DentaQuest To Expand Oral Health Care Access With Louisiana Medicaid
DentaQuest commits to ensuring more Louisianans visit the dentist each year to create overall healthier communities
The Louisiana Department of Health recently awarded a three-year contract to DentaQuest, the nation’s largest and most experienced Medicaid benefits administrator, as one of two dental managed care providers for Medicaid-enrolled adults and children statewide. DentaQuest is providing more than 840,000 people with Medicaid and CHIP dental benefits that cover a full range of care with a focus on prevention and access. Operations for the new contract began Jan. 1, 2021.
DentaQuest, which has already covered other Medicare, Medicaid and Marketplace enrollees in Louisiana for eight years, now ensures oral health care access for nearly 1 million Louisianans.
“DentaQuest is working with the state, partners, clients and providers to make oral health care more affordable and easier to access,” said George Bucher, CEO for DentaQuest in Louisiana. “We are doing our part — amid the pandemic in particular — to ensure a strong and resilient oral health community in Louisiana.”
In alignment with the state’s goals, DentaQuest is specifically focused on ensuring more people see a dentist at least once per year with programs that establish dental homes for both children and adults, support patients who have previously missed dental appointments, and enable much-needed care for those who have disproportionately lacked access.
Establishing dental homes and reducing missed appointments involve individualized case management support for members. For instance, people who live in Delta areas, which are culturally different than the rest of the state and differ from typical American rural communities, face unique challenges to get to the dentist. DentaQuest case managers are working to remove barriers that contribute to missed appointments, such as connecting members with transportation already covered by the individual’s medical benefit.
DentaQuest also increased the benefit for adult tooth extractions because, even though dentists work to save a tooth when they can, many people who have long lacked dental care have passed the point of restoration. To qualify for covered dentures, which ensures a person can chew nutritious foods and improves social interactions, adults must have fewer than six teeth. The increased extraction benefit helps individuals in need qualify for the dentures benefit with less money out of pocket. Moreover, patients with severe oral care conditions requiring extraction would otherwise end up in the emergency department, where care is more costly and usually only addresses the pain.
DentaQuest also supports the health of Louisiana families and communities through its dedicated regional teams and countless employee volunteer hours at local events. In addition, DentaQuest recently invested in a variety of community outreach efforts to improve daily life for many Louisianans. “We’re proud to lend our support to organizations helping communities navigate this particularly challenging period,” Bucher said.
In 2020, DentaQuest donated:
- $25,000 to the Louisiana Dental Society Foundation for the purchase and distribution of PPE to Louisiana dentists and dental care teams;
- $10,000 to GaitWay Equine Therapeutic Horsemanship, which helps individuals with intellectual or developmental delays, physical limitations from conditions including scoliosis and MS, and mental health struggles including ADHD and anxiety, maintain critical connections with support amid the pandemic quarantine; and
- $10,000 to Louisiana State University (LSU) School of Dentistry Student Outreach Fund for community activities by faculty members, dental students and dental hygiene students. Annually, LSU students provide hundreds of hours of oral health care and education for underserved communities in the Greater New Orleans Area.
For this year’s Children’s Dental Health Month in February, DentaQuest is also providing $8,000 for Eat Move Grow to improve access and services for rural Louisiana children. This corporate giving donation will support oral health education in elementary schools throughout 17 high-need rural, Delta parishes, as well as health kits for 15,000 children that include a water bottle, toothbrush, toothpaste and oral hygiene information.
“Good oral health extends beyond the mouth,” Bucher said. “As a partner in the state’s overall efforts, DentaQuest is invested in creating a healthier future for people all across Louisiana.”
DentaQuest is a purpose-driven oral health care company dedicated to improving the oral health of all. We do this through Preventistry® – our all-in approach to better care, expanded access, value-based financing, and innovative solutions. We manage dental and vision benefits for 30+ million Americans and direct patient care through our network of more than 80 oral health centers in 6 states. We’re proud to have been ranked highest in customer satisfaction with dental plans by J.D. Power each year from 2016 to 2020. We provide outcomes-based, cost-effective dental solutions for Medicaid and CHIP, Medicare Advantage, small and large businesses, and individuals nationwide. And, we've invested more than $230 million in grants, programs and other corporate citizenship efforts to achieve measurably healthier communities across the country. By advancing prevention-focused oral health, we will achieve better overall health for everyone. Learn more at www.DentaQuest.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.