The HCA purchases healthcare for more than 2 million Washington residents through Apple Health (Medicaid). It issued a request for proposals in May for organizations to detail how they would ensure accountability for quality dental care for Medicaid recipients under a managed care system and made its decisions based on those proposals.
“Our goal is to develop a more efficient and effective system of care for Medicaid patients and providers,” said Diane Oakes, president and CEO of the Arcora Foundation, the Foundation of Delta Dental of Washington.
“Oral health is essential to overall health, and yet annually nearly 50% of lower-income children and 78% of lower-income adults in the state of Washington don’t receive dental care. We are excited to have this opportunity to reduce health disparities and ensure that many more people are able to access care,” said Oakes.
One of the goals of the new managed care benefits programs is to expand access to care by increasing the number of dentists and other healthcare providers who will agree to provide oral health services to Medicaid patients. Other goals include reducing emergency room visits for dental services, improving oral health outcomes for Medicaid clients, and coordinating dental care and medical care.
The managed care programs also aim to retain current outreach efforts such as the Oral Health Connections pilot, which is designed to increase the number of pregnant women and people with diabetes who receive dental care, and Access to Child and Baby Dentistry (ABCD). Supported by the Arcora Foundation, ABCD has supported all 39 counties in the state over the past 17 years.