On Wednesday, March 28th DentaQuest and the National Safety Net Advancement Center hosted the First Oral Health Summit on the Transformation of Health Care and Finance. The event brought together more than 60 stakeholders representing providers, payers, membership and advocacy organizations, and academic institutions.
The first part of the day was spent discussing the current payment reform environment in Medicaid, with presenters sharing a national, state and a local perspective. After the morning presentations, participants were asked to discuss how we move from the existing fee-for-service model that is so prevalent in oral health to a value-based payment system. They were also asked to identify what they believe are important components of a value-based oral health care system based on existing trends. Although a variety of ideas came out of the group discussion, the most common responses included:
- Defined outcome measures
- Sound IT infrastructure
- Provider buy-in
- The breakdown of silos
- The ability to mine the right data to evaluate results
- Improved oral health literacy across all stakeholders
- A payment system that supports change.
The afternoon sessions offered the provider perspective when it comes to the transformation of oral health care delivery, including an example of value-based care in a Federally Qualified Health Center setting as well as large scale innovations taking place at Permanente Dental Associates (Kaiser Permanente).
Based on the information that was shared by each presenter, participants were asked to discuss the major barriers preventing us from moving toward a value-based oral health care delivery system. The majority of participants identified the following barriers:
- A lack of buy-in across spectrums
- Limited availability of data
- The value proposition not being defined
- Current payment models and infrastructure not supporting change
- A lack of evidence-based care in dentistry.
To help bring everything together, each table then identified three talking points they would use to get buy-in from policy makers, payers, providers and the public for the transformation of care to a value-based system. Responses encompassed notions of better health outcomes, cost-savings, tying payment to quality and access resulting in improved patient outcomes, and the value of good oral health in relation to overall health across the lifespan.
Overall the Summit allowed a diverse group of stakeholders to come together and share information, discuss the current health care transformation landscape, and explore how oral health fits into that environment. Both barriers and breakthroughs were identified, which will be helpful in shaping next steps.
DentaQuest and SNAC will continue testing innovative models in various safety net settings in order to determine how the oral health care delivery system can be transformed. Additionally, the organizations will work together to develop a readiness assessment and implementation guide that will help prepare both providers and payers to engage in transformation efforts as we move forward.