Treat and Manage Gum Disease to Save on Healthcare Costs
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) recently published a study from United Concordia Dental that shows reduced hospitalizations and healthcare costs are possible when individuals with certain chronic conditions, or those who are pregnant, receive and maintain treatment for gum disease.
"The results are in: Oral wellness can help employers and their employees save money," said James Bramson, DDS, chief dental officer. "We're excited that our findings have been published online by the AJPM and are scheduled for print publication in August. This means the validity of our study is being supported by the scientific community and that's good news for everyone."
United Concordia joined with Highmark Inc and renowned researcher Marjorie Jeffcoat, DMD, University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) School of Dental Medicine, in analyzing five years of data to better understand the connection between oral health and overall wellness. Using claims information from Highmark and United Concordia, the study looked at 338,891 individuals from 2005 to 2009 who had both Highmark medical insurance and United Concordia dental coverage, as well as gum disease, and one or more of following conditions: type 2 diabetes, cerebral vascular disease, coronary artery disease, and/or pregnancy.
The study found that treating gum disease was associated with statistically significant decreases in annual medical costs of 40.2 percent, or $2,840 per year, in patients with diabetes; 40.9 percent, or $5,681, for those with cerebral vascular disease; 10.7 percent, or $1,090, for those with coronary artery disease; and 73.7 percent, or $2,433, for those who became pregnant. Additionally, hospital admissions decreased by 39.4 percent, 21.2 percent, and 28.6 percent in patients with type 2 diabetes, cerebral vascular (stroke), and coronary artery (heart) disease, respectively.
"I'm pleased that the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has decided to publish the study I've conducted with United Concordia Dental and Highmark Inc," said Dr. Jeffcoat. "This study shows reduced hospitalizations and healthcare costs are possible when individuals with gum disease and at least one chronic condition, or who are pregnant, receive treatment for their gum disease. Having the study peer-reviewed speaks to the importance of the findings and the credibility of our work."
Source: United Concordia Dental