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Children Now is a statewide children’s policy organization in California that seeks to advance cross-sectoral anti-racist policies that allow for more equitable opportunities for children and families within the state. Children Now has been a long-standing partner of DQP and an active partner in California policy advocacy work related to oral health. Children Now has been consistently engaged in legislative advocacy and were very involved in the passage of the previous 1115 waiver, which built the Dental Transformation Initiative and reinstated the Medicaid adult dental benefit. More recently, Children Now has been engaged in efforts to expand the scope and use of RDHs in alternative practice as well as changing telehealth policies to be more equitable for underserved patients. They also played a key role in protecting the adult dental benefit in 2020.
This proposal focuses on advancing policy related to explicitly allowing RDHs to be placed and integrated at high-volume Medicaid serving pediatric primary care settings and at OB/GYN clinics, on making permanent telehealth policy flexibilities, and to ensure the next 1115 waiver includes critical and distinct language incorporating dental. Currently, there is separate legislation filed related to RDHs in alternative settings and solidifying many new telehealth flexibilities. Children Now intends to leverage their partnerships with local health departments, local oral health coalitions, and with state committee appointments to drive advocacy efforts. As well, in sitting on the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (Cal-AIM) planning committee, which is building the plan for the state’s next 1115 waiver that is focused on expanding care coordination, Children Now will ensure that strategies connect to dental, and that procurement of managed care contracts and dental fee for service contracts are structured effectively to support this coordination.
The original request for funding was $252,850, and the recommendation from the review committee is to fund at $100,000, which will go towards staff time and supplies. The reduction is based on aligning the budget with the scope of work, and aligning strategies of Children Now and DQP, and effectively managing the grantmaking budget to ensure the maximizing of our investments in 2021.