The Weekly Wednesday Update is our newsletter which we email every Wednesday with oral health, health and policy updates from around the state and nationally.

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March 25, 2020
Volume 11, Issue 12



Consumer Dental Resources During The Covid-19 Crisis

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the American Dental Association, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending non-emergency dental care be delayed for at least two weeks. Here is a list of recommendations and resources for more information.

During the Covid-19 crisis, you need to stay healthy and stay home. The question some people have had recently is what do they do if you have a toothache or other dental problems that might indicate an emergency. Oral Health Kansas developed some guidelines on what is considered a dental emergency and what you should do. Click here to download the document.

Of interest to dental clinicians:

In response to the new ADA guidelines on treating dental urgent care during the COVID 19 outbreak,  Elevate Oral Care will host two free Live CE presentations regarding some of the nonrestorative treatment options contained in these guidelines.

Limited attendance. Register Here:
3/26/20  10:00-11:00  Dr. Jeremy Horst:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7159257064804215564
3/26/20    1:00-2:00     Dr. Jeanette MacLean: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4549582708953130251




Congress COVID-19 Relief Package Discussions Continue

Last week, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which included, among other things, a temporary 6.2% increase in the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for state Medicaid programs, coverage for COVID-19 testing with no cost-sharing across health insurance programs, emergency paid sick leave, and additional funding for nutrition assistance programs.

A new COVID-19 relief package, crafted by the Senate and includes both health and economic provisions, seems to have reached a deal early 3/25-- a vote is expected today.

Some of the notable health-related provisions put forth thus far include:

  • Requirements for private health insurers, including marketplace plans, to cover COVID-19 testing and qualifying coronavirus preventive services at no cost to beneficiaries and without prior authorization.
  • Authorization of $1.32 billion in supplemental funding to health centers for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
  • Additional funding for the Telehealth Network Grant Program administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Economic relief provisions include:

  • Delay of federal tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020 and postponement of estimated individual tax payments to October 15, 2020;
  • Rebate checks of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples who file jointly, along with an additional $500 per child; rebate check amount phase out at incomes of $75,000 or more ($150,000 for joint filers).
  • Authorization of $300 billion loans for small businesses. The loans would be forgiven if the business maintains their payroll as well as cover paid sick leave and mortgage payments. It is yet unclear whether these loans will be applicable to safety net providers.




FY2021 Budget Includes $3.0 Million Increase In Dental Rates

Last Thursday, both the House and Senate approved the FY2021 budget which included a $3.0 million increase for Medicaid dental services! This marks the second year in a row the Legislature approved a rate increase and made oral health a priority for Kansas. We truly hope this will improve the KanCare dental provider network. Thank you to all of the advocates and policymakers who supported the increase!

The budget passed earlier than normal this year so legislators could return home due to the COVID-19 crisis. The Legislature broke for adjournment shortly after passing the budget Thursday evening. This early departure allows for a longer than normal Spring Break before the Legislature is scheduled to reconvene for Veto Session on April 27th. Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, there’s a chance the start of Veto Session could change. Sine Die, or the end of the 2020 Kansas Legislative Session, has been set for May 21st. 

While Legislators are on adjournment, we will not be sending our biweekly legislative update emails/calls.





Sharing Oral Health Kansas' Impact- Funding Our Work

Each month this year we are sharing a graphic that helps show our impact. This month we are sharing some financial information. When Oral Health Kansas started in 2003, nearly all of our budget was core operating grants. Those kinds of grants are much harder to find these days, and now the majority of our funding is project based. This makes it a challenge to keep up our core work to inform and educate about the importance of oral health and how to make oral health a priority in everything from our daily lives to sound public policy. This year just 9% of our budget is in the form of core support of our operations, and at this point in the year we are facing a shortfall in our budget. We hope the following chart helps show where we get our support. This is a difficult time for everyone as we face unknown challenges of COVID-19. If you are able, we would appreciate your support of our mission. You can contribute online at http://www.oralhealthkansas.org/Donate.html. Thank you for your support!






To celebrate Women’s History Month, Oral Health Kansas wishes to highlight Lucy Hobbs Taylor - the first female dentist in the United States!

Refused admission to the dental college because she was a woman, she opened a practice in Cincinnati in the spring of 1861. Dr. Taylor earned a degree in dentistry in New York in 1866. In 1867 she moved to Lawrence, Kansas, where her and her husband enjoyed a large practice and Lucy became an avid supporter of the woman suffrage movement. Read more about her fascinating life here.




Sugary Drink Display Sanitation

During this time, hand washing and social distancing is on everyone’s mind. We want everyone to have the comfort of knowing we sanitize our sugary drink displays. They are wiped down and cleaned off after they have been returned.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending use of the Sugary Drink Display until May 1. You can begin making reservations for later in the year now, though.

Reserve your Sugary Drink Display for a health fair, office, or event! You can also purchase a Sugary Drink Display to have as your own! What is a Sugary Drink Display? It's our drink display that has 10 popular beverages and shows how much sugar is in each. Click here to learn more!

There is no charge to use the Sugary Drink Display. Postage is reimbursed if you send in your receipt.

All we ask is for you to fill out our survey included in the display materials and provide us with feedback about the display. Click here to make a reservation!

Interested in purchasing a Sugary Drink Display? Click here to download our brochure.



Save the Date!

Mark your calendars for the 2020 Conference on Oral Health scheduled for Friday, November 13! Location in Johnson County! Watch for more details!





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Please consider a gift to Oral Health Kansas. Together, we have accomplished so much, but there is more to do. Your gift will help us continue our mission.

Find out more about donating, click here.

A gift at any level will help, and all gifts are tax-deductible.