Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina Adds MUSC College of Dental Medicine to its Network

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Friday, December 6th, 2019

Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina announced 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.”