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Lower Medical Claims Costs Linked to Payer's Dental Program

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, October 23, 2013

HLM: Do electronic health records play a role?

Conicella: The EHR is available to the providers of services, to physicians and dentists. Where it can play a role is when a physician enters information about a patient into the EHR, and if the [patient's] dentist would also have access to that record, that would be another way to know more about the total health of their patient.

I see an advantage of having access to an EHR if you are a clinician, just to be able to have that bigger picture of your patient, rather than just the information that the patient might fill out on their dental health history form, for example.

We also have a health risk assessment that our members complete. It includes questions about their dental care and their dental health, so that's another way we can use data to get a picture of our members' total health.

HLM: Is DMI part of your ACO strategy?

Conicella: We would very much like to include dentists and dental services in our ACOs in the future. Aetna's ACO team is working with our dental group. Our ultimate goal is to find a way to use the ACO strategy to loop in dentists so all of the providers of care for a particular patient have an opportunity to coordinate with one another.

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1 comments on "Lower Medical Claims Costs Linked to Payer's Dental Program"


Keaven Wright,RN,MSN,CRRN (10/30/2013 at 11:47 AM)
It is amazing to me that insurance companies haven't picked up on this before. of course a person with good dental health is going to be healthier than some one who does not. If a person can't chew healthy fresh fruits and vegetables the only option left is overcooked mushy ones and that leads to poor nutrition, high blood sugar , wight gain, high cholesterol and general malnutrition and poorer overall health. It is cheaper to stay healthy than it is to be sick ~!!! good dental health is one of the most important foundations to good health. neglect your teeth at your peril. Sometimes Insurance companies are penny wise and pound foolish!!!!! If Premiums for Insurance don't cover dental health care and check ups then often the cost is so much more over the long term.