Pacific Dental Services inks deal with ACO

Pacific Dental Services is partnering with Commonwealth Primary Care ACO to provide integrated medical-dental services for in-network patients. 

During the initial phase of the partnership, which began this month, Pacific Dental Services will provide care with the ACO's physicians to Medicare Advantage patients diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to a Jan. 25 news release. The partnership will then expand to all patients in the ACO's network. 

Care coordination initially will occur between PDS-supported Mesa (Ariz.) Modern Dentistry and Orthodontics and Velda Rose Medical Center in Mesa.

Symptoms of diabetes and periodontal disease are closely linked, with periodontal disease often being considered a complication of diabetes. Recent studies show that treating periodontal disease in patients with high-risk conditions such as Type 2 diabetes can lead to a 40 percent reduction in hospital inpatient admissions, emergency room visits and overall healthcare spending; however, nearly half of Medicare beneficiaries do not have dental insurance, according to the news release. 

About 25 percent of the 10,000 Medicare Advantage beneficiaries currently under the Commonwealth Primary Care ACO have diabetes, but many don't have dental insurance.

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