DentaQuest Posts Successes in First Year of TennCare Contract
Contract Benchmarks Exceeded as More Kids Access Tennessee's Medicaid Dental Program
DentaQuest today announced that it met or exceeded every contractual target in its first year of managing the Tennessee child dental Medicaid – or TennCare – program, creating better access to critical oral care for approximately 750,000 eligible children. “Our partnership with TennCare and the state of Tennessee resulted in the success of our contract that put childhood oral health first, and we’re proud of these results,” said Steven Brady, the Tennessee Executive Director for DentaQuest. “Innovative management practices, enhanced outreach and education to kids and families, and a network of nearly 900 highly-valued dentists statewide all helped us realize this exciting achievement.” TennCare’s contract with DentaQuest is a “risk-share” arrangement in which the vendor carries financial risk by tying any earnings or losses to specific contractual outcomes and performance. Under this arrangement, the providers in the high-value network that DentaQuest built surpassed all appointment wait time requirements by at least 30 percent, with the time between scheduling a visit and seeing a dentist being only 11 days for a routine appointment and 10 hours for an emergency appointment. In addition, TennCare members are now only 3.4 miles on average to the closest DentaQuest dentist, and in urban counties including Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, and Shelby, within 1.8 miles on average. The company also exceeded the required member participation ratio by 1.7 percentage points. All of this was done while significantly reducing the cost of the program. Brady credited the increased participation in the program to a robust outreach effort that he and his colleagues organized to better educate families and children on the importance of routine dental care. Seventy-five community oral health education events were held in 2014, with 33 percent of them held in rural areas where children have been found to be particularly vulnerable. “You have to be strategic in this outreach. We wanted to both reach the most people and reach the people who needed it the most,” Brady said. DentaQuest is the third largest oral health company in the United States. Along with its charitable DentaQuest Foundation and its educational DentaQuest Institute, its mission is to improve the oral health of all.