Federally-Funded Integration Initiatives
Several federal initiatives to improve the provision of oral health care, and bridge oral health and primary care may be useful to states considering how dental care might fit into their health reform strategies.
The CMS Innovation Center has provided Innovation awards to several projects focused on oral health strategies to improve care and reduce costs:
- The Altarum Institute received funding to improve screening and connection to oral health care for children at high risk of dental disease.
- The Circle of Smiles project has been funded to improve oral health care for pregnant women and people with diabetes in Native American communities in South Dakota
- Columbia University has been funded to promote positive oral health behaviors in children with early childhood caries.
The Health Resources and Services Administration is pursuing oral health initiatives, including:
- Integration of Oral Health and Primary Care Practice, a report that describes core competencies to increase integration of oral health into primary care, including risk assessment, oral evaluation, preventive care, education, and interprofessional collaboration. The National Network for Oral Health Access released a report detailing the results of pilot projects to implement the core competencies at three community health centers.
- The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, which maintains an extensive library of materials on oral health for pregnant women, new mothers, and their children.
- The Perinatal and Infant Oral Health Quality Improvement program, a grant program for states to develop and scale up innovative practices to improve access to oral health care for pregnant women. States currently receiving funding include Connecticut, New York, and West Virginia, and the program will be expanded to additional states in late 2015.