18:18 PM

Value-Based Payment remains a key topic for health industry


Dentistry was established apart from medicine and remains largely planted in a reactive, surgical approach to care thanks to the fee-for-service (FFS) model of reimbursement, but we can be proactive. We need to focus on value; skyrocketing health care costs and an increasingly sick population prove that our system is broken. The days of a siloed oral health system are ending.

Shifting the focus to value also means rethinking the relationship of dentistry to medicine. We cannot do that without a proactive approach to prevention-focused care across the health care continuum.

To make any headway, though, we know that first we must collaborate with providers to ensure we are all moving in the same direction. To that end, DentaQuest recently took part in the National Dental Association’s (NDA’s) annual convention with more than 2,000 dentists, hygienists, assistants, office staff and student members for four days of education and networking.

The conference theme, “Remember the Past, Embrace the Present, Enhance the Future,” spoke directly to our messages.

  • DentaQuest Chief Dental Officer Dr. Olivia Croom spoke with a group of dental school educators at a breakfast about DentaQuest’s vision for a revolutionary way forward in dentistry focused on prevention. She also went over the investments we’ve made to support student education and to create and disseminate practice tools to aid readiness for person-centered care. These clinical administrators learned about the direct preventive measures that would significantly influence managed care and payment models for the future.
  • Rebekah Mathews, director of business consulting, represented DentaQuest on an insurance panel to discuss value-based reimbursement. She articulated our vision for how financing can enable a shift in the dental care paradigm towards overall person-centered health. The panel collectively addressed the history of dentistry as separate and reactive, reinforced by the fee-for-service reimbursement model. In the end, the panel called for a future where dentists are paid for improved outcomes, which ultimately drive costs down and overall health up.

For her part, Rebekah focused on bringing broader value-based payment concepts into focus for dentists by translating terminology on alternative payment models (APMs) into methods that could practically apply within oral health. Attendees also gained knowledge on how they can enhance their preparations for success in new payment approaches focusing on value and quality from the DentaQuest Institute’s Keys to Success series and forthcoming provider competency assessment (being developed by Mark Doherty and the Safety Net Solutions team).

Overall, attendees had a lot of interest in this topic. We know it’s critically important that providers buy in to the benefits of transitioning to a value-based care approach, so it is encouraging that interest at this event was so high.

But of course there remains trepidation and a desire for more information among providers nationally. We recognize that we can help close that gap. In fact, DentaQuest offers providers tools to help them prepare, support for their journey, and investment in this partnership to support a shared goal to improve oral health. Check out some of our resources at https://www.dentaquestinstitute.org/learn/online-learning-center.