Wisconsin Passes Legislation Addressing Access-to-Care Issues
More than half of the counties in Wisconsin have a shortage of oral health professionals. Anticipated retirements and departures from the dental workforce exacerbate this issue. However, recent legislative measures offer a glimpse of hope. The state legislature passed bills, notably one enabling the licensure of dental therapists. Advocates believe this will alleviate the burden on dentists, enabling them to focus on more complex procedures while therapists handle routine care. Despite initial opposition, the bill received bipartisan support and was signed by Governor Tony Evers on January 31. The legislature also allocated $20 million in grant funding to expand oral healthcare programs in technical colleges, aiming to bolster various dental professions, including dental hygienists. Additionally, Wisconsin will join an interstate compact to facilitate the practice of dental professionals from other states. Further legislation incentivizes recent graduates of Marquette University’s School of Dentistry to serve in underserved areas. Click here to read more.