Pacific Dental Services Partners with Commonwealth Primary Care ACO to Integrate Medical and Dental Care

Pacific Dental Services will partner with Commonwealth Primary Care ACO to cross the gap between medical and dental to provide the best care possible for their patients.

Dental support organization Pacific Dental Services (PDS) has announced a partnership with Commonwealth Primary Care ACO (Commonwealth) based in Arizona. The 2 organizations will come together to integrate medical and dental care for diabetic or pre-diabetic patients by creating clinical treatment plans across both areas. This partnership was born to assist patients as diabetes affects a great deal of the U.S. population, according to a press release from Pacific Dental Services.

Diabetic and pre-diabetic patients are at a greater risk of periodontal disease while patients with periodontal disease are at a greater risk for diabetes, creating a bi-directional inflammatory response. Healthcare costs more for diabetic/pre-diabetic patients, and those patients on Medicare are not covered in dental at all. Through the partnership of these 2 companies, they will create a plan to Commonwealth patients, including those patients who are Medicare beneficiaries, to reduce financial burdens preventing them from seeking dental care.

The partnership was finalized at the end of 2021. While it will begin with a focus on Commonwealth’s Medicare members it will eventually expand to all Commonwealth patients, according to Founder and CEO of Pacific Dental Services Stephen E. Thorne IV.

"Pacific Dental Services is proud to be a leading voice in advocating for better collaboration between medical and dental professionals in order to improve systemic health outcomes for patients," Thorne said in the press release. “In July 2021, we launched Union Village Modern Dentistry and Union Village Medical Group, our first fully integrated medical-dental practice in Henderson, Nevada. This partnership with Commonwealth is another exciting and unprecedented step towards fulfilling the promise of integrated care, enabling individuals with diabetes and periodontal disease in Arizona to receive comprehensive oral health care as part of their chronic disease management."

This partnership was an ideal match, according to Commonwealth CEO Lance Donkerbrook.

“Commonwealth is pleased to partner with Pacific Dental Services to close gaps in care and provide better access for patients in Arizona. Both of our respective organizations have long respected and promoted the coordination of health with the understanding that improving oral health will improve overall health,” Donkerbrook said in the press release. “This novel integrated medical-dental approach is unique because it brings together patient education, care coordination and targeted outreach across our collaborative medical and dental specialties to improve the overall health of the patients under our care."