Experts at the CMS 2023 Quality Conference Address the Importance of Oral Health Care

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • May 17, 2023
On May 1-3, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosted the 2023 Quality Conference entitled, Building Resilient Communities: Having an Equitable Foundation for Quality Healthcare. The conference brought together leading experts in health care to explore how to improve health care quality and disseminate solutions to address some of the U.S.' most pervasive health systems challenges. Over the three days, three breakout sessions and a keynote by Dr. Natalia Chalmers discussed ways to use community partnerships and quality improvement strategies to improve Americans' oral health and overall health outcomes. Dr. Chalmers stated that CMS' oral health vision is to improve beneficiaries' health by integrating oral health, advancing health equity, and expanding coverage. She also spoke to the challenges and opportunities to expand access to dental health care. Other panelists shared efforts their organizations are pursuing to better integrate oral health care delivery with medical care delivery, such as by administering fluoride varnish (FV) at pediatric well-care visits, establishing partnerships between medical and dental providers to help patients with diabetes better manage their care, and by utilizing Integrated Registered Dental Hygienists (I-RDH) to provide oral health screening and treatments at medical visits. Speakers also emphasized the importance of data collection and quality measure reporting to identify disparities and other gaps in oral health care. 
Impact on General Dentistry: AGD's Washington representatives attended the CMS Quality Conference. This was an exciting opportunity to hear from stakeholders and community partners across the U.S. on efforts they are undertaking to expand and improve access to dental health care.