The VDA had a very successful Legislative Reception and Lobby Day in January and we thank everyone who attended and advocated on behalf of dentistry. More than 100 dentists and dental students from across Virginia met with their legislators at the General Assembly Building Friday, January 21 in Richmond. After a breakfast with a keynote address from Attorney General Jason Miyares, dentists and dental students met with their representatives in the House of Delegates and State Senate. They explained the importance of expanding access to dental care by meaningfully increasing reimbursement rates for the dental Medicaid benefit. There has been significant erosion to the benefit from inflation and rising costs since the last increase in 2005.
Our top priority this year was increasing the dental Medicaid reimbursement rates. On Tuesday, June 21, Governor Youngkin ceremonially signed a budget that included a 30% increase in dental Medicaid reimbursement rates. That change went into effect July 1, 2022.
The budget also included funding and language requested by the VDA to require DMAS to cover necessary general anesthesia and hospitalization, or facility charges, for Medicaid eligible children under age ten receiving dental services who require such services.
The VDA fought to fund these important initiatives in the budget – more than $116 million in new annual funding in year one – to expand access to oral healthcare and will continue to advocate for members as they face challenges with third party payers.
If you weren’t able to make it to our Legislative Reception and/or Lobby Day this year, we hope that you will be able to advocate with us in 2023. Join us for Dental Days at the Capitol, January 26-27, 2023, at the Omni in downtown Richmond. Find information on this important event here. Contact Laura Givens at email@example.com with questions.