Dr. Vanessa Benavent: Adult Dental Medicaid Can Help Keep People Out of Emergency Rooms

Legislation cleared by the Maryland General Assembly and signed into law last year required the dental community to study the costs associated with emergency department dental visits and the impact on the state’s Medicaid program.  The Maryland Dental Action Coalition contracted with DentaQuest, a well-known provider of dental analytics, to perform the study, and it was officially presented to the relevant committees in the Maryland General Assembly yesterday.      None of us in the dental community knew what would come out of the report, but the end result is one of the clearest examples as to why Maryland needs adult dental Medicaid.  What’s refreshing about the study is that it shows how effective emergency department referral programs can make a big difference in the cost to taxpayers.  Many Marylanders treated in emergency rooms can better be taken care of by a dentist in their own office where not only can... Continue reading
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Gene M. Ransom III: Marylanders of All Ages Should Talk to Their Doctors About Getting Vaccinated

As we enter fall, parents around Maryland have sent their children into the school year with everything they need to succeed, including their required school vaccinations. But immunizations aren’t just for our children – they are a lifelong, year-round medical necessity, and a critical public health tool for protecting against a broad range of dangerous and potentially deadly illnesses. The practice of getting vaccinated should and does start at an early age. MedChi plays an official role in the review and release of the official Maryland Department of Health Child immunization schedule.  That schedule is approved and has been released on the Department of Health and MedChi web site. The classroom environment makes Maryland students and their classmates susceptible to contracting and spreading a range of dangerous illnesses. In school communities, vaccines play an important role in creating “herd immunity” – when a high enough percentage of people are vaccinated so... Continue reading
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Wendy Davis Interview Series: Episode 2

In this second of a two-part interview, Wendy Davis shares with KOFA Managing Partner Jamie Fontaine her thoughts on Betsy DeVos’ proposed dismantling of Title IX. Wendy Davis is the former Texas State Senator and founder of the women’s advocacy initiative Deeds Not Words. She was propelled to national prominence in 2013 when she took to the Texas Senate floor for a 13-hour filibuster on an abortion restriction bill. While addressing the cumulative effect of so much anti-woman policy and rhetoric at the federal level, she answers the question: Is the administration sending a message to women that our government isn’t on their side, or are there necessary adjustments that should be made to current policy? ... Continue reading
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Dr. Leana S. Wen: Graham-Cassidy Health Care Proposal Is Detrimental to Nation’s Health

The Graham-Cassidy bill scheduled to be voted by the Senate next week is even more detrimental than previous attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It will take away health insurance coverage from millions of people, devastate Medicaid, and eliminate protections for patients, including coverage for pre-existing conditions. Cloaked under auspices of giving autonomy and flexibility to the states, this bill proposes to reallocate funding from the federal government to states. Such a block grant approach sounds good in theory, but when there is $299 billion less federal support, states will have far less funding. Maryland alone stands to lose more than $2 billion in state and federal funding in FY2020 through this proposal, and would lose $4.8 billion in federal Medicaid dollars by 2026. States will have to make difficult choices about which programs to cut, and will be on the hook for all unexpected costs, including hikes in... Continue reading
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Wendy Davis Interview Series: Episode 1

KOFA Managing Partner Jamie Fontaine talks with Wendy Davis, former Texas State Senator and founder of the women’s advocacy initiative Deeds Not Words, about the opportunities and challenges facing today’s young women. Davis was propelled to national prominence in 2013 when she took to the Texas Senate floor for a 13-hour filibuster on an abortion restriction bill. In this first of a two part series, Wendy shares her story of overcoming adversity to achieve greatness; the mission of Deeds Not Words, an advocacy organization focused on providing the tools and information to help women engage in the process; and about her primary focus today: economic justice for women. Next week in part two, they discuss Betsy DeVos’ proposed dismantling of Title IX.... Continue reading
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