#DentaQuest #Expands #Access #Oral #Health #Care
Boston, Oct. 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As part of its mission to improve the oral health of all, DentaQuest is expanding access to dental care in three Florida Panhandle counties, all designated as dental health professional shortage areas (HPSAs).
Current data shows the region has 25% lower access rates than Florida’s statewide average. By working with its affiliate organization Advantage Dental+, four dental practices were opened over the last several months, ensuring the DentaQuest members in the region – including an estimated 30,000 children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP – have access to dental care, education and support.
“DentaQuest is able to help state agencies and health plans better serve all their members with access to quality, prevention-first dental and vision care closer to home,” said Brett Bostrack, executive vice president and chief network officer for DentaQuest. “We focus first on building a strong network with existing providers, but in many regions – including the Florida Panhandle – there just aren’t enough providers to adequately support member needs. That’s where a clinical care delivery solution comes in, differentiating us from other dental benefits partners. We look forward to bringing access to members in other dental deserts over time.”
Dental deserts are areas with limited access to oral health care and are a segment of the broader, federal HPSA designations, which cover three categories: primary medical, dental and mental health. To be a dental HPSA, the population to provider ratio must be at least 5,000 to 1 (4,000 to 1 if there are unusually high needs in the community). There are currently more than 6,600 dental HPSAs nationwide that need 10,822 dentists to close the gap.
“This particular region in Florida includes four cities that have had limited access to necessary dental care, and, in line with our mission, we aim to remedy that,” said Todd Cruse, president of Advantage Dental+….