A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Oral Health

House Budget: Funds ACA, Cuts Dental, Cuts Public Health. But It's Mostly About the Revenue.

It's all about the revenue. Yesterday the House released its proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. With the House counting on much less revenue than the Governor called for, they used two strategies to bring the budget into balance: make lots of cuts, and use lots more one-time revenue sources. Although transportation and education face the biggest cuts compared to the Governor's proposal, there are some gaping holes in health care as well. Read more »

Oral Health: Advocates Prepared to Make Them See RED

Tomorrow (Tuesday, April 9), advocates will convene at the State House in support of Restoring Essential Dental benefits to MassHealth. Oral health is full body health. So, why would Massachusetts – the state that pioneered universal healthcare for all residents – slash dental benefits for those that need it most? The answer is easy, budget cuts. Please plan to join HCFA and the Oral Health Advocacy Taskforce at the State House tomorrow at 1:00 pm as the Joint Committee on Public Health hears An Act to Restore MassHealth Adult Dental Benefits. To ensure that we are seen and heard, we are... Read more »

Globe Spotlights Public Health Dental Hygienists

Today’s Boston Globe features a piece on the 31 licensed public health dental hygienists in the Commonwealth. Longtime readers of this blog know that oral health is inextricable for overall health. They also know that despite a large body of evidence pointing to a multitude of costly and complex health issues related to poor oral health, access to dental care remains an issue. Read more »

Mass Gets A "B" On Dental Sealants

How Are States Doing On Providing Dental Sealants The Pew Center recently released a report on dental sealants across the country, grading each state (and D.C.) on its performance in providing sealants. The grades failed to impress: only 5 states (Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Wisconsin) received the top grade of an “A,” and 20 states received either a “D” or an “F.” Read more »

HCFA Looks Ahead to 2013

Happy New Year from all of HCFA (see our staff picture above)! The year 2013 will be a critical year for health care in Massachusetts. State government will be making numerous decisions that will directly impact the availability, cost and quality of the care that everyone depends on. Health Care For All will be there, making the sure the voices of consumers and patients are heard on Beacon Hill, and throughout the state. Among the key issues we anticipate focusing on for 2013 are: Read more »

Rally Calls For Full MassHealth Dental Benefits

More than 80 consumers, advocates, legislators, and staff flooded the State House Member’s Lounge yesterday, wearing red in support of Restoring Essential Dental benefits to MassHealth. Kathy Eklund, chair of the Oral Health Advocacy Taskforce (OHAT), kicked off the afternoon by reminding the room that “in order to ensure the health of every community across Commonwealth, including our most vulnerable populations, benefits must be fully restored.” Read more »

One-Two From Patrick Adminstration

This week the Patrick administration reaffirmed its commitment to health care in the Commonwealth. First, the Governor's State of the Commonwealth speech focused on payment and delivery system reforms that will stem the rising costs of health care: Read more »

MassHealth Dental Benefits Bill Advances; WS Journal Explains Why

Last week the legislature's Joint Committee on Public Health gave its approval to S. 1079, legislation filed by Senator Harriette Chandler to restore full dental benefits to adults on MassHealth. Some 700,000 adults, including low income seniors, disabled adults, and people with serious chronic disease lost full dental benefits over a year ago. We thanks the Co-Chairs of the Public Health Committee, Rep. Sanchez and Senator Fargo, for supporting advancement of this bill. The bill moves to the Health Care Financing Committee. Read more »

Leading the way for Better Oral Health Access in Massachusetts

JudyAnn Bigby, MD, Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, was recognized today by Delta Dental of Massachusetts, Lynn Community Health Center and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers at the Lynn Community Health Center in Massachusetts for her focused efforts on improving access and promoting oral health for the most vulnerable in the Commonwealth. Read more »


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