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Key State Issues
September 9, 2022 by ADEA

Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse

ADEA staff has conducted a review and analysis of state legislation recently enacted as well as state rules and regulations recently finalized regarding prescription drug and opioid abuse. The information has been compiled into a state-by-state chart. We trust this information will be useful to prescribers to determine how new legislation, rules and regulations might affect them in their states. Note, if you see “NA” next to a state, that indicates that no information was available at the time of inquiry.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 400,000 people died between 1999 and 2017 from an overdose that involved an opioid. In response to this epidemic, many states have enacted legislation, rules and regulations to address this public health crisis.

To stay updated, please visit the ADEA U.S. Interactive Legislative and Regulatory Tracking Map and select “Opioids” from the drop-down menu. Information on the ADEA interactive maps is updated daily.

Read the 2021 ADEA Summary of State Legislation and Regulations Addressing Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse

 

Teledentistry State Statutes and Regulations

The following documents are compilations of state statutes and regulations that address teledentistry or telehealth conducted by oral health practitioners. Each state’s laws and regulations may be divided into three parts: requirements and permissible practices, Medicaid reimbursement, and private payer reimbursement. Some states do not address all three of these topic areas and as a result, a state may have fewer sections.

The chart included provides a brief comparison of common state teledentistry/telehealth policies. It is meant to be quick reference guide and a companion to the compilations.

Because this analysis only focuses on laws as they apply to oral health care providers, it may not include telehealth policies that apply to other groups of health care practitioners.


Research data are current as of September 2021. Documents are intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact Phil Mauller, ADEA Director of State Relations and Advocacy, at maullerp@adea.org with any updates or information that may be relevant to this document.

 

Medicaid Dental Services

Dental Services for Adults

Medicaid is a joint and voluntary program between the federal government and the states, with the mission to provide health insurance coverage to low-income individuals throughout the country. States have flexibility to determine what dental benefits are provided to adult Medicaid enrollees. Currently, there are no minimum requirements for adult dental coverage. According to a 2016 issue brief from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, 15 states provide comprehensive dental benefits, while 13 states provide emergency-only dental benefits.

Dental Services for Children

Medicaid covers dental services for all child enrollees as part of a comprehensive set of benefits, referred to as the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit. Though oral screening may be part of a physical exam, it does not substitute for a dental examination performed by a dentist. A referral to a dentist is required for every child in accordance with the periodicity schedule set by a state. Dental services for children must minimally include: relief of pain and infections; restoration of teeth; and maintenance of dental health. In addition, the EPSDT benefit requires that all services must be provided if determined medically necessary. States determine medical necessity.

 

Community Water Fluoridation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recognized water fluoridation as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

Currently, more than 207 million people in the United States are served by public water supplies containing enough fluoride to protect teeth. Even so, approximately 100 million Americans do not have access to fluoridated water. The current population with access to fluoridated water is approximately 73%.

According to the CDC, nearly all naturally occurring water sources contain fluoride—a mineral that has been proven to prevent, and even reverse, tooth decay. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth. When a person eats sugar and other refined carbohydrates, these bacteria produce acid that removes minerals from the surface of the tooth. Fluoride helps to remineralize tooth surfaces and prevents cavities from continuing to form.

Several state and local governments have been discussing whether to ban water fluoridation in their communities. Learn where your state ranks with regard to community water fluoridation. View water fluoridation statistics.

Explore ADEA's interactive infographic on the success water fluoridation has had on public health here

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