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Covered California adopts DQA measures

August 17, 2015

By Kelly Soderlund

Photo of Dr. Crall
Dr. Crall

California’s marketplace for patients to purchase health insurance through the Affordable Care Act has adopted measures created by the Dental Quality Alliance.

Covered California announced the adoption of the DQA Pediatric Measure Set in its qualified dental plan contracts for 2016.

“CDA is pleased that our state’s exchange, Covered California, is the first to adopt the pediatric DQA performance measures for the dental plans it sells,” said CDA President Walt Weber. “As dentists, the information gathered through this set of performance measures will help us understand the number of children who have received critical dental care, especially preventive services, and the number who have a place for ongoing treatment. This will be an essential step to assuring our pediatric patients get access to high-quality care.”

The DQA, formed in 2008 through a request from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, is comprised of multiple stakeholders from across the oral health community who are committed to the development of consensus-based quality measures.

“Having state exchanges recognize the value of the DQA measures and the effort in creating them really adds to the credibility of the work the DQA is doing,” said Dr. James Crall, DQA chair. “From our standpoint, we hope that this will lead to more and more states, governmental programs and commercial programs looking to adopt DQA measures.”

Covered California officials took the DQA’s history into consideration when deciding to adopt the measures. In an email to its members, program officials cited how the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services incorporated a measure into its 2015 core set of children’s health care quality measures for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“Covered California continuously seeks to improve the consumer experience. Adopting the DQA measures is an excellent example, as it will help members receive the right, high quality and fairly priced dental care at the right time,” according to the email. “By promoting these measures, Covered California helps expand best practices and improve dental care quality overall in California’s dental system.”

As state government insurance programs grow, so does the need for quality measurement, Dr. Crall said.

“More and more people are being covered by the Affordable Care Act and purchasing health insurance through their state marketplaces, which really underscores the importance of having measures to determine how well these programs are performing,” Dr. Crall said.