250559 Oral health in aging population: Models to improve utilization and access

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Homa Amini, DDS, MPH, MS , Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
In the US, the proportion of the population aged >65 years has increased significantly over the past decade. This trend is projected to continue and is also observed globally. 50 years ago, the majority of elderly was edentulous and received dental care infrequently. Today, as people live longer and retain more natural teeth, the need for access to oral health services has increased. One of the major barriers to care is the lack of finances. According to the US data, only 22 percent of elderly are covered by dental insurance and most dental expenses are paid out-of-pocket. Routine dental services are not covered by Medicare and coverage is only available for limited services which have been deemed "medically necessary" such as a dental examination prior to kidney transplantation. State Medicaid programs are not required to cover adult dental services and there is limited coverage in most states. This presentation will discuss and analyze the proposed models by the Institute for Oral Health to improve oral health of elderly. Recommendations included 1) creation of state-wide elder's oral health insurance program modeled after CHIP; 2) prepaid insurance plans; 3) Medicare-supported dental care; and 4) voluntary, self-insured dental programs.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe oral health status of geriatric population in the US Review trends in utilization of dental services Discuss models to improve access to dental care

Keywords: Access to Care, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee community based programs that improve access to dental services. I have first hand knowledge of barriers to 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.