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Maryland Senate Passes Bill to Create Task Force on Oral Healthcare

The Maryland Senate has passed a bill that would establish a task force on oral healthcare to explore issues related to access and barriers to dental services. 

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The Maryland Senate has passed a bill that would establish a task force on oral healthcare to explore issues related to access and barriers to dental services. 

According to the bill, the task force would:

  • Analyze current access to dental services in the state, with a focus on socioeconomic status, disability and age as factors to access to care;
  • Identify areas of the state where a significant number of residents are not receiving oral healthcare services, distinguishing between pediatric and adult populations.
  • Identify barriers to care in areas of need.
  • Analyze the specific impact of such barriers. 
  • Assess options to eliminate barriers, including the feasibility of establishing a program for dental therapy in Maryland.
  • Provide recommendations on ways to increase access to dental care in the state.

When assessing options to eliminate barriers to care, the task force must assess methods to facilitate establishing a dental home by age 1; methods to reestablish dental Medicaid for adults; evaluate the benefits of midlevel providers, including dental therapists; and the cost and efficacy of establishing an education program for dental therapy that meets Commission on Dental Accreditation standards. The task force will also determine whether implementing a dental therapist in Maryland will significantly increase assess to quality dental care for underserved poor, disabled or elderly residents. 

Read more about the task force here. 

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