Providing dental coverage as a preventive care benefit may help providers and payers reduce the number of emergency department visits and hospitalizations, according to a new two-year study from Capital BlueCross, Dominion National, and Geneia LLC.
Integrating dental services more tightly into the medical care continuum helped to cut utilization by individuals with chronic conditions, researchers said.
Individuals with chronic diseases but without dental coverage through Capital BlueCross had a seven percent higher rate of hospital stays than those with dental benefits.
Members who had dental coverage but did not use the benefit for preventive services had a 19 percent higher incidence rate of ED visits than those who took advantage of routine dental care.
“We know that having quality dental coverage, and using it for preventive care, can contribute to overall good health,” said Capital BlueCross President and CEO Gary St. Hilaire.
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