These Polices are Important in Reducing Health Disparities

AHCCCS is in the process of accepting comments on their oral health policy manual for their EPSDT program- so this is your opportunity to do some administrative advocacy and provide them with your insight and comments.

Here’s a link to the Manual and comment page: AMPM 431 – Oral Health Care for Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Aged Members

A Stakeholder group organized by First Things First staff (and AzPHA members) Kavita Bernstein and Vince Torres met last week and developed some priority recommendations that would improve children’s oral health.  Those recommendations are listed below.

You can use This Link to get to their comment page. Below are some of the recommendations for you to consider submitting.  Please use your own voice and incorporate your own perspective.  Personalized comments have more impact than block-copy-paste ones.

The sample comments below state the page number in the Manual that the comment goes with. Please ensure to include the Policy Page Number relating to each comment.

Remember that our collective voice is stronger than one…  so please take some time to submit your comments in the next couple of weeks.  The comment period ends right after Labor Day.

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Recommendation for AHCCCS to expand provider types who can provide oral health screenings within pediatric settings to include RN, RDH and APDH. This would allow for co-location models, as well as, more flexibility for pediatric clinics in service delivery.

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Recommendation for AHCCCS to consider the use of the definitions for ‘urgent’ and ‘routine’ from the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD). This would allow for a consistent approach to screening and referral across health plans and providers.

Recommendation that AHCCCS consider a tighter timeline for urgent referrals given that three business days could span over a weekend and may be too long for a child exhibiting signs of pain, infection and swelling.

Recommendation for AHCCCS to expand provider types that can apply fluoride varnish within a pediatric setting, to include MAs.

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Recommendation for AHCCCS to consider allowing reimbursement for nutrition counseling by a dental home to align with the requirement to provide this specific service.

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Recommendation for AHCCCS to consider stronger, clarifying language that defines ‘medical necessity’.

Recommendation for AHCCCS to consider language that permits and reimburses for sealants on primary teeth as evidenced by positive outcomes seen by IHS and would be in alignment with the AAPD Dental Sealant Policy and Recommendation.

Recommendation for clarity on the definition of a dental provider – in addition, there is no definition in AMPM 100 to which health plans and providers can align.

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Recommendation for AHCCCS to consider the impact of a two tiered consent process on dental mobile clinics

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Recommendation for AHCCCS to clarify who ‘all providers’ are in new bullet point #7. In addition, recommendation for AHCCCS to assess the feasibility of pediatric clinics (and families) scheduling a child to come into the clinic solely for a dental screening. Recommendation for AHCCCS to consider language that indicates that providers should schedule the dental screening within the next EPSDT visit (if at a primary care clinic) or at the next dental visit (if at a dental home)