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Business briefs - Aug. 25

August 25, 2013

Kool Smiles

Kool Smiles, a dental-care provider in Hagerstown, has given more than $87,473 in free care in 2013 to Hagerstown patients for services above and beyond those covered by Medicaid and state insurance programs.

Kool Smiles dentists determine on a case-by-case basis if additional free care is needed for low-income patients.

Founded in 2002, Kool Smiles has 130 affiliated dental practices across 15 states and the District of Columbia, primarily in underserved communities that have historically lacked sufficient providers for the Medicaid patient population. 

As recently as January, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that approximately 45 million Americans live in “shortage areas.” According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, approximately 80 percent of dentists do not accept patients with Medicaid or State Children’s Health Insurance Plans, or SCHIP, citing, among other reasons, low reimbursement for their services. 

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Kool Smiles helps provide a safety net for such patients, with approximately 80 percent to 90 percent of its patient population consisting of Medicaid or SCHIP enrollees. 

According to the Pew Center’s 2013 report, “In Search Of Dental Care,” each year in the United States, tens of millions of children — disproportionately low-income — go without seeing a dentist. A Pew Center 2011 report on the state of children’s dental health also cited research showing children who do not receive dental care miss a significant number of school days, use costly emergency room services more often and encounter worsened job prospects as adults, compared with their peers who have access to care.

Kool Smiles dental professionals also give back to local communities through partnerships with schools and organizations. 

Pen-Mar Regional Association of Realtors 

The Pen-Mar Regional Association of Realtors held its 19th annual golf tournament Aug. 2 at Black Rock Golf Course in Hagerstown.

A total of 21 teams participated, and $9,000 was raised for Habitat for Humanity of Washington County and Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County, Pa.

The checks will be presented Oct. 4 at the association’s annual membership meeting.

Along with the winning teams, prizes were presented for the longest drive and closest to the pin. 

The Pen-Mar Regional Association of Realtors has contributed approximately $130,000 over the past 19 years to Habitat for Humanity of Washington County and Franklin County.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity, call the Washington County office at 301-791-9009 and the Franklin County office at 717-267-1899.

Maryland Insurance Administration

BALTIMORE — The Maryland Insurance Administration recently launched a Twitter feed, @MD_Insurance, to help consumers get updates on insurance issues and decisions by the state’s insurance regulator.

“The Maryland Insurance Administration’s Twitter feed, along with our website and Facebook page, help us connect with the people we serve,” Insurance Commissioner Therese M. Goldsmith said in a news release.

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