Much of the traditional focus of the care continuum has been to link pre-acute, inpatient, and post-acute healthcare in an effort to improve outcomes and reduce inpatient readmissions. While medical doctors and specialists have long been essential players, dentists are now being added to the mix as health insurers pay attention to the relationship between physical health and dental health.
In 2007 Aetna launched its dental medical integration program as part of a research program with the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. The DMI program uses claims data to identify Aetna members who are pregnant, have diabetes or cardiovascular disease, and haven't visited a dentist lately. An outreach program connects with those members.
Six years and 1.5 million patients later, Aetna has released some results. DMI program members who visited the dentist have: