Online Program

Use of Regional Oral Health Specialists to Advance Innovative Efforts to Expand Oral Health Services for the Medically Underserved

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

Beth Wyatt, MPH, Prevention Services Division, Health Equity and Access Branch, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver, CO
Over the last several years, the Oral Health Program (OHP) at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CPDHE) has made significant progress expanding access to oral health care for all Coloradans, especially among low-income and minority populations. Successes include the expansion of policy initiatives, integrated models of care, and the development of regional oral health specialists (ROHS) in dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (dental HPSA).  These advances are in direct alignment with the Triple Aim framework to provide quality population-based initiatives that decrease healthcare costs.

In 2014, the OHP assisted in the expansion of Medicaid reimbursements of oral health services by dental and qualified medical providers for both preventive and comprehensive services. This year will show advances, as well. There is significant opportunity to further enhance Medicaid reimbursement for dental services and plans to pilot a teledentistry project, the Virtual Dental Home initiative, in areas of high need. These advancements to improve population health for all Coloradans are occurring simultaneously as OHP expands the Cavity Free at Three (CF3) program, which increases the integration of primary care and dentistry. The ROHS periodically conduct community assessments to support and advance policy and programmatic efforts throughout the state.  This work is enhanced by collaborating with local public agencies and key stakeholders to expand evidence-based community oral health initiatives.  These initiatives lay the foundation for the expansion of innovative services including teledentistry and co-location, putting Colorado in the forefront of public oral health efforts.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe alternative ways to expand access to oral health care. Evaluate and assess alternative initiatives to expand access to oral health care services and how they might work in your community . Discuss Colorado’s integrated models of care with primary care and dentistry.

Keyword(s): Oral Health, Community-Based Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on community based planning and implementation projects for many years. For the past year, I have worked in the Oral Health Program at the Colorado Department of Public Health assisting with innovative initiatives that I want to share with other states and communities.
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.