DHMH Oral Health Report Details Gains in Dental Care Access

Baltimore, MD (December 30, 2014) – Maryland continues to perform significantly above the national Health Employer Data Information Set (HEDIS) average for children’s dental services utilization, at 68.3 percent, more than 19 percentage points higher than the 2012 HEDIS average of 49.2 percent. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has shared these data this week with the Governor and General Assembly.
 
The 2014 Annual Oral Health Legislative Report submitted by the Maryland Medicaid Program and the Office of Oral Health within DHMH shared other gains:
 
  • As of August, 1,354 dentists have enrolled with DHMH’s dental provider for Medicaid, DentaQuest, to provide care for enrollees. That is up from 649 in August 2009.
  • Also, approximately 394,000 children and adults in Medicaid received dental care in 2013.
  • In an eight-year period, less than one percent of children enrolled in Medicaid sought treatment for a dental diagnosis in the emergency room.
  • The percentage of pregnant females 14 years and older enrolled for any period receiving a dental service in 2013 was 28.1 percent.
 
“The gains in this Oral Health Report reflect the priority the O'Malley-Brown Administration has placed on improving benchmarks for health – much like we have with such areas as infant mortality and preventable hospitalizations,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “A healthier Maryland is a better and more productive Maryland.”
 
“Over the last eight years, we've remained committed to expanding access to dental care for more Marylanders, and we continue to see results,” said Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown. “While we’re making great progress, there are still far too many adults and children in our state who don’t have access to basic dental services. This important work to ensure that all Marylanders get the quality care they need to lead a healthy, productive life must continue.”
 
“Oral health is inseparable from overall health, and Maryland's efforts to keep residents healthy have been outstanding,” said U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland). “As an author of legislation that will help address this important cause, I am committed to seeing continued success at the federal level and here in our state.”
 
“Oral health remains a critical component of overall health,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of DHMH. “We have worked hard in Maryland to provide greater access to oral health services.”
 
“Establishing sound oral health behaviors in children through access to these services pays dividends over time,” said Harry Goodman, Director of the DHMH Office of Oral Health. “It is our goal to see even greater utilization in the future.” 
 
“The Maryland Dental Action Coalition is proud of our ongoing work with the Office of Oral Health as we continue to find ways to provide access to oral health for all Marylanders,” said Margie Donohue, Executive Director of the Maryland Dental Action Coalition.
 
The report may be viewed here
 

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WCHD News

(Snow Hill, MD)- Worcester County Emergency Service officials urge residents to exercise extreme caution and check on elderly and infirm neighbors during the heatwave forecasted to last through Sunday. Heat indexes for the shore are expected to rise above 100 degrees this week and exposure to extreme heat can be dangerous for humans and animals, even deadly.

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Extreme Heat often results in the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. In most of the United States, extreme heat is defined as a long period (2 to 3 days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. This can lead to death by overworking the human body. Remember that:

Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.

Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.

Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.

IF YOU ARE UNDER AN EXTREME HEAT WARNING:

  • Find air conditioning.
  • Avoid strenuous activities.
  • Watch for heat illness.
  • Wear light clothing.
  • Check on family members and neighbors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car. Read more ...

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    Snow Hill, MD- The Worcester County Health Department has confirmed eight rabies cases locally since the beginning of 2019, emphasizing the importance of rabies awareness and proper pet vaccination. The latest confirmed positive rabies case was a groundhog found on Manklin Creek Rd in the Ocean Pines area on July 3.

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    The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. The response has been overwhelming with thousands of awareness activities in the USA and around the globe.

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    The Worcester County Health Department will host a free, week-long health and wellness camp for youth age 12-17 this summer. From June 17-21, campers will learn about the importance of health, fitness, setting personal goals and much more. The summer camp is part of Worcester Health’s Promoting Health Among Teens program and will feature guest speakers, snacks and lunch, learning activities and field trips to locations around Worcester including the Jolly Roger amusement park in Ocean City.

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 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program