Lower Medical Claims Costs Linked to Payer's Dental Program

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

We will also loop in members who have kidney problems associated with diabetes or heart disease, or hypertension. We use the categories of diabetes and heart disease somewhat generally, then we look at a broad grouping of members within those general categories.

We identify them from the medical data and look at their dental data to see if they have recent dental claims. If they have not, we proceed with the outreach.

HLM: Walk me through the DMI process.

Conicella: Once they are identified, the members receive a postcard to let them know about the enhanced dental benefits available to them. They can access a toll-free number to talk with one of our dental care coordinators who can help them find a dentist.

Keep in mind, these are members who have not visited the dentist recently. We continue to follow them for about three months. If they still haven't had a dental appointment then we follow up with a telephone call.

We find each year we are successful with getting more than 50% of those members identified to a dental appointment within a few months of our outreach. We have also found that they tend to have sustained use of dental services, so those members tend to keep going to the dentist once they get the encouragement and go for their initial visit.

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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.




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