enews 2-4-2016

Efforts continue to defeat board bill
As a follow-up to the January 27 “E-NEWS” reporting on legislation to increase the
number of public members on the WV Board of Dentistry from the current one to 8,
WVDA continues its efforts to defeat any such legislation.
Budget hearings held on Medicaid
The Senate and House Finance Committees heard testimony this week from
Medicaid officials regarding various programs and financial status.  DHHR officials
told lawmakers that Medicaid’s budget will be $4.061 billion in fiscal year 2017.
Enrollment in Medicaid increased from 353,000 in 2013 to 538,000 in 2015.  The
increase is attributed to the expansion which began in 2014.  A single person
making $1,320 per month is now eligible for Medicaid under the expansion.
The federal government will pay 100% – $727 million – of the cost of the expansion
in 2016, then $540 million in 2017 when the federal match rate declines from 100%
to 95%.   The federal match will decline one percent per year thereafter.
Children make up 35% of the total enrollees, followed by adults making up 41%
and the “aged/disabled” making up the balance of 24%.
Expenditures for all health care services increased from $3.013 billion in 2013 to
$3.707 billion in 2015.  The additional expense is primarily attributed to expansion
of the program  The federal government paid 71.09% of total expenses in 2013, and
71.42% in 2015.  The increase in federal share is a result of West Virginia’s declining
economy.  West Virginia is second only to Mississippi in the percentage of funding
received by the feds for Medicaid.
Local anesthesia course available to dental hygienists
Attached is registration information on a four-day local anesthesia course being held
at Bridge Valley Community & Technical College in Montgomery, March 30 to April 2.
Dentists may wish to convey this information to their dental hygienists.