Grant Project Title
Michigan Advocacy to Improve Medicaid Dental and Advance Dental Infrastructure Investments
Grantee Address

Michigan Oral Health Coalition
7215 Westshire Drive
Lansing, MI
United States

The mission of Michigan Oral Health Coalition (MOHC) is to mobilize stakeholders and advocate for policies and resources that connect Michiganders to optimal oral health.
MOHC connects oral health professionals, advocates through continuing education opportunities, and supports local coalitions to engage in advocacy around local, state and national public policy.

MOHC has been a funded partner of CareQuest Institute since 2009, with work in recent years being focused on development, dissemination, and execution of the Michigan 2025 State Oral Health Plan in partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Outside of State Oral Health Plan activities, in 2021, MOHC was funded to advocate for structural changes in Michigan’s fee-for-service (FFS) adult dental benefit. Within the 2021 grant year, MOHC fostered relationships with partners to collaboratively develop its specific recommendations for changes to the FFS structure. This foundational work has positioned MOHC to be responsive to enthusiasm from the legislature to reform Medicaid.

In 2022, MOHC will continue its advocacy for reform of the Medicaid FFS dental benefit. Supporting this goal, the Michigan Oral Health Coalition will advocate for the legislative adoption of the recent Governor’s Executive Budget Recommendation to increase funding for adult Medicaid dental services by $243 million to expand services in the benefit array, raise rates, and improve provider participation. In response to this budget recommendation, in early May, the House and Senate Appropriations Committee has proposed rate increases to the Medicaid FFS structure totaling $44 million. With this grant, MOHC will work with partners to develop and garner sign-on support for a counterproposal that not only includes rate increases, but also advocates for expansion of the service array to include restorative care.

At the same time, MOHC will utilize its’ existing Dental Economic Workgroup to examine access, infrastructure, and workforce issues in oral health from an economic development perspective. MOHC will host a statewide series of conversations designed to develop strategies and activities that will engage community leaders as key partners in identifying oral health workforce and access issues. These community conversations will be hosted collaboratively with Michigan’s Local Oral Health Coalitions in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids and Muskegon, all of which represent Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas. The conversations will be structured to explore 1) how community leaders perceive the importance of oral health, 2) if the community views the current oral health workforce shortage as an economic development issue, and 3) the ideas communities have to address oral health access.

MOHC will track the success of these projects through the organization’s “Data Dashboard,” its oral health measurement and surveillance system. This dashboard tracks an annual Oral Health Report Card which includes a universal set of measures used by other states, an annual tally of dental insurance coverage in Michigan, and an annual report of related medical conditions (heart disease, diabetes, oral cancer, etc.).

The total budget for this request is $150,000. Budget line items for this proposal include staff time support for the Executive Director along with contractors for communication/events, data, and advocacy, sub-grants to local coalitions, and travel and hosting fees for community conversations. This request represents about half of the organization's overall budget.

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