DENTAL ACCESS EXPANSION HINGES ON LEVEL OF SUPERVISION
By Katie Lannan
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, SEPT. 12, 2017.....Claiming momentum in a fierce policy battle, lawmakers who favor a legal expansion of the scope of dentistry work so that more patients can be served say they are gaining ground on Beacon Hill.
"I'm very proud that the fact is the dentists are at the table with us, talking about this," Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, who represents many rural communities in Berkshire County, said before a hearing on legislation authorizing a new type of professional, a dental therapist. "This wasn't happening a year ago, but it's happening today. This mid-level practitioner, no pun intended, will fill the gap for so many folks who are in need of health care."
Supporters of the bill (S 1169/H 2474) say 47 percent of children on MassHealth, or 290,000 kids, did not see a dentist in 2014, while scores of low-income individuals, including seniors, are going without care and losing their teeth. The bill is sponsored by Pignatelli, Sen. Harriette Chandler and Rep. Kate Hogan, the House chair of the Public Health Committee.
Already a subscriber? Login to continue reading...
Get the Rest of the Story!
State House News Service subscribers include media outlets, corporations, non-profits and law offices of every size. You may request a free 21-day trial of the News Service for your company by submitting the form below.
If you are already a subscriber and need access to SHNS, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-722-2439.
Note to political campaigns: We do not accept trial requests from campaigns from June 24 through Election Day. However, we would be happy to start a pre-paid subscription for your campaign (except for constitutional offices, congressional offices and statewide campaigns) at a deeply-discounted rate of $22/week, paid through the election. Simply email Virginia Cummings to set up this subscription; she'll send you further instructions.