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M3 Policy Competency Discussion /paper - Assignment Example

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Policymaking and Dental Care in the Health Reform Name: Institution: Evaluation of the process of agenda setting as it relates to policymaking Agenda setting is often considered the initial stage of the policy-making process. During the agenda-setting process, problems are identified, translated into issues and the issues prioritized in terms of urgency and importance…
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Download file to see previous pages Policymaking as a multidimensional and dynamic process is significantly influenced by the values of those individuals involved in the establishment of the policy agenda (Cohen, 1999). Problem-centered policymaking processes such as dental health promotion policies are significantly influenced by agenda setting stage in which the problem is identified, policies formulated, policy alternatives identified and policy goals aligned with policy adoption process. In public policymaking, once a problem such as deteriorating dental or oral health attains the issue status, its urgency and importance must be able to compete with other issues with health care setting for attention and resources. Active agenda consists of those issues to which decisions makers are applying and pushing for resources. It should be noted that not all issues reach the active agenda and appear on the lower section of the priority list, leading them for consideration for funding in the future (Cohen, 1999). Therefore, the agenda setting stage must be effective enough to ensure that the proposed policy can compete effectively with other issues requiring funding from the government. For example, the issue of dental health promotion in the agenda setting in the Medicaid program must be able to compete sufficiently with other health issue to guarantee resource allocation and funding. Dental Care in Health Reform Current health reform significant focus is on dental care entailing changes in safety net, workforce, infrastructure and payment is likely to impact positively on the School-based sealant program in Massachusetts (MA). The school-based sealant program has been introduced and implemented in line with the evidence based recommendations by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as an effective measure for the prevention of tooth decay. However, despite the evidence that sealants can be almost 100% effective in preventing tooth decay, only 46% of the 3rd graders in MA have dental sealants (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2013). The school-based and school-linked sealant programs are supported by the MA Department of Public Health. However, the program has failed in some areas including the lack of assessment and diagnostic efforts in the implementation of the program as well as inadequate funding from the federal government. However, implementation of the dental care reform in the health reform holds a lot of promise in enhancing the effectiveness of the school-based sealant program among other prevention programs targeted at the school-going children. Increase in federal funding for dental health program is one of the provisions in the reform that is likely to positively impact the number of children benefiting from the sealant program. The grants for the establishment of school-based health centers program which establishes a $50M fund will boost the implementation of the sealant program through the school-based health centers (The Children’s Dental Health Project, 2011). Establishment of the school-based health centers will bridge the assessment, screening and diagnosis of dental problems including decay of teeth among children currently emerging as a limitation in the success of the MA school-based sealant programs. Increased funding will ensure all schools inclusive of private schools adopt or implement the sealant progra ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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