Expanding Oral Healthcare for America’s Seniors

Posted on September 28, 2016

By AEGIS Editorial Staff

(Newtown, PA) The Santa Fe Group is hosting a salon, Expanding Oral Healthcare for America’s Seniors, for dental professionals to discuss geriatric oral healthcare on September 28-30, 2016 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View in Arlington, Virginia. This meeting will bring individuals and groups together to develop and implement a national campaign to improve oral health literacy around aging and oral health.

Recognizing that approximately 10,000 Americans retire each day and do not have dental benefits, attendees will learn about the need for oral healthcare benefits for America’s seniors and identify ways to improve access to oral healthcare for senior patients, with and without comorbid chronic illnesses, across all income ranges. Lectures will specifically include discussion about access to dental benefits for the poor, near poor, and retired middle-income seniors who do not have reasonable options for dental coverage, and therefore do not have access to oral healthcare in the absence of a Medicare benefit.

A white paper describing the problems, opportunities, and proposals for next steps was distributed exclusively to salon attendees ahead of the meeting and the full document will be distributed after the meeting. Using this resource, the hope is for attendees to build a consensus on appropriate benefits packages.

Attendees will also examine establishing dental benefits in Medicare by a combination of expanded Medicare benefits for dental care, improved private dental insurance approaches, and development of more efficient dental care delivery approaches. In addition, participants will collaborate with partners in grassroots organizations to mobilize American Seniors and develop the political will to make this change happen.

There will be an interprofessional mix of individuals, institutions, agencies, and organizations attending this meeting in an effort to educate legislators about the importance of oral health on total health and to encourage professionals across the entire dental industry and in all health professions to work together in this endeavor. Participants will also identify approaches to optimize cost savings and benefit/cost ratios to deliver and compensate for the inclusion of oral health services as a Medicare benefit.

The overarching goal of this salon is to show attendees how to improve oral health for America’s seniors in a capacity consistent with their professional roles in clinical care, education, policy, economics, industry, and legislation. The hope is to publish a summary of the salon outcomes in a national journal to spread the message about this population and its needs, and provide a plan to assist them.

For more information, visit www.cvent.com/events/september-2016-santa-fe-group-arlington-va/event-summary-295c81a85eea404cb7f990fb555dc0e8.aspx. 

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