You may have heard about the rapidly growing Home Care dentistry industry, with businesses such as our friends at PrevMed and The Homecare Dentist becoming vitally important to overall health and contributing to reductions in healthcare costs. There are reasons that businesses like these are growing and thriving, and emerging as a vital component of the healthcare continuum. If your Home Care agency is not coordinating with other services like this today, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to improve the lives of your clients. If you are part of a health system looking to improve the lives of patient populations and you are not considering oral health in your overall plan, you should consider integrating it into your plan now.
First, consider the fact that oral health plays an indisputable role in overall systemic health. Regularly maintained oral health contributes to fewer ER visits and hospital admissions for the elderly, and improves outcomes for those with the most prevalent chronic diseases:
- Five of the six most prevalent chronic diseases are linked to periodontal disease.
- 89% of those 80 or older have advanced periodontal disease, according to the CDC.
- Reduction in ER admissions: In the elderly, bacteria that originate in the mouth cause needless ER visits and hospital admissions, commonly costing tens of thousands of dollars per episode. Simple preventative care can eliminate many of these admissions.
- Potential impact on chronic disease management: In diabetics of all ages, for example, a Cigna study showed that patients who received an initial treatment for gum disease with subsequent maintenance had lower overall healthcare costs than those who did not receive regular maintenance. Savings averaged 24% in the study, or $2483 per patient per year. Cigna is so convinced by the results that they now reimburse members with certain chronic conditions for out of pocket expenses incurred for their oral care. Read more here PrevMed
What is the opportunity for Home Care? Simple: Medical and Non-Medical Home Care is increasingly becoming a Care Coordination business. Programs like Geriatric Care Management (GCM), Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and others require the services and coordination of multiple providers to deliver a comprehensive, well planned set of services that should result in improved outcomes and reduced overall costs. Clearly, oral care must be integrated into the overall care plan, particularly for the elderly and others who may have difficulty getting to the dentist on their own.
If you are not already, consider partnering with businesses in your area that provide oral care services like PrevMed (for clients living in facilities) and The Homecare Dentist (for home-based dental services). Particularly for Private Care agencies, there is a revenue opportunity for coordinating these services with your overall care. You'll be providing a more valuable service to your clients, who will be grateful for their improved health and dignity.
Ankota's Xchange Care Coordination Portal provides an excellent platform to coordinate Home Care and Dental services like those in this article. Ankota's Healthcare Delivery Management (HDM) technology also helps individual providers to reduce costs and grow their businesses more efficiently, including Home Health and Home Care, Physical Therapy, HME, Infusion, and more.