242580 Establishing Accountability in the Dental Healthcare Industry to Promote Oral Health and Drive Utilization

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ramneet Kalra, MPH/MBA Candidate , School of Preventive Medicine and Public Health and Business Administration, Stony Brook University, New Hyde Park, NY
Fred Ferguson, DDS , Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine, Stony Brook, NY
Norman Edelman, MD , Department of Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY
The common oral illnesses (i.e. tooth decay, bleeding gums, oral malodor, and bone loss) are preventable. Studies demonstrate that timely dental visits and improved consumer awareness decrease the prevalence of poor oral health. Increasingly, studies validate an intimate connection between oral and overall health. Quality Assurance Reporting Requirement (QARR) and Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures consistently demonstrate low utilization of dental care services. To increase utilization rates, the finger-pointing and lack of accountability amongst the payer, provider and consumer needs to be addressed. Given the nature and prevalence of poor oral health, oral health education (behavioral intervention) provides an effective and efficient method for overall health promotion. Recommendations to increase accountability, consumer autonomy, competence and timely utilization of dental care are made. Short term changes include lowering the HEDIS age level and adding specific oral health and dental visit measures to HEDIS, raising national and statewide QARR measures, creating vectors for caregiver oral health education including multilingual oral health education “outlets”, multilingual public media oral health information tools, training non dentist providers of preventive services as oral health educators and training and incentivize providers. Long term modification includes implementation of auditing protocols for government sponsored programs and offices, monitoring wastage, and creation of a method that can provide transparency to health promotion and care.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe obstacles to accountability to oral health amongst the payer, provider, and consumer in the dental healthcare industry. Summarize the connections between oral and overall health. Describe obstacles to dental utilization. Identify measures of dental utilization. Discuss how a change in allocation in revenue to drive health literacy and preventive dental visits will reduce costs to state and government funded programs. Describe how short and long term solutions to oral health and dental utilization will benefit overall health.

Keywords: Accountability, Oral Health Outcomes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the data manager and analyst for an oral health assessment program and have provided consultancy in promoting access and utilization of dental care
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.