Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Parent Handouts on COVID-19 and Oral Health

The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC) released two new resources for parents of young children from the Office of Head Start’s National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness (NCECHW). The handouts provide clear messages with photos about healthy eating and oral hygiene practices at home and about changes to dental offices to promote the safety of staff and patients during COVID-19. The colorful handouts are available in English and Spanish.

Pennsylvania Board of Dentistry Proposes Changes to PHDHP Practice Sites

The Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry recently submitted a final-form regulation on public health dental hygiene practitioner (PHDHP) practice sites to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC). The regulation expands access to care and oral health education provided by PHDHPs by adding additional facilities regulated by the Department of Human Services, and by adding as an acceptable practice site an office, including a satellite office, or clinic of a physician who is licensed by the State Board of Medicine or the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine that is located in a dental health professional shortage area, as determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. The final regulation will be considered by IRRC at its public meeting on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020.

COVID-19 Oral Health Resources for School Nurses Available

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, school nurses may be the only avenue for assuring that children receive oral health screenings and referrals. The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) and the National Association of School Nurses have collaborated to develop resources for school nurses: “Considerations for School Nurses in Return to School: Dental Screenings” and “School Nurses: The Key to Good Oral Health During COVID-19 Infographic.” Please share with any school nurses you know.

Click here to download “Considerations” document.
Click here to download the infographic.

Parent Handouts on COVID-19 and Oral Health Available

The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC) released two new resources for parents of young children from the Office of Head Start’s National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness (NCECHW). The handouts provide clear messages with photos about healthy eating and oral hygiene practices at home and about changes to dental offices to promote the safety of staff and patients during COVID-19. The colorful handouts are available in English and Spanish.

Click here to download the English version.
Click here to download the Spanish Version.

A Three Domain Framework to Innovating Oral Health Care Announced

Change in oral health is long overdue and COVID-19 has brought the system’s issues to the forefront. Now is the time for change. PCOH joins more than 110 oral health leaders in support of a new approach developed by the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement. “A Three Domain Framework to Innovating Oral Health Care” emphasizes overall health as an outcome and is more cost-effective, efficient, and equitable.

Click here to read the white paper.

Nicotine Dependence and Oral Health Professionals

Have you taken the “Nicotine Dependence Treatment Strategies for Oral Health Professionals” course? PCOH’s newly updated course portal makes it easier than ever! Free CEUs are available. Also, if you would like to get connected to the tobacco coalition in your county/region, please reach out to Paula Di Gregory of Nicotine Free Northwest PA  for an introduction. You can also look up your regional tobacco use and prevention cessation primary contractor for the Department of Health below.

Click here to take the course.
Click here to contact Paula Di Gregory.
Click here to look up your regional primary contractor.

Updated Pennsylvania Oral Health Coalition Website Launched

PCOH is excited to share our updated website! While parts of the site may look familiar, there are cool improvements. The new resource page is searchable and has advanced filters so that you can find exactly what you are looking for. The updated course portal provides a more user-friendly continuing education experience. Don’t just take our word for it, check it out!

Click here to visit the website.

New Framework for Transforming Oral Health Care

The DentaQuest Partnership wants to know if you are ready to transform the oral health care system? They are proposing an innovative new Framework that focuses on prevention and healthy outcomes, facilitates value-based payment models, and addresses the deep inequities in care and access. They are inviting oral health leaders to join along with 110 other oral health leaders that have contributed to this framework and are ready for this transformation. Click here to explore the Domains Framework and learn more.

Oral Health Education for Patients and the Chance to Win Prizes

Oral health education, be it in the classroom through school-based oral health or during the well-child visit that many families postponed, has been affected due to the current pandemic. DentaQuest and America’s ToothFairy have developed a program to help bridge that gap – just in time for Dental Hygiene Month. It is the Oral Health Action Hero Challenge that gives children a fun way to learn about good oral health habits – and win prizes – from home. Now until Nov. 9 children can complete three missions to defeat the new super-villain, BioFilm, and his gang of nasty bacteria. Finalists can win a variety of prizes, and the ultimate winner will take home a Nintendo Switch gaming console. Watch a quick video, read the press release and share the registration link with your patients!

UPMC Health Plan Transitioning to SKYGEN USA

UPMC Health Plan will transition to SKYGEN USA for administering dental benefits beginning April 1, 2021 for the following UPMC products:

  • CHIP
  • Medical Assistance
  • UPMC Community HealthChoices (MLTSS)
  • Medicare (select University of Pittsburgh retirees only)
  • Medicare Special Needs Plans
  • Federal Employees Health Benefits.

This means that SKYGEN USA will be responsible for various dental administration processes including, but not limited to contracting, credentialing and processing claims for dental providers participating in any of the mentioned UPMC programs. UPMC will hold the participation contract with dental providers. To continue participation in the UPMC programs listed above, beginning April 1, 2021, you must sign and return a new Participating Dental Agreement with SKYGEN USA. Please Contact SKYGEN USA’s Network Development at 1-800-508-6965 or networkdevelopment@skygenusa.com to do so. Avesis will continue to administer UPMC’s dental benefits for the above product lines through March 31, 2021. If there are dental contracting, credentialing or claims related questions through March 31, 2021, please contact your Avesis provider network representative. These changes will not impact your Commercial and/or Medicare contract with UPMC Dental Advantage. If you have questions in regards to your Commercial or Medicare contract, please email HPDental@upmc.edu or contact UPMC Dental Advantage Provider Services at 1-877-648-9609.