Our comments were submitted during the public's open comment period at the OHPB meeting on 1/4/21. Public comment around Oregon's 1115 Medicaid Waiver ended 1/7/21, and both our written and verbal comments will move forward to the national Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) as part of the Medicaid Waiver processfor Oregon.
Feel free to email me or call if you have questions about our testimony. My contact info is at the bottom of the page.
Link to recording of meeting. Christian testifies on behalf of ASK at 2:28:40 time stamp in the youtube video.
Two-minute verbal comment provided during the comment period:
Thank you for the opportunity to share some feedback about the 1115 Waiver Renewal Application.
My name is Christian Moller-Andersen and I serve as the Executive Director for A Smile for Kids. We are an Oregon based private 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that funds orthodontic treatment for our Medicaid youth in all of Oregon’s 36 counties.
A Smile for Kids has existed since 2004, because Oregon excludes OHP kids from any orthodontic treatment, unless there is a cleft palate or craniofacial syndrome involved.
We are disappointed that OHA has requested that CMS renew the State’s authority to restrict coverage for treatment services identified during EPSDT screenings to those services that are consistent with the prioritized list of health services for individuals above age one.
We think this waiver is unnecessary for OHA to achieve its programmatic goals, and we are especially concerned about its impact on children with handicapping malocclusion. In all other states, the Medicaid program covers medically necessary orthodontic services for children who have this severe and life-altering condition. Handicapping malocclusion can interfere with eating, speaking, sleeping, smiling, and normal social relating. It can affect both the physical and the social/emotional development of children. Its impacts can be felt over a lifetime in the loss of achievements in education, possibilities in employment, and a reduction in overall health and wellness, including mental health. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Oregon’s most vulnerable children are currently denied access to critical and medically necessary care, care that should be covered as part of the EPSDT benefit. A Smile for Kids does its best to fill this gap, but we have resources to serve only about 60 new applicants each year and usually have 200 active kids during non-covid times.
We have filed more detailed written comments, but the bottom line is that we urge OHA to reconsider its request to waive these EPSDT requirements.
Written testimony with greater detail submitted:
mobile: (541) 280-4214