Editor’s note: Each Wednesday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Health Beat,” a round-up health-related topics. –––––––––––––––
DELTA DENTAL GIVES $150,000 TO UAMS’ CENTER TO SUPPORT LOCAL DENTAL CARE
The Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation recently presented a $150,000 check to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) 12th Street Health and Wellness Center to support dental care and encourage dental education and residency at UAMS. The 12th Street Center’s dental service has seen more than 400 patients since opening last year.
Patients are often seen first at the center, with some being referred for the next level of care at the UAMS Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation Oral Health Clinic. The three-year grant is Delta Dental’s second in 2016 to support dental care and inter-professional care at the 12th Street Center in Little Rock, following a $30,000 gift in March.
Dental hygiene students and dental residents at the center provide oral screenings and basic dental care under supervision of licensed dentists and dental hygienists. Services there include cleanings, simple fillings and extractions.
CMS AWARDS $63 MILLION IN CONSUMER ASSISTANCE FUNDING TO SUPPORT 2017 OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT
With open enrollment for the federal Health Insurance Marketplace only a few weeks away, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced $63 million in “navigator” grants to returning and new organizations.
The funding will support local in-person assistance to help consumers shop and enroll for federal health care coverage. Navigators are trained individuals and organizations who help consumers, small businesses, and employees as they look for health coverage options and financial assistance through the Affordable Care Act-mandated marketplace.
They can meet in person with consumers and help them understand the coverage options available to them as well as help them pick, apply for, and enroll in a plan of their choice. This year, 96 returning organizations and two new organizations in the state of Hawaii received a grant award.
FDA APPROVES NEW LASER SURGERY PROCEDURE TO TREAT NEARSIGHTEDNESS
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday (Sept. 13) approved the VisuMax Femtosecond Laser for the small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) procedure to reduce or eliminate nearsightedness in certain patients 22 years of age or older.
Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a common vision condition in which close objects are seen clearly, but objects farther away are blurred. It occurs when the eye focuses light in front of the retina. This can be due to the shape of the cornea being too steep and/or the length of the eyeball being too long.
The VisuMax Femtosecond Laser removes a small amount of eye tissue to permanently reshape the cornea. A femtosecond (very fast, short-pulsed) laser makes cuts within the cornea, creating a disc-shaped piece of tissue that is removed by the surgeon through a small incision in the surface of the cornea. This tissue removal causes the shape of the cornea to change, which corrects the nearsightedness.