the federal Affordable Care Act, continues through Jan. 31. CDA reported in September on the partial list of participating dental plans for 2017. The complete list of providers, along with the 2017 embedded children’s dental plans, has now been released.
Registration open for Give Kids a Smile 2017
10/21/2016
Registration is underway for Give Kids A Smile 2017, the ADA’s annual volunteer initiative to provide dental screenings, treatment and education at no charge to underserved children. GKAS program coordinators should sign up by Nov. 7 in order to be eligible to receive free product donations to support their volunteer efforts.
Dentists provide $1.8 million in donated care
10/17/2016
Dentists and dental team members provided nearly $1.8 million in volunteer oral health care services to 2,066 people Oct. 15-16 at CDA Cares in Stockton. During the two-day event at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, they performed 14,178 dental procedures, including fillings, extractions, cleanings and oral health education.
State launches children's disease management pilot
10/12/2016
Beginning in January 2017, dentists in select California counties will have an opportunity to participate in an innovative pilot that seeks to assess and manage caries risk and emphasize the provision of preventive services to Denti-Cal-enrolled children ages 6 and under.
Gov. Brown signs CDA-sponsored loan repayment bill
10/06/2016
In the final weeks of the state’s 2016 legislative session, Gov. Brown signed into law several bills that impact dentists, including CDA-sponsored Assembly Bill 2485 (Santiago, D-Los Angeles). Taking effect immediately as an urgency statute, AB 2485, the Dental Corps Loan Repayment Program, revises in the applicant’s favor provisions regarding program eligibility, application, selection and placement.
Hospitals see value in supporting oral health
09/29/2016
Hospital systems have been critical supporters of CDA Cares since 2013. Every year, due to the lack of effective and adequately funded government safety net programs, thousands of individuals seek treatment for dental pain and infection in hospital emergency rooms, compounding an already strained system.
Apply for LDPP funding by Sept. 30
09/26/2016
The deadline to apply for Local Dental Pilot Project funding under Domain 4 of the Dental Transformation Initiative is Saturday, Sept. 30. Fifteen pilot projects will be selected to commence in January 2017.
Preliminary list of participating Covered California dental plans released
09/15/2016
Covered California, California's health insurance marketplace for the federal Affordable Care Act, has released some of the participating dental plans for the 2017 benefit year. Covered California's open enrollment period for 2017 coverage begins on Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31, 2017.
UCSF dental students to volunteer at CDA Cares Stockton
09/01/2016
Soon after the last classes let out at the University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry on Friday, Oct. 14, 76 dental school students will board a bus for the 90-minute ride to Stockton, for the CDA Cares event.
Expand dental practice through telehealth
08/02/2016
Dentists interested in learning how to provide telehealth dental care can attend a lecture and workshop presented by Paul Glassman, DDS, MBA, at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry in San Francisco Sept. 8-10.
Local Dental Pilot Project application deadline nears
08/01/2016
The deadline to apply for Local Dental Pilot Project funding under Domain 4 of the Dental Transformation Initiative has been extended to Sept. 30 as a result of a delay in the development of a budget template for the application. The California Department of Health Care Services opened its application cycle for LDPP proposals developed under the Medi-Cal 2020 Waiver June 1.
$3.2 million for children's oral health approved
07/28/2016
The 2016-17 budget, totaling $167 billion, was recently signed by Gov. Brown and includes $3.2 million for the restoration of the California Children’s Dental Disease Prevention Program, a school-based prevention program managed at the local level by local health departments, county superintendents and other contracted entities.
Local Dental Pilot Project application process opens
06/08/2016
The California Department of Health Care Services has opened its application cycle for proposals for Local Dental Pilot Projects (LDPP) being developed under the Medi-Cal 2020 Waiver.
CDA praises historic votes to strengthen tobacco laws
03/03/2016
CDA applauds action by the state Assembly, which approved a package of six bills that will strengthen tobacco regulations, prevent cancer and save lives. Supported by CDA and the Save Lives California coalition, the bills increase the legal smoking age in California from 18 to 21 and regulate e-cigarettes by treating them as tobacco products.
Significant investment in state dental program
01/25/2016
At the end of 2015, the state of California and the federal government reached an unprecedented agreement that will make an additional $740 million investment in California’s Denti-Cal program over the next five years. California has often made changes to its contract with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which governs the operation of the Medicaid program (Medi-Cal in California), with the goal to increase flexibility and funding for the medical services covered by the program.
What dentists should know about the Virtual Dental Home
10/28/2015
In recent months, several policyholders have called the TDIC Advice line asking about the virtual dental home (VDH) model and the risks associated with participating in one. The following information may be helpful for dentists who are considering practicing in such a model. The term “virtual dental home” describes a dental care model in which a dentist utilizes teledentistry by connecting electronically to specially trained allied dental team members to deliver dental care to underserved populations.
State dental director to tackle oral health challenges
07/28/2015
Jayanth V. Kumar, DDS, MPH, will begin serving as California's new state dental director on Aug. 1. Kumar will direct and manage the oral health program in the California Department of Public Health. He recently took time to speak to CDA Update staff about his new role and some of his objectives.
CDA pleased by state reversal of Denti-Cal cuts
06/16/2015
The state's reversal of the 10 percent rate cuts for Denti-Cal providers, which have been in effect since 2013, is a positive first step in ensuring access to care for the program's beneficiaries. Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders made an announcement of a budget deal that will allow the rate changes to take effect July 1 pending federal approval.
Governor announces California state dental director
06/05/2015
Gov. Jerry Brown today announced that Jayanth V. Kumar, DDS, MPH, will serve as California's new state dental director. For years, CDA has advocated for a state dental director — the establishment of this position is a major achievement for the state's oral health program and access to care planning goals.
Virtual dental home grant bill passes Assembly
06/02/2015
CDA co-sponsored legislation that would provide key funding for the virtual dental home (VDH) model of dental care has passed unanimously on the Assembly floor. AB 648, authored by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-San Jose), would create a grant program under the direction of the state dental director to expand the VDH model into the state’s areas of greatest need. Public and private funds would be used for training, equipment, technical assistance and other support for VDH implementation. The bill passed in the Assembly Health Committee on a 79-0 vote.
CDA urges response to governor's silence on Denti-Cal
05/14/2015
CDA is disappointed that the May revision to the 2015-16 state budget released by Gov. Jerry Brown is silent on the statewide crisis in access to dental care and is urging the administration and Legislature to take action in their upcoming budget negotiations.
Dentist and RDHAP team up to deliver care
04/15/2015
With many adults challenged to access oral health services, some dentists and registered dental hygienists in alternative practice (RDHAPs) team up to try to fill the gap. Two such dental professionals have been working together in Humboldt County for nearly 20 years. Darla Dale, RDHAP, and Wilmer Hechanova, DDS, met in 1996 at a class on hospital-based dentistry.
CDA co-sponsored legislation passes Assembly committee
04/14/2015
CDA co-sponsored legislation that would provide key funding for the virtual dental home (VDH) model of dental care passed unanimously in its first Assembly committee hearing. AB 648, authored by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-San Jose), would create a grant program under the direction of the state dental director to expand the VDH model into the state’s areas of greatest need. Public and private funds would be used for training, equipment, technical assistance and other support for VDH implementation.
CDA disappointed with Supreme Court Medicaid ruling
04/06/2015
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that providers cannot sue states or state officials in an effort to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates. In a 5-to-4 decision, justices indicated that complaints about low reimbursement rates should instead be filed with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that oversees the Medicaid program.
Video: Woman sees smile for first time in 20 years
04/03/2015
Carolyn had been missing most of her teeth for more than 20 years. With no molars, eating was difficult and she had to rotate which side of her mouth she chewed food on based on pain level. Instead of depending on the state’s broken Denti-Cal system, Carolyn drove to CDA Cares in Sacramento after seeing the event on the news. It wasn’t long before she had a new set of dentures and restored self-esteem.
CDA Cares Sacramento provides $2 million in care
03/31/2015
Hosted by the California Dental Association Foundation and CDA, the CDA Cares two-day dental clinic in Sacramento provided $2 million in charitable dental services to 2,080 people March 27-28. While the final number of procedures provided at CDA Cares is being tallied, preliminary estimates indicate nearly 2,700 tooth extractions were necessary.
CDA's calls to fix Denti-Cal are heard
03/20/2015
CDA's advocacy urging the state to fix the broken Denti-Cal program has captured the attention of lawmakers who expressed outrage in two legislative hearings about the program's failure to provide access to care due to glaring oversight issues and extremely low reimbursement rates. CDA members testified at two joint oversight hearings of the Senate Health Committee, Assembly Health Committee and the Joint Legislative Audit Committees in March.
CDA Cares spotlights state oral health needs
02/12/2015
The CDA Foundation is hosting a CDA Cares volunteer dental event in Sacramento next month, and the timing of the March 27-28 clinic couldn’t be better. The recent swearing-in of a large group of new state legislators will provide CDA with an opportunity to educate policymakers about the importance of oral health and the need for an adequately funded dental safety net in California.
CDA Cares Pomona provides $1.66 million in care
11/24/2014
The California Dental Association Foundation’s two-day dental clinic, CDA Cares, provided $1.66 million in charitable dental services to 1,861 people during the Nov. 21-22 event in Pomona. During the two-day charity event, dentists and dental professionals provided fillings, extractions, cleanings and oral health education. Additionally, volunteer technicians in the dental lab area worked to provide 345 full and partial dentures and repairs.
CDA Cares has statewide impact as Pomona clinic nears
08/11/2014
CDA and the CDA Foundation are gearing up for the second CDA Cares clinic to be held in Southern California. CDA Cares Pomona will take place Nov. 21-22 at the Pomona Fairplex, and volunteers are urged to get involved. In addition to providing care at no charge to approximately 2,000 patients at each clinic, CDA Cares aims to educate the public, media and policymakers about the importance of good oral health and the need to find long-term solutions, such as an adequately funded dental safety net.
CDA Foundation earns Point of Light Award
06/02/2014
CDA Cares was recently selected as a Daily Point of Light Award honoree for the work the CDA Foundation has done through the volunteer dental program. The Daily Point of Light Award was established by President George H.W. Bush to recognize the power of individuals and groups to spark change and improve the world. In a letter sent to the CDA Foundation from the Points of Light program, the efforts of CDA Cares were said to “honor the legacy of this award, demonstrating the power of service to create tangible change … Your efforts are a remarkable example of the generosity and compassion that make our communities stronger and better.”
CDA Cares treatment offers patients a pathway to employment
05/05/2014
Many patients at the CDA Foundation’s CDA Cares programs are struggling to find employment because of the state of their oral health and the impact it has on their appearance. CDA Cares aims to provide dental care and oral health education at no charge to Californians who experience barriers to care, and provide them with a pathway to employment.
CDA Cares Solano provides $1.5 million in oral health services
04/28/2014
The California Dental Association Foundation’s two-day dental clinic, CDA Cares, provided nearly $1.5 million in charitable dental services to 1,959 people during the April 25-26 event in Solano County. The fifth event since 2012, the CDA Foundation and CDA host CDA Cares to provide dental services and oral health education at no charge to Californians who experience barriers to care.
01/14/2014
Denti-Cal providers received positive news Jan. 9 regarding CDA efforts to stop the state from implementing retroactive reimbursement cuts, which were not included in Gov. Brown’s proposed 2014-15 budget. CDA advocated strongly against the 10 percent “clawback” of payments made since June 2011, citing the devastating impact on the provider network and patients’ ability to access care.
01/09/2014
Denti-Cal providers received positive news regarding retroactive reimbursement cuts in Gov. Brown’s proposed 2014-15 budget released Jan. 9. The spending plan does not include a 10 percent “clawback” of payments made since June 2011 when the state authorized Medi-Cal reimbursement cuts as part of its budget.
CDA Cares San Diego provides care to 2,203 patients
12/16/2013
During the two-day event, dentists and dental professionals provided more than 12,518 dental procedures, including cleanings, fillings, extractions and oral health education. Additionally, volunteer dental lab technicians worked to create 221 complete and partial dentures and repairs.
CDA, coalition file petition to stop Medi-Cal rate cuts
09/30/2013
CDA and a coalition of health care organizations aiming to stop Medi-Cal rate cuts implemented by the state filed a petition with the Supreme Court on Friday. The Petition for Writ of Certiorari asks the Court to reverse the decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the rate cuts.
CDA Cares volunteer changes young patient’s life
08/29/2013
California dentists provide a tremendous amount of pro bono work to those who experience barriers to care. In fact, dentists across the state provide oral health care services worth an estimated $388 million each year ($15,668 per dentist). One such example occurred recently at the CDA Cares San Jose program when a dentist volunteer changed the life of a young girl and her family.
06/28/2013
The California Dental Association applauds the governor’s signature of a new state budget plan that includes the restoration of Adult Denti-Cal services.
Legislature approves restoring Adult Denti-Cal
06/18/2013
The effort to restore Adult Denti-Cal benefits is one step closer to reality after the Legislature voted on a new state budget plan. The funding, which is a result of the leadership exhibited by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), still needs the governor’s signature. Steinberg made the restoration of Adult Denti-Cal a top priority after his visit last August to CDA Cares in Sacramento.
CDA Cares serves thousands in San Jose
05/22/2013
Preliminary numbers indicate 2,202 patients received free oral health care at the CDA Cares San Jose dental clinic over the weekend. Hosted by the CDA Foundation and CDA, the May 18-19 dental clinic provided more than $1.6 million in oral health care services to the underserved. The San Jose clinic, which was held at the San Jose Convention Center, was the third CDA Cares event. The three clinics combined have now provided $4.4 million in care to 5,878 patients.
05/10/2013
As part of an effort to simplify providers’ participation in the state’s Medi-Cal Dental Benefits Program (Denti-Cal), CDA, with the cooperation of the State Department of Health Care Services’ Dental Services Department, has developed a guide to working within the program. The guide, entitled “Denti-Cal Provider Guide,” is divided into two main sections:  Processing a Denti-Cal Patient Through the Dental Practice; and the Denti-Cal Billing Process.
Proposed budget expands Medi-Cal eligibility
01/28/2013
Acknowledging that California’s economy is improving but still uncertain, Gov. Jerry Brown on Jan. 10 released a 2013-14 budget proposal that calls for expanding Medi-Cal eligibility as part of national health care reform, but makes no move to address calls from legislative leaders to restore optional benefits, such as adult dental, that were cut in prior years in response to fiscal crises.
 CDA Cares spotlights need for state oral health infrastructure
10/01/2012
With an estimated 10 million people in California experiencing barriers to oral health care and adult Denti-Cal benefits being a thing of the past due to 2009 state budget cuts, the chairs never got a rest at CDA Cares Sacramento.
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