The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) has awarded a one-year dental benefit management contract to DentaQuest, the nation’s largest and most experienced Medicaid dental benefits administrator, according to the company.
OHCA selected DentaQuest, LIBERTY Dental, and MCNA Dental to administer benefits for the more than 770,000 Medicaid-enrolled eligible adults and children statewide.
“We are honored to support the state by ensuring access to high-quality oral healthcare for SoonerCare members,” said Dr. Jandra Korb, dental director for DentaQuest Oklahoma.
“DentaQuest is also proud to support Governor Stitt’s plan to transform Oklahoma into a top 10 state in terms of health outcomes, including oral health,” Korb said.
“We will do this by implementing time-tested and cutting-edge approaches to improve oral health outcomes, increase care access, and improve accountability across our system,” Korb said.
In alignment with the state’s goals, DentaQuest said it is specifically focused on ensuring more people see a dentist at least once a year with programs that establish dental homes for children and adults, support patients who previously have missed dental appointments, and enable much needed care for those who have been historically marginalized.
DentaQuest said it will lead a combination of high-touch interventions including case management, targeted enrollee education and incentives, and grassroots community-based outreach.
The boots on the ground approach will help counter some of the unique barriers to care faced by Medicaid populations across Oklahoma’s urban and rural geographies, including the state’s 38 tribes and tribal organizations and its growing Hispanic/Latinx population, DentaQuest said.
DentaQuest also will be expanding benefits for pregnant women over the age of 21 by covering dental cleanings. Previously, pregnant women only were eligible for extractions, despite being at high risk for early stage periodontal disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since last year, DentaQuest said, it has held meetings with stakeholders across Oklahoma to learn about unique populations, regional variation, program strengths, opportunities for improvement, and barriers to care.
DentaQuest also said it has met with organizations representing a range of populations and perspectives including tribal officials, Indian Health Services, community organizations, safety net providers, public health agencies, foundations, and dental schools.
The feedback and input these meetings will inform DentaQuest’s innovative approach to oral called Preventistry, which emphasizes education, accessibility, early intervention, and prevention, the company said, helping to deliver the governor’s plan to improve health outcomes for all state residents.