Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today announced that Delta Dental Plan, based in Pierre, will receive a $3,364,528 federal grant to improve the oral health and health care of Native Americans. The project will train 24 dental hygienists and community health representatives who will not just treat patients, but also focus on coordinating community-based care to improve health outcomes. The program is estimated to save $6 million in taxpayer funds by adopting proven preventive health practices.
Delta Dental is one of 26 entities selected nationwide to receive a Health Care Innovation Award, made possible through health care reform. The awards provide funding for health care organizations that implement new ideas to provide better care, improve health and lower costs to Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program beneficiaries.
“I supported health care reform to give our nation a step forward in addressing the shortcomings of our health care system. Investments in prevention and care coordination are a vital part of this effort and can also deliver health savings,” said Johnson. “I am pleased Delta Dental has received this competitive award and I am confident this funding will go a long way in improving the oral health and health care of many South Dakotans.”
Delta Dental will provide preventive oral health care to American Indian mothers, their children, and American Indian people with diabetes to reduce the incidence of dental disease and decrease the need for expensive surgical care.