The Impact of Federal and State Policy on Oral Health Care Delivery in Long-term Care Settings

Authors: Keely Walgama, MSW | Cynthia Wides, MA | Aubri Kottek, MPH | Elizabeth Mertz, PhD

Topics: Long-Term Care, Oral Health

Research Center: Oral Health Workforce Research Center

November 1, 2018

Reforms to address the oral health care needs of vulnerable populations in long-term care (LTC) settings should start with defining a clearer standard of oral care required for this population. This will allow best practices in policy, practice, and accountability to be structured around care that improves patients' oral health.

This article identifies and classifies state-level policies and funding sources for dental services that are available to  LTC residents. The research details variability in coverage levels, payment sources, workforce capacity, and care delivery configurations, finding little coherence between policy and the needs of patients or providers.

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