OR: Workgroup Considers Standards for Dental Care in CCOs

dental mastA workgroup tasked with developing ways to measure the quality of dental care within Oregon’s coordinated care organizations (CCOs), which provide care to the state’s Medicaid population, made its recommendations last week to another workgroup charged with developing state-wide standards and goals for Oregon’s CCOs.

There are currently 33 metrics that CCOs are held to—everything from how many patients see a primary care provider in a given year to the rate of vaccinations among children. The metrics are meant to show how well CCOs are doing to integrate and coordinate care, and there are financial incentives tied to whether the Medicaid organizations meet their benchmarks in any given year.

The Dental Quality Metrics Workgroup decided on two measures for dental care in CCOs:

  • the number of children between the ages of six and 14 who receive sealants on permanent molars, and
  • the number of patients between the ages of 2 and 21 who receive any type of dental service in a calendar year.

Particular emphasis will be placed on how well CCOs serve and provide dental care to children, pregnant women, and adults with disabilities, who are considered to be populations in the most need for dental care.

The list is pretty short, but significant—a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that Oregon ranks 10th worst in the nation for shortage of dentists, and national studies have ranked Oregon 48th in terms of children’s oral health.

The larger Metrics and Scoring Committee will decide by this spring whether to adopt the measures, or any new ones, which is right around the time that dental care will be integrated into CCOs.