In Maryland, a study carried out by the Maryland Dental Action Coalition (MDAC) was released earlier this month. The study was authorized by the passage of SB 169, which called for a determination of the annual cost of emergency room visits to treat dental conditions of adults, and if it would be advisable to expand benefits for dental services for adults on Medicaid.
The study found that Medicaid spent a total of $10 million for emergency room visits and $1.4 million for inpatient admissions for adult with chronic dental conditions, and recommends inclusion of adult dental services coverage in the next budget.
In Arizona, a committee approved a sunrise application submitted by a coalition of public health and tribal organizations seeking to establish dental therapists in the state. As a result, the issue will be debated in the upcoming legislative session.
Additionally, a group of lawmakers in New Mexico have announced their intention to introduce and support a dental therapist bill in the next session. Last year, a dental therapist bill was approved by the House and a Senate Committee, but failed to make it to the Senate floor. The legislative session for 2018 begins January 16.
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