Learn about the status of legislation introduced on Beacon Hill that would impact you, your dental practice, and the oral health of the Commonwealth.
Preventing Cost Shifting Within the Delivery of Dental Care
Ensuring Dental Plan Transparency
Midlevel Dental Professionals and a Comprehensive Approach to Improving Oral Health
Reforming Dental Licensing Exams
Anesthesia for Children
Restoring MassHealth Adult Dental Benefits
An Act Relative to the Restoration of MassHealth Adult Dental Benefits | H.1917/S.1212This legislation would require the Division of Medical Assistance to cover all dental services that were included in the state plan or demonstration program in effect on January 1, 2002.
Tobacco Cessation and Prevention
An Act to Provide Medicaid Coverage for Tobacco Cessation | H.1129/S.704This legislation would close loopholes in the MassHealth tobacco cessation benefit and expand access to cessation counseling by allowing trained and approved dentists and behavior health practitioners to provide cessation counseling to patients on MassHealth, as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The MassHealth smoking cessation benefit was a huge success when it was introduced in Fiscal Year 2007, but certain providers, including dentists and behavioral health providers, were not included. Closing the loophole would enable certified professionals in these fields to counsel, and bill for, tobacco cessation for their MassHealth patients.
Other tobacco legislation includes An Act Regulating Flavored Tobacco Products, which would ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in Massachusetts, and An Act Protecting Youth from Nicotine Addiction.
Healthy Alternatives to Sugary Drinks
An Act to Promote Healthy Alternatives to Sugary Drinks | H.2529/S.1709
This legislation would impose a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages that would be allocated to a new Children’s Health Promotion Fund administered by the Department of Public Health. Programs qualifying for funding include: Mass in Motion; the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund; a municipal grant program for the fluoridation of public water supplies; funding for the Department of Early Education and Care to support and promote nutrition programs for preschools, nursery schools, and childcare facilities serving low-income communities; programs educating the public about the health effects of consuming sugary drinks and promoting the consumption of tap water; a municipal grant program for the creation and improvement of water fountains; improvement of water quality and increasing water access in schools and municipal parks and facilities; and other evidence-based methods of improving children’s health and wellness.