A health assessment completed in 2016 found that more than 32% of Clark County, Ohio, residents have had at least one tooth extracted due to decay or gum disease, and in response, the Community Health Foundation formed a coalition of dentists, hygienists and other health care professionals to raise awareness and improve oral health. The foundation is also supporting drinking water fluoridation policies and hosting events, and a new family dental clinic was recently opened.
Pharmacy benefit managers are taking steps to ensure that forthcoming drugs for migraines and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis remain affordable. PBMs say they will harness market forces to negotiate discounts as they did when a new generation of drugs for hepatitis C hit the market.
A resolution to protect pharmacists in Arkansas "would raise prescription drug costs for Arkansas's patients, employers, state government, and taxpayers and do nothing to improve the quality of pharmacy benefits," the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association said in a statement. "The state should be encouraging market-based solutions to reduce drug costs, not giving special protections to the drugstore lobby."
A White House report says Medicaid and Medicare policies encourage drugmakers to inflate prices in the private sector.
Congressional Democrats say the federal government should expand access to drugs for hepatitis C virus by using its authority under a 1910 law to circumvent patent protections.
The Genesee County Health Department in Michigan and My Community Dental Centers are opening a dental health clinic in Flint to provide low-cost dental exams, cleanings, fillings, extractions and dentures to patients enrolled in Medicaid and private dental plans, as well as uninsured patients.
Dentists should know key points about prescribing opioid pain drugs, CDC Chief Medical Officer Debbie Dowell and American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs member Paul Moore said during a webcast. Opioid prescriptions should be limited to immediate-release formulations at the lowest effective dose, dentists should check prescription drug monitoring databases before prescribing an opioid, and dentists should watch for signs of opioid use disorder and be prepared to intervene.
Poor oral health can cause or worsen other health conditions and lead to social stigmatization and difficulty finding employment, but as of January, only 17 state Medicaid programs offered comprehensive dental coverage for adults, writes health economist Austin Frakt. The Medicaid-eligible population is more likely than others to have unmet dental needs and much less likely to be able to afford care or coverage, and states that add work requirements to eligibility criteria may only worsen the problem, Frakt writes.
New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Dental365, a dental practice management group, will acquire three more practices on Long Island, bringing the total number of offices to 12 by the end of March. The company handles human resources functions, supplies and insurance claims and plans to expand further into New York City, as well as Connecticut and northern New Jersey.
As the Trump administration loosens the reins and allows states to experiment with new restrictions and requirements for Medicaid, most of the debate is centered on the effects on recipients. But changes to government programs also tend to come with significant financial costs, mostly in the form of IT and personnel investments.