Skip to main content
Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Health
News by Topic: Oral health

Jul 23, 2024 - Describes findings of a new report from the Alaska Division of Public Health showing improvements in dental health among children 3 and younger across various metrics. Identifies possible factors contributing to the positive trends, including Medicaid expansion and the expansion of the Dental Health Aide Therapist program. Discusses ongoing rural dental health disparities and recommendations for improvement.
Source: Alaska Beacon
Jul 17, 2024 - Describes the role of dental therapists, a provider type licensed to provide basic preventative care under the supervision of a dentist, in expanding oral healthcare access in rural and underserved communities. Highlights the work of dental therapists in tribal communities in Alaska and Washington, where oral health needs are significant and dentists are in short supply.
Source: Stateline
Jul 11, 2024 - Pre-publication notice of a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) addressing: 1) changes to the Physician Fee Schedule and Medicare Part B payment policies; 2) policies for the Medicare Prescription Drug Inflation Rebate program under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022; 3) updates to the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program expanded model; payment for dental services inextricably linked to specific covered medical services; 4) updates to drugs and biological products paid under Part B including immunosuppressive drugs and clotting factors; 5) Medicare Shared Savings Program requirements; 6) updates to the Quality Payment Program; 7) Medicare coverage of opioid use disorder services furnished by opioid treatment programs; 8) updates to policies for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs); 9) electronic prescribing for controlled substances for a covered Part D drug under a prescription drug plan or an MA-PD plan; 10) updates to the Ambulance Fee Schedule regulations; 11) updates to Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule regulations; 12) updates to the diabetes payment structure and COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) flexibilities; 13) expansion of colorectal cancer screening and Hepatitis B vaccine coverage and payment; 14) establishing payment for drugs covered as additional preventive services; and 15) Medicare Parts A and B Overpayment Provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Comments are due by September 9, 2024.
Source: Federal Register
Jul 9, 2024 - Northern Michigan University in Marquette will study the feasibility of developing and sustaining a dental hygiene education program to meet workforce needs and enhance oral health services for residents of the Upper Peninsula. The study will be funded by a $71,500 grant from the Delta Dental Foundation.
Source: Radio Results Network
Jul 1, 2024 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announces the availability of the complete lists of all geographic areas, population groups, and facilities designated as primary care, mental health, and/or dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). HPSA designations that are currently proposed for withdrawal will remain in this status until they are re-evaluated in preparation for the publication of the HPSA Federal Register notice on or before November 1, 2024. Lists are available on the shortage areas topic page on and are current as of April 15, 2024.
Source: Federal Register
May 31, 2024 - Highlights a new federally-funded initiative designed to address dental workforce shortages in Maryland, affecting primarily low-income and rural areas. Outlines rural-related barriers to oral healthcare including lack of transportation to appointments.
Source: Maryland Matters