September 19, 2018
The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry was recognized with a Center of Excellence Award by LIBERTY Dental Plan and Illinois State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-5th) on Sept. 19 at the College, which is located in Senator Van Pelt’s district.
LIBERTY Dental Plan is a full-service dental benefits company that has been providing dental services to Medicaid beneficiaries across the U.S. since 2008 and in Illinois since 2014, when the State of Illinois authorized the Medicaid dental managed care program. Liberty administers dental benefits for its Illinois medical plan partners including Harmony and NextLevel Health Plans.
Under the leadership of its founding dentist, Dr. Amir Neshat, “LIBERTY is committed to providing quality dental benefits with a focus on total body care that will lead to happier and healthier lives for Illinois Medicaid members,” Dr. Neshat said.
“LIBERTY is only able to administer quality oral healthcare through our partnership with Illinois dental providers,” Dr. Neshat continued. “We recognize that the best patient care comes from a network of local dentists who have proven their commitment to providing appropriate and timely care for the community they serve.”
Over the past three years, LIBERTY has worked closely with community dentists who consistently have demonstrated their commitment and dedication to quality care and recognizes outstanding dental providers with its Center of Excellence Award.
LIBERTY selects Centers of Excellence through a rigorous evaluation process that includes reviews of office safety and compliance, appropriate delivery of dental services compared to regional utilization patters, high member satisfaction which leads to loyalty and continuity of care, access and availability of appointments, and low member grievances and complaints.
Judy Bowlby (right), LIBERTY Senior Manager of Government Programs, and Senator Van Pelt (second from right), who is Chair of the Illinois Senate’s Public Health Committee and also is on the Oversight Committee for Medicaid and Managed Care, presented the Center of Excellence Award to Dr. Clark Stanford, Dean of the College of Dentistry and UIC Distinguished Professor, Dr. Robert Barish (left), Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs for UIC, and other University and College of Dentistry personnel.
Dr. Stanford said, “The UIC College of Dentistry is honored to be recognized as a Center of Excellence by Liberty Dental Plan and Senator Van Pelt for our commitment and dedication to excellence in the delivery of oral healthcare to the underserved. This recognition is an affirmation of our commitment to Changing the Future of Oral Health. We are grateful for this recognition and for our faculty, students, and staff whose outstanding work have earned us this significant achievement.”
“On behalf of our Liberty team, I wish to congratulate the UIC College of Dentistry and we look forward to a long and quality relationship to improve oral health and the lives of Illinois’s most vulnerable Medicaid population,” said Dr. Neshat.
“Dental care is sometimes overlooked as a critical element in general physical health and wellness,” said Senator Van Pelt. “Having excellent resources like the UIC College of Dentistry providing dental services to Medicaid beneficiaries in the district ensures we can bring a healthier, better quality of life to all communities.”
“Harmony Health Plan is proud to honor these outstanding dental providers,” said Chuck Beeman, president of Harmony Health Plan. “Preventive and maintenance dental care is a key element of an integrated health delivery system that helps our members live better, healthier lives.”
“Dental health plays an important role in the complete health of our members,” said Dr. Cheryl Whitaker, CEO of NextLevel Health. “The UIC College of Dentistry trains the next generation of dentists while playing the critical role of ‘dental safety net’ in the Chicago community.”
The College serves as the largest dental Medicaid provider in the State of Illinois, providing 70,490 Medicaid appointments to patients enrolled in the State Dental Medicaid program in a year. Total number of appointments for children on Medicaid (age 20 and under at time of appointment): 41,691. Total number of appointments for Medicaid patients 21 and older: 28,799. A total of 97.77% of the children treated at the College are on Medicaid.
Photo caption (header): Senator Patricia Van Pelt and a team from LIBERTY Dental Care and its partner organizations presented the Center of Excellence Award to the College and to UI Health.