This health care delivery organization has found success in lowering the cost of dental care for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, effectively expanding care and access for patients who need it.
Benevis, a dental health care delivery organization, is making waves in oral care accessibility and affordability through its 9 Louisiana-based dental and orthodontic offices at Taylor Dental & Braces. During National Dental Hygiene Month, the organization announced an initiative aimed at decreasing the cost of care for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) patients, simultaneously increasing investment in preventive oral care.
With over a decade of service in Louisiana and a staggering 101,000 patient visits annually, Taylor Dental & Braces aims to be a beacon of hope for underserved communities, where 94% of patients rely on Medicaid or CHIP. Recognizing the unique needs of their diverse patient population, the dental provider has strategically invested in proactive and preventative dental hygiene to address the long-term costs of poor oral health.
Taylor Dental's commitment to routine preventive care has results, per a press release from the company. Data spanning from 2019 to 2021 revealed lower costs of care per patient, averaging over $78 in savings. Despite catering to underserved populations, the practices demonstrated significantly lower costs compared to the state's dental provider network. Key findings include a higher proportion of spending on diagnostic and preventive services, increased utilization of sealants, and a notable decrease in the need for composite fillings and stainless steel crowns.
Bryan Carey, CEO of Benevis, emphasized the win-win nature of Taylor Dental's approach. "Taylor Dental & Braces’ early intervention and education of patients on the importance of oral health not only supports better care, but also lower costs of care. It means that their care teams have spent more time on patient exams, X-rays, and sealants, and less time and expense on fillings and crowns. This model is a win-win for the patient with healthier teeth and less invasive care, and the provider in their ability to deliver a better patient experience and improved outcomes."
Dr Carl Boykin, DMD, Benevis district dental director, underscored the mission's critical nature, stating, "Making sure that every child and adult in Louisiana has access to affordable, high-quality dental care is mission critical to Benevis and our Taylor Dental & Braces practices."
Louisiana, ranking among the lowest in the United States for dental health, faces the challenge of scarce dental practitioners, ranking 49th for fewest dentists per capita, according to the press release. Benevis, serving over 500,000 children, 82% of whom are Medicaid patients, is part of the 18% of dental providers managing a Medicaid population with more than 100 child visits annually.
While Louisiana has historically struggled with dental health access, recent policy changes have paved the way for improvement. Policymakers increased reimbursement rates for dental Medicaid in July 2023, injecting over $50 million in funding across the state. This substantial investment aims to expand the number of dentists available to Medicaid-covered Louisianans.
To further support families navigating changes in coverage, Benevis has highlighted resources available to those affected by the redetermination process. Benevis encourages families to explore available resources here.