Sacramento County Division of Public Health is one of 15 pilots in the State of California to be awarded the Dental Transformation Initiative – Local Dental Pilot Program (DTI-LDPP) grant funding. In collaboration with the Medi-Cal Dental Advisory Committee (MCDAC) and the Every Smile Counts Collaborative Partners, the approximately $10 million of funding will be used to help build dental services capacity for children and bridge the gap between dental care and primary care in systems currently used by low income families. The three strategies being pursued with this funding are:
- Virtual Dental Home
- Medical/Dental Partnership
- Community Partner Dental Training for Referral and Care Coordination
“This new funding is an exciting opportunity to enhance dental health access for children and families who have otherwise struggled to get their dental needs met,” said Supervisor Don Nottoli, Chair of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. “Our hope is that utilization for qualified families will improve and thus more children will receive preventative dental care.”
The development of the three pilot programs through the Dental Transformation Initiative is anticipated to improve how family physicians, pediatricians, and dentists coordinate dental care for children, improve both dental and physical health outcomes, and help families utilize the Medi-Cal dental benefits they already have. By improving access and education, these efforts will increase utilization and continuity of care for the next four years.
The Virtual Dental Home program, run by the University of Pacific, will travel to local schools with existing dental vans and portable dental equipment to complete treatment plans. In efforts to build relationships between dental and medical providers, the Medical/ Dental Partnership with Care Coordination program will reach out to clinics with pediatricians so that any child who receives a well child check-up will also be referred to a dentist. The Community Partner Dental Training for Referral strategy is designed to use existing dental tools to educate parents and providers on how to navigate services through in-person and online training.
“Combining these strategies with a unified care coordination system will have a dramatic impact on our ability to ease the struggle to access dental care,” said Terrence W. Jones, Chair of Medi-Cal Dental Advisory Committee. “We pledge to work hard with the county to implement these strategies we are convinced will bring much needed improvement to the oral health of our children.”
The Medi-Cal 2020 Waiver Renewal was approved on December 30, 2015 as a guide through the next five years to implement an overall improvement of high-quality care and access to health care services for over 13 million members. There are five programs also being funded in the 2020 waiver, however, this is the first time dental has been included.