Beginning this month, Health Share of Oregon, the state’s largest coordinated care organization, will take a step forward in fully integrated health care delivery by offering its Oregon Health Plan members a choice of eight dental plans.

Research has long shown a direct connection between oral health and chronic physical ailments, including diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease. Integrating the dental care system with physical and mental health care has been a goal of the Oregon Health Authority.

“Our new dental partners have a wealth of knowledge and ideas they bring to our health reform efforts,” said Janet L. Meyer, Chief Executive Officer for Health Share. “This is a significant step forward as we work with them to explore how we begin to integrate dental care, whether it’s through the delivery of care, shared health information or other means.”

Health Share is contracting with eight dental care plans to provide care to its more than 165,000 members: Access Dental Care, Capitol Dental Care, CareOregon Dental, Family Dental Care, Kaiser Permanente Dental, Managed Dental Care of Oregon, ODS Community Health Dental Plan, and Willamette Dental Group.

Serving Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties, Health Share of Oregon is a community-wide partnership created to ensure high-quality, cost-effective care for Oregon Health Plan members. The largest of the state’s new coordinated care organizations, Health Share aims to achieve better care, better health and lower costs for the Medicaid population and for the region.

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