People who are poor or members of communities of color face inequitable oral disease burden. And continued separation of dental care from medical care exacerbates these inequities, creating difficult choices involving pain, payment options, and inadequate care in emergency departments.
A new peer-reviewed article in the AMA Journal of Ethics, part of an issue about inequity along the medical/dental divide, highlights how value-based approaches to health care can improve outcomes for everyone.
“Clinicians, payers, communities, policymakers, employers, and other decision makers must collectively decide to promote justice,” write the authors. “An integrated system of medicine and oral health care must bring attention to disparities and build policy, practice, and research solutions to support equity.”
The authors share a vision for a reimagined, more equitable health care system that:
- integrates medical and dental services
- focuses on prevention rather than disease management
- reimburses providers based on quality of care and patient outcomes
- invests in training a more diverse health care workforce
Read the full article.
Listen to the AMA Ethics Talk podcast interview with co-author Myechia Minter-Jordan, MD, MBA, president and CEO of CareQuest Institute for Oral Health.
You may also be interested in:
Veteran Oral Health: Expanding Access and Equity, a white paper that explores gaps in oral health care access for veterans and ways to address them.
Oral Disease Is Common. Access to Care Is Not., a visual report, based on a survey of 5,320 adults, that illustrates how oral health care is inequitably distributed among Americans.
Equity and Community Engagement in Statewide Oral Health Advocacy, a research report that provides a roadmap — including key data and recommendations — to help build partnerships that promote sustainable, equity-informed, community-driven advocacy.