Ohio News Service: Poll Puts Some Teeth into Efforts to Expand Ohio's Dental Team

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A new poll is adding some teeth to efforts to bring a new face to dental care in Ohio. There are more than 80 dental health professional shortage areas in the state, where there are not enough dentists to meet the needs of the community.

A statewide poll of 800 voters released Tuesday by the Dental Access Now coalition indicated that nearly 67 percent of Ohioans support changing the law to allow dental therapists to perform routine procedures, such as filling cavities. Columbus-area pediatric dentist Dr. Ed Sterling said these trained specialists work under a dentist's supervision. "The idea is to not only improve access to care," he said, "but also to free up the dentist's time so that the dentist's training and experience, which certainly exceeds that of a therapist, is spent in a more efficient way."

UHCAN Ohio Calls on Ohio Dept. of Insurance to Hold Hearings on Consumer Impact of Proposed Health Insurance Companies’ Mergers

“Today UHCAN Ohio joined other consumer advocates who submitted comments requesting the Ohio Department of Insurance to hold hearings on the two proposed mergers of health insurance companies, Cigna with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Aetna with Humana.

Our concern is for the millions of Ohioans currently insured by these companies and the potential impact the mergers would have on the affordability of coverage in Ohio’s insurance market. Ohio already faces some of the highest health insurance premiums in the country. One of the major culprits of Ohio’s high premiums is the lack of competition among insurers and these mergers will only make matters worse.

Consumers Spoke, MyCare Ohio Listened: Enrollees Will Now Get Durable Medical Equipment Faster

Consumer input CAN change our health care system for the better. In a recent blog, we shared how our survey of MyCare Ohio enrollees’ experiences informed decisions to improve care coordination and the availability of all services, supplies, and equipment. We’ve continued to use the survey findings to advocate for changes to make health care work better for all MyCare Ohio enrollees, and we’re happy to share another success!

Ohio Consumer Voice for Integrated Care (OCVIC) is UHCAN Ohio’s statewide coalition that is working to improve the care of older adults and people with disabilities enrolled in MyCare Ohio by bringing the voice of consumers to the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) and Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). Our efforts influenced the Ohio Department of Medicaid to create a new measurement that guides the Managed Care Organizations to reduce the time it takes to approve a request or process an appeal for Durable Medical Equipment (DME). Our survey identified this as a problem for many enrollees, showing that:

80% of respondents reported that they require the use of DME, yet 73% stated they did not receive a needed upgrade or replacement in a timely manner.

This change means enrollees will get their needed equipment faster or their appeal processed faster.

Thanks to the all the people who distributed the survey and the over 3,000 enrollees who shared their concerns and experiences. Together we can get Ohioans the care they need to lead healthier lives through an organized consumer voice. To join the coalition or learn more about what OCVIC is doing, contact John Arnold.

UHCAN Ohio Announces New Executive Director, Steve Wagner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                CONTACT: Lorin Ranbom,
Friday, December 18th                                          614-774-3058

UHCAN Ohio’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that, after a national search, we have selected Steve Wagner, MPH, JD, as UHCAN Ohio’s new Executive Director. Wagner brings more than 25 years of public health experience, the majority with the Ohio Department of Health.

“The Board of UHCAN Ohio couldn’t be more pleased with the selection of Steve Wagner as Executive Director,” said Board Chair Lorin Ranbom. “Steve’s commitment to data-driven solutions to address health disparities, his understanding of the health care system, and his familiarity with decision makers in Ohio will help take UHCAN Ohio to a new level in our mission to achieve quality, affordable health care for all Ohioans.”

“It’s an honor to join UHCAN Ohio and lead the organization into the next era of health care reform with the consumer voice at the center,” said Wagner. “The Affordable Care Act was a great step in transforming the health care system, but there are still too many barriers to people getting the quality care they need. Ohio has some of the highest rates of health disparities. Health insurance premiums, co-pays, and deductibles are still not affordable for many. Basic health needs like oral and behavioral health are not being met. The consumer voice must be at the center of solving healthcare issues; there’s nothing more personal and intrinsic to a person’s life than their health.”

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