Dentegra named an “apparently successful bidder” in Medicaid dental RFP

Dentegra, together with Amerigroup (partnered with DentaQuest) and MCNA Dental, was named by the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) an “Apparently Successful Bidder” to provide managed dental care to Washington Medicaid enrollees this week. Dentegra, a partnership between the Arcora Foundation, Delta Dental of Washington, and Delta Dental of California, will coordinate with the HCA to begin providing services as of January 1, 2019.

The Arcora Foundation, a philanthropic arm of Delta Dental Washington, is dedicated to working statewide to eliminate oral health disparities by partnering with communities to prevent oral disease, transforming health systems, and increasing access to care, while Delta Dental of Washington is the state’s largest and leading dental benefits provider, covering more than 2 million residents in Washington state. The groups partnered with Delta Dental of California, to benefit from their extensive experience providing Medicaid services, to respond to the  RFP released by the HCA in May.

Traditionally dental carriers in Washington have been less involved in the managed care conversation. However, it has become increasingly clear that oral health is an essential part of overall patient health and should be more fully integrated to achieve even better health results. The Arcora Foundation has been the exception in this realm, actively involving itself since the beginning with each of the state’s accountable communities of health (ACH). Diane Oakes, President and CEO of Arcora Foundation explained in a statement announcing the selections,

“Oral health is essential to overall health, and yet annually nearly 50 percent of lower-income children and 78 percent of lower-income adults in the state of Washington don’t receive dental care. We are excited to have this opportunity to reduce health disparities and ensure that many more people are able to access care.”

One of the goals of the new managed care benefits programs is to expand access to care by increasing the number of dentists and other health care providers who will agree to provide oral health services to Medicaid patients. Delta Dental of Washington’s large network of providers will take the Dentegra partnership far to meet this goal. In addition, the partnership will be able to leverage the Arcora Foundation’s innovative and already robust education and outreach programs like Access to Baby and Child Dentistry and the Oral Health Connections, both of which use local care coordinators, case management, and community outreach  to connect a variety of populations of Medicaid enrollees with dentists across the state.