The Future of Oral Health Care Includes Value-Based Care, White Paper Says

For Immediate Release
March 3, 2022

Contact: Todd Kluss
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The U.S. health care system is moving toward value-based care (VBC), a system that links payment to quality and value. In fact, recent data from the Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network showed that nearly 41 percent of U.S. health care payments in 2019 were tied to alternative payment models (e.g., shared risk, bundled payments, population-based payments). This is a drastic increase of 23 percent over the last five years with no signs of slowing.

Despite the overall shift towards VBC, quality measurement in adult oral health is often overlooked, hindering efforts towards value-based oral health care (VBOHC). Recognizing that there has been increased attention to VBOHC to address rising oral health care costs, oral health disparities, and quality of oral health care, The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) partnered with Discern Health to host an Oral Health Quality Expert Panel to drive momentum in VBOHC.

The resulting white paper, “Using Quality Tactics to Advance Value-Based Oral Healthcare,” provides a series of recommendations to advance VBOHC.

The top recommendations are to:

  • Define the role of the dental professionn VBOHC.
  • Increase education and acceptance of VBOHC among dental and medical providers.
  • Develop quality tactics that focus on patients.

“The inherent complexity and heterogeneity of our older population frequently create more challenges in all aspects of health care, and we would expect the same for value-based care models which could inadvertently penalize providers who serve older, sicker, or poorer patients,” said expert panel participant Stephen Shuman, DDS, MS, FGSA, who serves as chair of the GSA Oral Health Work Group.

Overall, the expert panel demonstrated that there is an opportunity to advance oral health quality measurement for adults, but there will be many challenges along the way.

Kaitlyn Esselman, a director at Discern Health and moderator of the convening, commented, “The opportunity to improve quality of care through VBOHC is tremendous.”

Support for this publication was provided by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.


The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,500+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society.

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