Dental Quality Alliance seeking volunteers for workgroup

New workgroup will develop practice- and clinician-level oral heath quality measures

Dr. Casmassimo

The Dental Quality Alliance is looking for volunteers for a new workgroup that will develop practice- and clinician-level oral health care quality measures.

Kevin Dens, D.D.S, chair of the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs, said there is a growing number of third-party payers that now utilize provider rating systems displaying "scores" for dentists on their provider directories to differentiate themselves in the market with employers, Medicaid programs and other marketplace offerings.

He added that he thinks the DQA taking the initiative to develop practice and clinician level measures is the right approach and will be helpful to address this rising trend from the third-party payers.

"As provider rating systems are being rolled out by more and more entities, with some of them saying they represent 'quality' when they don't actually represent an agreed-upon and scientific definition of quality. The DQA, as a collaborative multi-stakeholder organization, is taking a deliberate approach to leverage its expertise," Dr. Dens said.

"These rating systems may use the term 'quality' in their names when the systems actually measure participation or utilization rather than quality of care," said Paul Casamassimo, D.D.S., chair of the DQA.

The DQA has the necessary experience, Dr. Dens said, to take the lead in addressing the development of quality measures at the provider level that are valid, reliable, feasible and in line with the alliance's mission to "advance the effectiveness and scientific basis of clinical performance measurement and improvement."

The workgroup is charged with the task of exploring the development of validated quality measures using both clinical and patient-reported data. The workgroup will provide recommendations to the DQA's Measures Development and Maintenance Committee on the development of a core set of practice and clinician level oral health quality measures.

The workgroup is seeking 5-8 volunteers representing:
- Subject matter experts with expertise in quality measure development, health policy and health services research.
- Representatives of organizations that have access to clinician level data (administrative claims or electronic health records data) to support the DQA's initiatives to validate any potential measures developed by the workgroup.

Dr. Casamassimo said that the DQA's expertise is grounded in a consensus-building process and that it is the right time for its extensive background in developing oral health quality measures at the plan and program level to be utilized at the practice and clinician level.

"The open call for recruitment emphasizes this collaborative process and ensures this effort will continue to advance the DQA's core mission to improve oral health and patient care and safety," Dr. Casamassimo said.

All work for this committee will be conducted over conference calls scheduled on a regular basis and in-person meetings may be held as needed. The term of the workgroup will end upon achieving the intended outcomes.

Nominations by way of a letter of interest (including the perspective that the volunteer presents) and a short biography are due to by July 15.

The Dental Quality Alliance, convened by the ADA on behalf of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, is an organization of major stakeholders in oral health care delivery that uses a collaborative approach to develop oral health care measures.

To learn more about the Dental Quality Alliance and its work, visit

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