Passport Works with Federal and State Officials, Along with Military Reserves and Kentucky Air National Guard, to Provide Free Health Clinics in Eastern Kentucky

Passport is joining the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Military’s reserve forces, along with the Kentucky Department for Local Government and the Kentucky Air National Guard, to present a series of health clinics in Eastern Kentucky that are open to all.

The program, dubbed “Operation Bobcat Medical IRT,” features clinics that will provide medical screenings, dental exams, and optical exams at no cost. IRT stands for Innovative Readiness Training.

The clinics will take place from June 15 to June 24 and be located at four Eastern Kentucky high schools – Breathitt County High, Estill County High, Lee County High, and Owsley County High. The clinics will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The clinics are for people ages 2 and up, and operate on a first-come-first-served basis. No proof of insurance or identification is needed to be seen.

A Passport representative will be in attendance at every clinic (except for the Sunday clinics) to answer questions about Passport, the Kentucky HEALTH program, or anything else that is needed.

For more information, please click here.

 

Kentucky Oral Health Coalition hosts meeting in Hazard to increase dental awareness

KOHC logoThe Kentucky Oral Health Coalition and its members – including Passport Health Plan – will host a regional oral health meeting on July 29 in Hazard to increase dental awareness and develop strategies to address the widespread dental-access issues in Eastern Kentucky, says the Kentucky Rural Health Association.

This is the third of four regional meetings this year, welcoming local policymakers, health advocates, health professionals, educators and students.

Dr. Daria “Nikki” Stone, associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry and director of the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program in Hazard, will speak at the convening about the dental status of the Eastern Kentucky region, according to Kentucky Health News.

The meeting will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, July 29, at the University of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard. It is free and open to the public, but registration is suggested. Click here to register.

For more information about KOHC, go online to kyoralhealthcoalition.org.

 

New report details progress made and challenges that still exist to improve overall oral health in Kentucky

Kentucky has been proactive in addressing identified deficiencies in oral health access through state-level policy initiatives and funding for oral health services and programs, but despite statewide initiatives to improve overall oral health, there remain populations with poor outcomes attributed to a lack of oral health literacy, residence in rural areas, and limited resources to pay for care, according to a new report.

The report, titled “Oral Health in Kentucky,” was produced by the State University of New York at Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies.

Researchers showed that particular population groups appeared to be at greatest risk for poor oral health outcomes: children and adults from lower socioeconomic groups, the elderly, pregnant women, and others.

One thing they notes was that increasing the number of people with Medicaid improved the opportunity for many to receive dental services. However, the large number of the newly insured, their generally poor oral health, a limited network of participating providers, and the transition of the Medicaid program to managed care auspices is challenging the capacity of the oral health care delivery system in Kentucky.

“Kentucky’s support for an adult dental benefit is huge,” Margaret Langelier, project director for the study, said in an interview with Kentucky Health News . “When you have significant oral disease, it can impact your overall health in major, major ways.”

To see the full report from the State University of New York at Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies, please click here.

 

Passport’s Adult Members Have an Expanded Dental Benefit – Two Cleanings Per Year!

dentistUp until now, Passport’s adult members were entitled to just one cleaning every 12 months, while Passport’s child members could get one cleaning every 6 months. But effective 1/1/16, Passport has expanded the dental benefits for our adult members, meaning that they can get one cleaning every 6 months, just like the kids!

Preventive dental care is critical to good oral health and overall health. Since the Medicaid and uninsured population have traditionally been underserved in Kentucky and many have significant oral health needs, Passport is making it a special point to promote good oral hygiene for Medicaid members in Kentucky. That’s why, even though research shows that just one cleaning per year would be “enough” for most people who have no risk factors, Passport has decided to err on the side of caution and allow all of our members – no matter their age – to get two cleanings per year. This will help prevent gum disease and cut down on other risk factors so they can take care of their teeth and gums.

Beyond the full cleanings, Passport members will continue to get the following dental benefits:

  • Full checkups with X-rays (adults and children)
  • Certain kinds of oral surgery (adults and children)
  • Fillings, either metal or resin-based (adults and children)
  • Sealants (children only – once per 48 months)
  • Spacers (children only – limit of 2 per 12 months)
  • Crowns (children only)
  • Pin retention for permanent molars (children only)
  • Root canals (children only)
  • Braces (children only – if they’re medically necessary)

Kentucky’s dental problems have long been a source of ridicule, and have real and detrimental impacts on schoolchildren, the workforce and families. In fact, Kentucky ranks 41st in annual dental visits, 45th in the percentage of children with untreated dental decay (34.6%), and 47th in the percentage of adults 65+ missing 6 or more teeth (52.1%). And in 2012, Kentucky had the fifth-highest rate of “toothlessness” in the country among adults age 65 and older.

To see more about what Governor Beshear and the “kyhealthnow” initiative is doing to help improve oral health, please click here. And if you are a Passport member looking to find a dentist in your area, please click here.