ADA News

Dear State EDs –

This month, the ADA Health Policy Institute launches two new studies, one new commentary, and two new videos. I strongly encourage you to read and share with your leadership the first article “Where Have all the Dental Care Visits Gone?”. As I say below, it is a “wake up call” for all of us. As a reminder, I send these updates to you only and it is your responsibility to distribute as you see fit within your state association staff and volunteer groups.

Where Have all the Dental Care Visits Gone?

Dentistry has a major “busyness” problem. But while the volume of dental care visits in dental offices is declining dramatically, dental care visits in FQHCs and hospital emergency rooms are skyrocketing. This month’s Health Policy Perspectives argues that there is nothing on the horizon to reverse these trends and this analysis ought to be a wake-up call for the dental profession. Several strategic options to address dentistry’s busyness problem are laid out. See the report and teaser video.

Dental Care in Accountable Care Organizations: Insights from Five Case Studies

In this report, Leavitt Partners, in collaboration with the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, examines five Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that have integrated oral health services into their care delivery model. Embracing a “whole health” philosophy these organizations are taking creative approaches to reconnecting mouth and body. The five ACOs that participated in this study experienced promising results in coordinating dental care with overall medical care and improving patient outcomes. Further opportunities for better coordination of dental and overall medical care will become more evident as the health care system continues to evolve toward increased coordination of care and value based payment.

Early Insights on Dental Care Services in Accountable Care Organizations

In this Research Brief, led by researchers from the Dartmouth Institute, we find that most accountable care organization (ACO) contracts do not include dental services. However, over time, the share of commercial ACO contracts that include dental services has increased. ACOs that do include dental services are more likely to include a federally qualified health center or community health center and are much more likely to have contracts with Medicaid. Looking forward, more research is needed to understand how ACOs approach the decision on including dental services.

Video – A New Era for Dentistry

You asked and we delivered. Watch Dr. Marko Vujicic, Chief Economist and Vice President of the ADA Health Policy Institute as he takes you through a dynamic and data-filled journey on the changing dental care environment and the exciting new opportunities for the dental profession. This is a 60-minute version of Marko’s immensely popular presentation delivered already to thousands of policy makers, dentists, educators, and health care advocates across the US. Stay tuned for a shorter version coming in August.

For more information visit

Marko Vujicic, PhD  [email protected]
Chief Economist & Vice President

Health Policy Institute