Oregon is grappling with the politics surrounding the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) and dental care coverage for more than 600,000 of its members and 200,000 people who could be added to the plan, according to a report by the Oregonian.
Legislators adopted savings measures via health reforms passed last year that combine physical, mental, and dental care providers into networks for OHP's low-income earners. At odds are coordinated care organizations currently providing dental care to the plan's members and new coordinated care organizations.
Among the 15 new regional care organizations are those that wish to contract with independent dentists instead of only working with OHP dental plans, the article noted. But several dental plans claim they were assured exclusive access to OHP dental patients until 2017.
Mike Shirtcliff, a former dentist and head of Advantage Dental, said that gaps in care could result if a disorganized transition takes place. In response, another provider, Trillium Community Health Plan, explained that plans like Advantage Dental haven't always been able to accommodate new patients, so care organizations must be able to hire independent dentists.
A petition filed by Shirtcliff and two legislators resulted in the delay of integrating the new dental plans. Public hearings and legislative debates are set to discuss the matter.