CHARLESTON, S.C. (Dec. 5, 2019) – Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina announced today that it will be adding the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine to its dental network. Effective Jan. 1, 2020, members participating in the BCBSSC dental network will have access to the only dental school in South Carolina.
The new partnership will add approximately 30 general and specialty dentists to the network. Nearly 1,200 providers are now part of the organization’s statewide network.
This marks a significant benefit to members covered under the Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA). MUSC employees and other state employees can take advantage of in-network cost savings when visiting the oral health professionals at the dental school and faculty practice.
In 2000, the U.S. Surgeon General issued the first report on oral health, which explained why oral health is essential to general health and well-being. Almost 20 years later, experts have established that dental health is an essential component in determining health status, considering poor oral health to play a role in various diseases and conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pregnancy and birth complications, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
“Oral health affects total health, quality of life and optimal wellness. Good dental care can reduce the risk of life-threatening illnesses,” said Matthew Bartels, vice president and chief medical officer at Blue Cross. “Blue Cross has a long-standing relationship with MUSC, so including the dental program in our network represents good continuity of care. Adding the dental school and faculty practice to our network allows our members an additional choice in quality dental care. The collaboration between the two organizations signifies the commitment Blue Cross has to promoting and encouraging whole health integration to its members.”
Members currently have access to all other MUSC Health facilities and providers, including specialty services not found in other facilities or practices in the state.
“We are excited to partner with BCBS. This partnership will not only facilitate better access to care and innovative treatments for citizens across our state, it will help us fulfill our mission to develop principled, skilled, compassionate and culturally sensitive practitioners and leaders in oral health care,” said Sorin Teich, D.M.D., MUSC College of Dental Medicine associate dean for clinical affairs. “We are a one-stop shop that can address all patients’ dental needs, from children to the elderly, and we are especially proud of our ability to also treat patients with special needs.”
Patients seeking dental and oral care can choose to be treated by students, residents or in the faculty practice. For more information about patient services, visit muschealth.org/medical-services/dental.
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the oldest medical school in the South, as well as the state’s only integrated, academic health sciences center with a unique charge to serve the state through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and 700 residents in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The state’s leader in obtaining biomedical research funds, in fiscal year 2019, MUSC set a new high, bringing in more than $284 million. For information on academic programs, visit musc.edu.
As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2019, for the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.
MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $3 billion. The more than 17,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care.
About BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Headquartered in Columbia and operating in South Carolina for more than 72 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 20 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians. It holds an A+ rating from A.M. Best.