Rural Oral Health Initiatives
SCORH’s Medical Oral Expanded Care (MORE Care) pilot program supported six Rural Health Clinics with implementing oral health care into their practices, resulting in better access to dental care for their patients.
Thousands of South Carolinians lack access to basic oral health care. This is disproportionately the case for vulnerable populations, including children and adults in rural South Carolina communities. There are several strategies that have promise in reducing the oral health care disparities in rural communities including integration of oral health care practices into primary care settings, development of a reliable referral network to dental providers, and exploration of telemedicine to increase access to dental providers. SCORH collaborates in-state on implementation of these strategies with the MUSC College of Dental Medicine Department of Population Health, the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Nationally, SCORH partners with The DentaQuest Foundation, The DentaQuest Institute, and the National Rural Health Association to bring information and resources back to rural communities in the Palmetto State.
Solving our state’s oral health care access issues requires a revolution. We believe that rural communities are test beds of innovation and determination that create the environment for this revolution to occur. In addition to support for primary care oral health integration through our Center for Practice Transformation as described below, we are able to provide the following services to rural providers and communities:
- Connection to State and National Experts in Oral Health Care Issues
- Technical Assistance with Identifying Oral Health Needs in Patient Populations
- Physician and Staff Development Opportunities through Meetings and Webinars
- Assistance with Developing Linkages with Dental Providers
- Oral Health Integration into Primary Care Expertise
- Practice redesign/quality improvement – including alignment with Patient-Centered Medical Home & Meaningful Use requirements
- Electronic medical records – including reporting and EMR redesign/customization
- Quality measurement & reporting
- Health information technology integration
- Billing and coding