Patient-Centered Dental Home (PCDH) Project

The goal of this project is to develop a patient-centered dental home model of care, similar to the patient-centered medical home, that acts as a framework for quality measurement and care integration within dentistry and between dentistry and the broader health home environment.

The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is an established model that aims to improve the organization and delivery of primary care in medicine. However, there currently is not a similar nationally recognized model for the delivery of dental care. Change in the delivery of dental care is necessitated by national movement toward changes in payment models, organized delivery systems, and the development of overall health homes that integrate oral health with other health care services. Through the convening of national experts, this project aims to develop a PCDH model similar to the PCMH that can be used to evaluate and assess dental care delivery systems.

PCDH Quality Measurement Framework:

The PCDH project is building a framework that identifies the essential characteristics of a PCDH and connects those characteristics to specific measures. The project is being conducted in 4 phases:

Phase 1 (complete): PCDH Definition, including essential characteristics (e.g., accessible)

Phase 2 (complete): Components of each essential PCDH characteristic (e.g., timely)

Phase 3 (complete): Measure concepts included in each component (e.g., percentage of population that obtains necessary dental care)

Patient Centered Dental Home framework


Phase 4 (complete): Specific Quality Indicators, including Measures and Standards

For the past five years, our national advisory committee for this project has participated in a structured consensus-building approach to hone the definition, components, and measure concepts of a PCDH. This committee is comprised of experts in health and dental care policy, including quality improvement, care integration, health home models, and more. Additionally, participants include representatives from federal agencies, third party payers, accreditation organizations, dental delivery systems, and state oral health programs. At intermediate steps throughout the process, there will be public comment periods to expand the input being received and make sure all appropriate perspectives are being considered.

A list of National Advisory Committee members can be found here.

In preparation for this project and as part of previous CareQuest-funded work, we developed a background report detailing associated historical and current delivery factors that inform the rationale for the development of a PCDH. This report can be found here.

This project is funded by a grant from the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health.