As part of its commitment to expanding access to oral health care, DentaQuest, part of Sun Life U.S., recently participated in the “Sign Up, Pay Down” joint effort to recruit more dentists for safety net dental practices in Virginia by offering competitive employment packages that include student loan repayment and signing bonuses.
DentaQuest partnered with the Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF) along with Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation and United Concordia Dental Charitable Fund to help five qualifying Virginia safety net dental practices attract, hire and retain a dentist for two years. Safety net organizations provide a significant level of health services to uninsured, Medicaid and other vulnerable patients. Each selected practice will be able to add an incentive package as part of their employment offer to a newly hired dentist, including $20,000 in loan repayment funding and $20,000 as a signing bonus.
In 2021, Virginia expanded Medicaid coverage to include comprehensive adult dental benefits, a critical step several states have taken toward providing oral health care for all and improving health equity. The “Sign Up, Pay Down” initiative from VHCF is strengthening the expanded benefit by encouraging Virginia dental providers to help serve the increased volume of Medicaid patients in the state.
“When Virginia extended Medicaid dental coverage to adults, it was a crucial step to advancing health equity,” said Brett Bostrack, chief network officer of DentaQuest. “But we know achieving health equity is a complex goal, and providers must have support to meet the needs statewide. Increasing reimbursement rates for providers was the state’s second big step toward expanding access to care. Now, more providers will have the opportunity to offset any financial hardships associated with serving communities in need. We hope this initiative will attract and increase the number of providers serving Medicaid patients across the state.”
The five awardees will be announced by VHCF this spring.
"The Virginia Health Care Foundation helps uninsured Virginians and those who live in underserved communities obtain medical, dental and mental health care," said Deborah D. Oswalt, executive director of VHCF. "We're excited to further our efforts to expand access to care by working with organizations like DentaQuest to encourage dental providers to join safety net dental practices."
DentaQuest, part of Sun Life U.S., is a purpose-driven health care company dedicated to improving the oral health of all. We do this through Preventistry® — our inclusive approach to quality care and expanded access built on trusted partnerships between patients, providers and payors. As one of the nation’s largest and most experienced Medicaid dental benefits administrators, we manage dental and vision benefits for more than 33 million Americans through a nationwide network of providers in all 50 states. Our outcomes-based, cost-effective dental solutions are designed for Medicaid and CHIP, Medicare Advantage, small and large businesses, and individuals. At the same time, we are expanding our footprint of more than 70 oral health centers in six states to deliver direct patient care in rural and underserved populations. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
The newsletter designed for anyone who wants to improve oral health for themselves, their families, customers or communities.