Health Care Authority

CHC Spanaway Dental - Flyer

Community Health Care has opened a new dental clinic at their Spanaway location off Pacific Avenue by the Roy Y. The new clinic features six dental chairs and will provide oral health services for children, adults and seniors. Community Health Care accepts all Apple Health/Medicaid plans and they offer a sliding-fee scale which they use to adjust the cost of service based on a patient’s income. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, please call (253) 210-5270. For more information about Community Health Care’s services and other clinics, please visit: www.commhealth.org

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department releases Smile Survey

Toddler smiling while brushing her teeth
Toddler smiling while brushing her teeth

Toddler smiling while brushing her teeth

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has released the Smile Survey, a report which details the oral health of children in Pierce County. The report shows that compared to 2010, substantially fewer children have untreated decay and substantially more children have protective dental sealants.

This is due in part to the presence of the TPCHD School Based Oral-Health program, which connects dental providers to schools so dental staff can visit local schools to provide dental screenings, fluoride varnish, dental sealant applications and oral health education. The work these providers have done has greatly reduced the untreated decay in the county and provided far more access to preventive dental services, like sealants.

For access to the Smile Survey, and articles regarding the School Based Oral-Health Program, visit the links below:

 

2015 PC Smile Survey Final

Final Pierce op-ed

Pierce County SBHP

Recent update on Washington Apple Health Dental Coverage

WA Apple Health Dental Update Presentation 2016.03

On March 9, 2016, Pierce County Oral Health Coalition members and others convened to gain insight and updates on Washington State’s Apple Health (Medicaid) dental coverage for children and adults. In her presentation, Dianne Baum, Dental Program Administrator for Washington Apple Health shared: status and scope of dental benefits provided to our state’s residents who qualify for Apple Health benefits, state-wide Apple Health dental provider statistics, and important information on state provider audit programs and potential audit criteria and triggers.

Providers are responsible for checking the HCA website for updates. Washington’s Apple Health Dental Billing Guides are updated quarterly: January, April, July and October. There is a separate guide for the Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (“ABCD”) program. Ms. Baum suggested signing up for “go-delivery” e-mails and visiting the Dental webpage.

An engaging question and answer session followed the presentation, focused primarily on preauthorization of dental services and other claims handling issues. Ms. Baum’s presentation included helpful links and contact information for providers. Apple Health clients will also find valuable information about their benefits on HCA’s “For Clients” page, including a current summary of adult dental benefits.

This was incredibly helpful and specific information for dental billers, and nice to have additional Health Care Authority Apple Health resource information,” remarked one participant.

Presentation Handouts:

 

January 2015 Project Homeless Connect focuses on youth

On Saturday, January 24, 2015 Project Homeless Connect will uniquely focus on providing preventive, supportive and empowering services to Pierce County youth and families with youth. Pierce County Dental Society, in partnership with its dentists and other PCOHC members will work together to provide free and much-needed dental services

Other community partners will be on hand to offer medical services, insurance information, ID replacement, haircuts, resume writing and college information (college representatives will be present). Also available: give-aways, Zumba, face painting, childcare. The event takes place at Spanaway Middle School, 15701 B Street E, Spanaway, WA,10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Interested in volunteering in the dental services area? Contact Cheryl Jenkins at pcds@pcdentists.org. All other event questions may be directed to alanna@southsoundoutreach.org or 253-593-2111 extension 121.

Spread the word: Project Homeless Connect HYPED Flyer

 

Oral health benefits under health care reform

Pierce County community and oral health coalition members, representing 28 agencies and provider offices, gathered at PCOHC’s Feb. 12 meeting to learn more about health care reform’s impact on oral health benefits. (Two CE credits were offered.)

Dianne Baum of the Washington Health Care Authority highlights adult dental Medicaid benefits during her presentation to the PCOHC.

Dianne Baum of the Washington State Health Care Authority highlights adult dental Medicaid benefits during her presentation to the Pierce County Oral Health Coalition (PCOHC). More than 40 attendees, representing more than two dozen organizations, attended the PCOHC-organized event.

Presentations were made by representatives from the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) and the state’s insurance marketplace known as the Washington Health Benefit Exchange (HBE).

Adult Dental Benefits (Medicaid)

Dianne Baum, dental program manager at the HCA, provided a comprehensive summary of the Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) Adult Dental benefits that the state legislature restored, and in some cases enhanced, effective Jan. 1, 2014.

Baum’s presentation addressed the following topics:

  • Eligibility parameters
  • Covered dental services, limitations and exclusions
  • Answers to commonly asked questions and resources for additional Medicaid dental information
  • Current and prospective Medicaid provider support: Baum emphasized the availability of the HCA’s Medicaid dental experts to provide one-on-one assistance to prospective providers as well as support those providers who currently serve Medicaid-covered patients.
  • Claim Review and Pre-authorization: HCA’s dental staff consists of professional, licensed dental practitioners and benefit professionals who assist with and oversee Medicaid claim documentation, review and authorization of dental treatment plans.

The Washington State HCA Medicaid Provider Guide for Dental-Related Services effective January 1, 2014, may be found here.

Pediatric Dental Benefits

Christine Gibert, senior policy analyst for Washington’s insurance marketplace, the HBE, outlined the history and current status of the new pediatric dental benefit offered through the HBE.

Gibert’s presentation touched on the following topics:

  • The mandatory purchase of pediatric dental benefits for any eligible child for whom a medical plan is purchased on the HBE,
  • Dental plan premiums, and
  • Coverage limits and deductibles that remain separate and distinct from medical plans.

Gibert said the HBE Board recognized the current dental-purchasing experience remained challenging for HBE consumers and providers alike.

While Washington’s lawmakers were currently considering legislation to allow embedding  pediatric dental benefits into medical plans, she said that 2016 was realistically the earliest implementation date for other changes to the HBE’s pediatric dental benefit.

Gibert said the HBE’s Dental Technical Advisory Committee (DTAC) provided an avenue for community input and information.

Ed. Note: The PCOHC thanks Baum and Gibert for their presentations, as well as Evergreen State College-Tacoma Campus for the use of its facility.

State announces details on adult dental Medicaid benefit restoration

The Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) has announced the types of dental procedures that will be provided with the restoration of the adult dental Medicaid benefit by the Washington State Legislature during the last legislative session. The benefit will be restored on Jan. 1, 2014.

The benefit previously had been reduced to emergency-0nly coverage as a result of budget cuts implemented by lawmakers in response to declining state revenues.

According to the HCA, the new benefit covers restorative and preventative services, resin partials and complete dentures, root canals, cavities, and routine checkups and cleanings, as well as emergency services.

The HCA reported the Medicaid program would begin notifying dentists this month that the benefit would be restored on the first day of the new year, and that offices and clinics could start making appointments with Medicaid clients after that date.

A copy of the HCA news release can be found on the agency’s web site.