Dental3 is a nonprofit organization established in December 2014, to act as a single point of contact for the DCOs in order to increase their affect on the community. Dental3 represents an opportunity for the DCOs to coordinate with each other through a shared platform. We are a one-stop coordination point for the CCOs and community partners.
Since 1994, Dental Care Organizations (DCOs) have specialized and focused on the delivery of dental services to those served by the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). DCOs are multi-faceted organizations that have statewide provider networks and significant investments in service delivery infrastructure, and contract with multiple Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs).
Starting in 2012, Oregon’s Medicaid managed care delivery system, OHP, has undergone dramatic change (called the Health Systems Transformation). This transformation continues to present day.
The goals of transformation are embodied by the triple aim: Better Health, Better Care, Lower Costs.
The means to achieving these goals include, but are not limited to: coordination, integration, a global budget, and forming a local, community based approach to health care that focuses on the needs of a community.
The Need for Coordination
A number of factors have concerned the DCOs since the Health Systems Transformation began. One such factor is that the integration contracts to date have proven to be more “paper” integration with minimal “real” coordination between the DCOs and CCOs. And, as the DCOs now contract with multiple CCOs that have different approaches to transformation, there is an even greater need for coordination between these many entities.
To make things more complex, within a few short months in 2014, approximately 200,000 new members joined the OHP. To meet the demand, some DCOs have expanded their traditional models of care by investing in new dental offices and growing the number of contracted providers. However, the population we serve and the need to arrest dental disease compelled the DCOs to look at alternative models of care. Alternative models, such as mobile dental professionals, increase the access and capacity of traditional systems.
The Role of Dental3
It has proven difficult in the Tri-county Portland area to make a joint effort among nine (9) participating DCOs to adopt alternative models of care. While DCOs have long standing relationships with each other and work well together to promote concepts and policy to improve the oral health of members, they have not coordinated together to promote alternative models of care in a material way.
Coordination must take multiple forms: vertical (between CCOs and contracted DCOs), horizontal (among like health systems: DCOs), and downstream (between health systems and community partners).
Dental3 as a single point of contact increases the likelihood that community partners will agree to host dental services onsite, knowing the care will be coordinated and Dental3 will help them navigate the murky waters of DCO collaboration.
Dental3 represents an opportunity for the DCOs to coordinate with each other through a shared platform. Dental3 not only streamlines coordination between Medicaid contracting entities but also between medical providers, dental providers, and community partners.
Better Health, Better Care, Lower Costs