SACRAMENTO COUNTY: Study Says Dental Medi-Cal Program Cuts Costs, Improves Care
The results are in: even though patients made more trips to the dentist, Sacramento County's pilot dental program for Medi-Cal patients saved $2 million since its inception four years ago. According to a report released last week, costs are down 28% while dental cleanings have increased by 56%. The Geographic Managed Care Dental Program allows its 144,000 members to choose a primary care dentist who oversees preventive care and services and provides referrals for more specialized care. One of the program's most successful outreach efforts provides dental sealants for more than 700 children to prevent tooth decay. Bryan Quattlebaum, consultant for the GMC Dental Program, said, "With proper dental care, dental disease is 100% preventable. Since it began, the GMC Dental Program has greatly expanded the ability of Medi-Cal members to get the care needed to improve oral health" (release, 11/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.