Grant Project Title
Health Care For All Oral Health Work
Grantee Address

Health Care For All
1 Federal Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA
United States

Health Care For All (HCFA) works in Massachusetts (MA) to provide direct health care navigation services, develop health care policy, coalition build, and engage in community organizing, public education and outreach.

Since 2015, Health Care For All, as a leading health care consumer advocacy organization in MA, has led a campaign to integrate oral health into public and private-sector Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) as part of an overall effort to help reform the health care delivery system in Massachusetts. This work has involved various ongoing projects and strategies, building year over year. In 2021, HCFA was able to work with MassHealth to ensure a proposal to CMS included a two-question screening/assessment for oral health needs would be required of all primary care practices in the ACO program under the new 1115 Medicaid Waver.

Health Care For All’s work in 2022 will drive forward five oral health priorities. First, Health Care for All will advocate for oral health integration through the Medicaid 1115 waiver. Specifically, the waiver advocacy will focus on the inclusion of language related to integrating oral health into all aspects of care coordination and the requirement that primary care teams screen and refer for oral health needs. HCFA will also advocate for the protection of the current oral health evaluation quality measure within the 1115 waiver, in the hope that it can ultimately be expanded from pediatric to adult oral health care.

As a second priority, HCFA will continue necessary advocacy to protect the existing comprehensive adult dental benefits in Medicaid.

Building on work started last year with CareQuest Institute funding, HCFA will conduct ongoing advocacy for House 2320/Senate 1278 An Act Establishing an Oral Health Commission and Needs Assessment, which will require the state to convene a diverse oral health commission, analyze statewide data, and address oral health disease and gaps in care in MA. This group will monitor state oral health data on an ongoing basis.

The fourth and fifth respective policy focus areas are sustained/expanded teledentistry and advocacy for innovative care delivery and workforce models like dental therapy.

HCFA will work toward these policy goals through a few different mechanisms and strategies. The HCFA team will leverage its strong relationships with policy makers both on the state and national level, as well as mobilize the Oral Health Advocacy Taskforce, which is comprised of consumers, health care advocates and professionals, and grassroots partners. In 2022, HCFA will create an Oral Health Advocacy subgroup dedicated to improving consumer and provider knowledge of Medicaid benefits, and to developing new oral health leaders by training practicum students. All advocacy work will be continually informed by Health Care for All’s HelpLine, a direct consumer line that provides healthcare navigation services.

As part of the proposal, HCFA shared its internally-focused DEI work, which involves monthly Racial Justice Talking Circles among staff including relevant topics like cultural humility and competency, white supremacy culture and privilege, etc. External demonstrations of their DEI strategy include expanding their Health Justice Campaign, which engages community members in listening and feedback sessions around oral health work, and intentional engagement with diverse stakeholders among the Oral Health Advocacy Taskforce.

The total budget for this proposal is $185,991. Over $100,000 of the budget is allocated toward staff time – almost 2 FTEs over 6 individual staff members. The remainder of the budget covers administrative fees. This request represents 4% of HCFA’s overall budget.

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