The committee noted the following key findings and conclusions:

•   Oral diseases can affect all Americans, and vulnerable and underserved populations are especially at risk. Therefore, the prioritization of oral health as a key issue for HHS falls in line with its basic mission.

•   HHS has had some notable successes in improving oral health in the past, yet that prior work has not had the necessary transformative impact on oral health.

•   HHS needs to capitalize on its prior efforts and then build on that work to elevate the priority and visibility of oral health in all relevant divisions of HHS.

•   The oral health activities of HHS are spread throughout the agency with little communication and coordination between divisions.

•   The failure of previous HHS initiatives to produce significant results resulted from a lack of coordination, a lack of clear goals, a lack of resources, and a lack of high-level accountability.

•   HHS has many unique opportunities to influence the oral health system, particularly through education grants, fostering payment innovation, promoting research, coordinating with other agencies that collect oral health data, and developing quality measures.

•   The ACA has many authorized provisions related to oral health, but most remain unfunded.

•   HHS has many opportunities to partner with the private sector (e.g., professional societies) as well as other parts of the public sector (e.g., states, other federal agencies).


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