Value-based reimbursement models could have an impact on the dental care sector, as patients and payers become more attuned to the importance of oral health in systemic health, says APG Partners Managing Director Andy Graham, former chairman of Aspen Dental. Dentistry is a local, patient-driven profession, and the most successful dental service organizations align with and empower affiliates to meet local needs, Graham says.
Level, a dental insurance startup founded by Square and Oscar alumnus Paul Aaron, raised $27 million in a Series A round late last year as the company plans to expand into more benefits. Level offers customizable employer-sponsored dental plans featuring an app employees use to find a dentist, book an appointment and handle co-pays; most claims are processed the same day; and in-network dentists have access to patient management software.
Dentist in the US prescribed more antibiotics in 2017 on a per-population basis than dentists in Canada, England or Australia, possibly due to more preventive prescribing in the US. Dentists in the US prescribed 72.6 antibiotics per 1,000 people, compared with 33.2 in Australia, with penicillins and clindamycin the most frequently prescribed in the US, researchers reported in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.
A new law in Washington state requires insurers to pay claims of up to $6.57 per in-person patient encounter for personal protective equipment until the federal COVID-19 public health emergency order expires. The law does not prevent health care professionals from billing patients for PPE costs in excess of $6.57.
Delaware's Bureau of Oral Health and Dental Services has closed its public health dental clinics indefinitely. The clinics were closed temporarily at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Director Nick Conte said the bureau is shifting its focus to mobile programs, such as the Delaware Smile Check initiative, which have extended greater reach into underserved communities.
An American Heart Association scientific statement in Circulation says good oral health habits and regular dental care may be more important than antibiotics before dental procedures for preventing Viridans group streptococcal infective endocarditis in some patient groups. The guidance reiterates recommendations released in 2007 for four high-risk categories of patients who should take antibiotics before certain dental procedures to reduce risk.
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