August 2016 | Newsletter

oral-healthLack of access to oral health care for Medicaid beneficiaries can have serious consequences, including progressive dental disease, costly hospital use, and missed days at school or work. In response, states are increasingly using creative strategies to expand access, increase equity, and integrate oral health care into delivery system reform efforts.

Below are recent resources from the Center for Health Care Strategies designed to help state policymakers, health and oral health plans, providers, advocacy organizations, and other stakeholders advance oral health access and quality for low-income Americans:

Medicaid Adult Dental Benefits: An Overview – This fact sheet identifies key challenges related to oral health care access and utilization for low-income adults, and outlines states’ current coverage of dental benefits for adults in Medicaid. It also suggests opportunities for states to increase oral health care coverage and access for this population.

Oral Health Integration in Statewide Delivery System and Payment Reform – This brief draws on discussions with federal officials, State Innovation Model project leads, and state-level oral health experts to explore strategies for including oral health in payment and delivery system reform. A related webinar features innovations from two states, including the development of primary care integration models in Virginia and the incorporation of oral health into Oregon’s coordinated care organizations.

Advancing Oral Health Equity: A Chat with Health Care for All – This blog post highlights how Health Care for All, a nonprofit advocacy organization focused on improving health care for Massachusetts residents, is integrating a focus on oral health equity across its work.

A Framework for Advancing Oral Health Equity – This webinar explores oral health disparities, their contributing factors, and a framework to help design programs that advance oral health equity. The discussion features insights from Connecticut Oral Health Initiative and North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative.

The Oral Health Equity Logic Model User’s Guide – This technical assistance tool provides a step-by-step guide for completing logic models to improve the equitable impact of oral health programs in a given state, region, or other locale.

Advancing Oral Health through the WIC Program: A New Hampshire Pilot Project – This profile details New Hampshire’s experiences with the Pay-for-Prevention pilot and offers considerations for stakeholders interested in exploring alternative channels for reaching low-income individuals with oral health education and care.

Guiding Innovations to Improve the Oral Health of Adult Medicaid Beneficiaries – This brief draws on a survey and small group consultation with Medicaid oral health stakeholders and thought leaders who identified five areas ripe for innovations in oral health access and outcomes.