Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2019 - 22

Is Oral Health coming to Your Office?
continued from page 21
Care (Medical Oral Expanded Care) in 13+ PA Rural Health Clinics
using learning collaboratives for medical offices and Rural Health
Care Centers on integrating and coordinating oral health care for
patients with monthly performance reviews, feedback, and technical
assistance.
* In 2017 a 14 county media campaign coordinated by PCOH in
collaboration with the State Oral Health Program provided oral
health messages for pregnant women in the most at risk counties
of PA and secured total media impressions of 7.45 million on the
internet and television in 2017. Printed materials were distributed to
more than 180 obstetric practices statewide.

programs for work in rural areas to increase the number of dentists
there. There are two counties in PA who have NO dentists
practicing in these counties!
* Work on training dental providers for serving the special needs
population (through the lifespan) is ongoing and webinars are now
posted on the PCOH website.
* Outreach around oral health education to food pantries, WIC,
faith based communities, and early childhood educators continues,
along with promoting dental careers to high school students.
* A teledentistry pilot in NW PA in Head Start is being developed.

* In 2015 the Department of Health hired its first Oral Health
Program administrator.

* PA Office of Rural Health is working with Rural Health Centers to
add dental clinics in more of their facilities

* A State Oral Health Plan was written and finalized in 2017 to
replace the one from 2002. It focuses on oral health access and
education, workforce issues, and building a state infrastructure which
will include a dental director (the notice is posted!) and ongoing state
surveillance. A second administrator was hired in 2018!

* Community water fluoridation support training is done biennially
to maintain a cohort of people ready to assist communities where
their water fluoridation is threatened. The next training is in
Lancaster and Pittsburgh on July 11 and 12 with Johnny Johnson,
DDS, from the American Fluoridation Society.

* We lead the effort for PA to receive funding from the DentaQuest
Foundation from 2013-19 which has supported our work as well as a
HRSA grant to the state from 2014-2018.

* Between 2018-2023, a state oral health surveillance system is being
built along with a basic screening survey for third graders

* Oral Health Workforce Innovation Summits 2016 and 2018 that
FOHC members coordinated were extremely successful.
* $3.45 million in oral health grants were awarded from CDC and
HRSA for programming in 2018-2023
* The PA Head Start Healthy Smiles Task Force was organized in
2008 and continues to innovate in our Head Start programs. They
have created effective monthly liaison calls with the Medicaid MCOs
to troubleshoot and facilitate oral health care for children in Head
Start and developed PA specific educational programs focusing on
age one dental care and early childhood education that reached more
than 5000 individuals as of December 2018.
* HTHC placed oral health preschool story kits in every library in
PA to use for their story time groups. They are currently working
with Parent Partnership programs to provide kits for them to educate
parent partners on oral health so that they can educate the parents
with whom they work.

* Since the addition of the Expanded Function Dental Assistant
(EFDA) position in PA there are now 2650 of these providers in
dental offices across the state working under the supervision of
dentists.
* Medicaid dental coverage for adults - in 2011 coverage a costsaving change was implemented for adults to allow for two
preventive visits per year plus fillings, extractions, and one denture
per lifetime. Other services can be performed but a Benefit Limit
Exception must be requested. We are working towards adding
more comprehensive benefits for adults and decreasing the BLE
requirements.
* In 2010, Pennsylvania Medical Assistance began reimbursing
enrolled physicians and certified registered nurse practitioners for the
application of topical fluoride varnish for eligible children ages birth
to five years.
* We continue to work on the Healthy People 2020 oral health goals
of

* PACHC strengthens the dental safety net by assisting existing
centers with opening new dental clinics. Dental visits are increased
by 20% from 2012-2016 and there are now 93 dental sites at
FQHCs in PA, an increase of 40% since 2014.

* Implementing and evaluating activities that have an impact on
oral health behavior

* A hub and spoke model implemented within 2 FQHC systems uses
dental hygienists to deliver services within the community and refer
back to the "bricks and mortar" clinic.

* Evaluating and improving methods of monitoring oral diseases
and conditions

* Through the University of Pittsburgh SCOPE Program/AHEC,
dental students were sent to rural health clinics for clinical rotations
across the state. The 2018 graduating class had 13/36 students who
planned to stay in PA and practice in rural areas.
* We continue to push the legislature to increase loan forgiveness

22

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www.berkscms.org

* Promoting interventions to reduce tooth decay, such as dental
sealants and fluoride use

* Increasing the capacity of state dental health programs to
provide preventive oral health services
* Increasing the number of community health centers with an
oral health component
* To help expand access to quality dental care, the American Dental
Association (ADA) has developed a Community Dental Health


http://www.berkscms.org

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2019

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