Online Program

Putting the mouth back into the body: Oral health in health care reform

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Burton Edelstein, DDS, MPH, Columbia University, New York, NY
The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 represented a historic step forward not only for reforming the nation's health care system but also for making oral health a true health care priority. Through nearly two dozen provisions, the ACA establishes a multi-faceted and integrated approach to addressing America's oral health crisis, especially among children. Through the new health insurance exchanges and the essential health benefits package, Congress extended comprehensive dental coverage to millions of children. In order to support this expansion in coverage, the law is also designed to improve education and training of oral health professionals, expand the oral health workforce, bolster state-level dental public health infrastructure, improve the existing data collection and surveillance systems, test new models of care delivery, and place a greater emphasis on prevention and early intervention.

While not all of these provisions have been funded, as states enroll new children in coverage leading up to 2014, we must begin to implement the greater policy framework established by the ACA in order to truly achieve better oral health at lower costs for more individuals. This presentationwill focus on an exploration of that framework, an examination of ongoing implementation efforts, and a look to the future for continued improvement.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Identify the oral health provisions in the Affordable Care Act. Demonstrate an understanding of policy efforts to improve children’s oral health over the past decade. Explain how the oral health provisions in the Affordable Care Act interact with existing oral health initiatives in programs such as Medicaid and CHIP.

Keyword(s): Health Reform, Oral Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Senior Policy Analyst and President Emeritus of the Children's Dental Health Project, a DC-based non-profit policy and analysis organization that was involved in securing oral health provisions in the Affordable Care Act and the CHIP Reauthorization Act.
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.