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Governor Evers releases plan to address oral health access issues in Wisconsin

Tuesday, February 12, 2019  
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Governor Tony Evers has included a multi-pronged oral health package in the 2019-21 biennial budget. The package includes a $43.4 million investment to address issues of oral health access throughout the state by addressing the following areas:

  • Increased dental Medicaid reimbursement rates for non-profit providers by 50 percent if at least 50 percent of their patients are enrolled in Medicaid. For-profit providers serving at least 5 percent of Medicaid patients would see a 30 percent increase.
  • Authorization of dental therapy licensure and funding for Wisconsin colleges willing to create a dental therapy education program.
  • Increased funding for Wisconsin Seal-A-Smile to expand the program's capacity to provide preventive school-based oral health services to children across the state.
  • Increased funding to low income and community dental clinics to provide safety net services to Medicaid and uninsured patients.
  • Incentivizing providers to serve in rural areas by expanding the rural dental loan repayment program.
  • Funding for staff at the Department of Health Services- Oral Health Program.
Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Oral Health Coalition applaud the governor’s comprehensive dental access initiative and support all aspects of this multi-faceted approach. The many partners our organizations work with across the state will certainly be able to provide more high quality dental care to patients if this measure is adopted as part of the proposed budget. Follow the links to read the Journal Sentinel article and the Leader-Telegram article on Governor Evers plan to increase access to oral health services in Wisconsin.

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