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An examination of the cost and utilization of alternative payment models for oral health care over a patient’s lifetime.
By Sean G. Boynes, DMD, MS, Carolyn Brown, DDS, MEd and Eric P. Tranby, MA, PhD
According to a report by the Commonwealth Fund, the United States pays the most for health care and achieves the lowest performance among comparable countries.1,2 In fact, dissatisfaction with U.S. health care continues to shape political talking points. It also encourages disruptive business models and drives demand for greater transparency, accountability and consumerism.3–6 This changing health ecosystem also affects dentistry. Agencies, organizations and care teams are shifting operational and financial constructs to better align with the changing health care landscape. Currently, the transition includes a switch from a silo-based construct driven by tertiary care to a person-centered format based on inclusive, holistic health care and enhanced quality of life.7–11
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — While the overall supply of dentists in Pennsylvania is sufficient to meet the current demand when assuming equal access for all residents, geographic access to oral health services is not equal across rural and urban areas. In a report, researchers in the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH) at Penn State found that urban rates of dentist supply are nearly twice that of rural rates, and that inequalities exist between areas of higher socioeconomic status and those of lower socioeconomic status.