The Latest From MCNA
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MCNA joined over 5,000 children, parents, community members, and child advocate volunteers in celebration of Children's Week 2014 at the Florida state capital in Tallahassee. As an official community partner in this annual event, MCNA was present to advocate for quality oral health care for all Florida children and to educate attendees about the importance of oral health in a child's growth and development. This year's Children's Week was held April 6-11.
On April 8 at the Florida Legislature, MCNA representatives witnessed the Hanging of the Hands Dedication Ceremony where 100,000 paper hands were put on display as a powerful visual statement of support for children across the state. After the ceremony and press conference, our representatives were able to connect with a large number of children, foster children, and parents who visited our table dedicated to children's oral health. They provided oral health educational materials and free giveaways, such as dental kits, hats, and t-shirts, to children ranging from kindergarten through high school ages.
MCNA also actively sought new opportunities to partner with community and foster agencies in the regions we serve. As part of our Community Outreach Program, MCNA forms and maintains strong partnerships with such organizations to enable us to reach more of Florida's children with oral health education and help in obtaining Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) dental services.
"Being a community partner in Children's Week 2014 was a truly inspirational experience for MCNA," said Director of Quality Improvement for MCNA, Oteasa Townsend-Hardy. "We were able to actively involve children and caregivers in learning about the importance of maintaining good oral health and form new connections with several community organizations, building our network of outreach opportunities across the state."
MCNA joined Community Smiles of Miami-Dade County in their successful Give Kids a Smile event on March 13, 2014. Our Community Outreach Specialist gave a colorful presentation to over 60 children ages 3-5 years enrolled in local Head Start programs. MCNA's educational interaction with the children about tooth brushing skills and healthy snacks for healthy teeth supported the free dental screenings and preventive treatments they received from the clinical staff of the Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center where the event took place.
Local initiatives like this one are a part of the national annual Give Kids a Smile program that was launched in 2003 by the American Dental Association (ADA). MCNA joined other dental health organizations and professionals across the country in donating time and skills to provide oral health education and dental services to underserved children. In addition to connecting with the children at the event on March 13, we distributed free giveaways including toothbrushes, toothpaste, and wristbands to help make the skills they learned that day memorable.
The provision of targeted oral health and hygiene educational information is one of the primary goals of MCNA's Community Outreach program.
MCNA is proud to announce the unveiling of its Stellar Treatment And Recognition Reward (STARR) Program, a leading-edge program that identifies and rewards our network providers for excellence in the provision of quality preventive care services to our Texas Medicaid and CHIP members. The STARR Program is the first of its kind among the nation's managed dental health care organizations. With its development and release, MCNA is at the forefront of cost-effective care, increasing the prevention of dental disease among the most vulnerable children across Texas.
The STARR Program is designed to recognize MCNA's network providers who render stellar preventive treatment to our members. It rewards Main Dental Home Providers (MDH Providers) who perform a high volume of five select preventive care services at the highest levels of quality. These services were chosen based on the guidelines for preventive dental care adopted by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the emerging quality of care indicators from the Dental Quality Alliance. The five preventive services selected for the program are listed below:
- Prophylaxis Treatments - The professional removal of microbial plaque is necessary to the long-term inhibition of the development of tooth decay and gingival disease.
- Fluoride Application - Fluoride applied to teeth fights dental decay by strengthening enamel, the outer hard covering of teeth. It is a safe and highly effective measure to reduce the risk of decay.
- Sealant Application - Sealants are plastic coatings applied to molars, preventing bacteria from settling into the deep grooves on the teeth. They physically protect teeth from risk of decay.
- Recall Visits - Regular professional dental care every six months for children through adolescence and beyond is necessary to the maintenance of good oral health.
- First Dental Home Visit - Texas recognizes the establishment of the First Dental Home as the basis for the important ongoing relationship between the dentist and patient.
"MCNA recognizes the importance of our network providers and the role they play in our focus on increasing the utilization of preventive care services," said Shannon Turner, Vice President of Operations. "The STARR Program rewards the efforts of those dentists who place a priority on prevention of dental disease in the children we serve."
MCNA is pleased to announce its new relationship with the Dental Quality Alliance (DQA), a national organization established by the American Dental Association focused on improving all aspects of oral health care through measurement.
MCNA supports the mission of the DQA to advance performance measurement as a means to improve oral health, patient care and safety through a consensus-building process. MCNA is pleased to be part of this national effort to enhance the quality of dental care and promote a high level of professional accountability and transparency in its provision.
Our membership in the Dental Quality Alliance allows us to contribute our expertise to the development of these performance measures," said Dr. Philip Hunke, President of MCNA Insurance Company. "We look forward to working closely with the other member organizations to find innovative ways to improve oral health care and strengthen the professional dental community."
MCNA volunteers joined over 5,000 walkers in donating their time and supporting the 2013 Broward County Walk Now for Autism Speaks by fundraising for and walking in the event. Volunteers from across the company were able to fundraise just over $1,500 to donate to the Autism Speaks organization as it pursues vital research into overcoming the challenges of autism, a serious developmental disorder. The event was held on the campus of Nova Southeastern University on October 26.
Annual events just like this one held across the country raise funds for autism research and promote awareness about autism and its associated health issues, including oral health care. MCNA's Case Management Department provides care coordination services for members with special health care needs to help ensure they receive the dental care necessary and appropriate for their unique needs. This year's Broward County event provided educational resources for participants and inspirational advocacy delivered in an energizing atmosphere. Cheerleaders and mascots kept the attendees upbeat while they learned more about all aspects of autism from the participating organizations.
"MCNA volunteers showed their support of the work carried out daily by the Autism Speaks organization to make a lasting positive impact in the lives of families dealing with the disorder," said Denise Kissane, Director of Utilization Management. "MCNA works with the families of our members with special health care needs, sometimes the result of autism or other developmental disorders, to coordinate the quality dental care they need and provide them with access to the appropriate services necessary to their good oral health."
MCNA's collaboration with its Tarrant County area community partners culminated Thursday, October 10, 2013, with a successful day of connection at the 2013 Children of Migrant Farmworkers Summit. The summit, hosted by the Texas Health Steps Coalition and Tarrant County Area school districts, was held at the Tarrant County Public Health Dr. Marion J. Brooks Building. MCNA Member Advocates were involved from the initial planning meeting through the day of the event to aid in its organization and ultimate success.
The Children of Migrant Farmworkers Summit brought together all levels of community partners, from dental and health care providers and staff to case managers and case workers, who help individuals access the care they need. MCNA's representatives were present at an event booth to answer questions about MCNA and how it utilizes its resources to provide important dental care services to migrant farmworker families across the state. Several key speakers representing the Health and Human Services Commission as well as other organizations involved the Texas Medicaid and CHIP programs delivered presentations about developing and maintaining relationships with migrant farmworker families and about important changes coming to the Medicaid program.
Attendees were also able to view a special presentation of the documentary The Harvest: La Cosecha. The film affords a firsthand look at the struggles inherent in the daily lives of migrant farmworker children. MCNA serves this vulnerable population by providing them with assistance in accessing necessary dental services and by ensuring they receive accelerated services when work requires their families to move out of their home area. MCNA's involvement in the planning and presentation of events like this summit ensures that the company continues to build strong ties with community partners who are similarly invested in the health and well-being of migrant farmworker children and their families.