The Data Linking Oral and Overall Health (2017)

Recorded On: 06/28/2017

Hear from some of the nation’s leading dental benefits professionals regarding the importance of oral health and its contributions to overall health. Panelists will cover:

  • Data linking oral and overall health
  • Strengths and limitations in advancing dental coverage for all populations, including adults in Medicaid, Medicare and commercial populations
  • The potential for reduction in  oral inflammation to simplify the treatment of several systemic diseases thereby increasing oral and systemic health and reducing total costs to the system
  • How insured members who have certain inflammatory diseases like diabetes, heart disease and stroke (among others) and who accessed dental care, especially periodontal care, had significantly lower total healthcare costs
  • The potential for carriers to reduce total healthcare costs

Mary Lee Conicella, DMD, FAGD

Chief Dental Officer

Dr. Mary Lee Conicella is Aetna’s Chief Dental Officer.  In her role, she creates programs that engage members and deliver superior health through integration.  She was instrumental in launching Aetna's Dental-Medical Integration program and has published numerous abstracts and articles related to the impact dental care has on overall health.  She is a member of Aetna’s Clinical Executive Leadership Council, a team that develops clinical thought leadership positions across Aetna.  She also participates on the CVS/Aetna Enterprise-Wide Opioid Task Force; implementing innovative clinical initiatives that impact the opioid crisis.  She has worked for Aetna since 1997.

Dr. Conicella received her DMD from Temple University School of Dentistry.  She practiced general dentistry for more than 15 years and achieved Fellowship status in the Academy of General Dentistry.  She spent many years on the clinical faculty at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and currently sits on the NYU College of Dentistry Dean’s Strategic Advisory Council.

Her affiliations include the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry and the National Dental Association’s Corporate Round Table.  She is a member of the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) Board of Directors and volunteers on the NADP Codes Workgroup.

As an Aetna/CVS Health leader, Dr. Conicella focuses on the following strategic imperatives:

  • Be local - engage people with the care they need where they need it 
  • Lead the change - challenge the status quo with new technologies
  • Improve health – help people achieve better health at a lower cost

Kenneth R. Wright, DMD, MPH

Vice President, Dental Services

Dr. Wright joined the Kaiser Permanente Dental Program in September, 2011. In his role as Vice President, Dental Services, Dr. Wright leads the Dental Program as a business unit within the Kaiser Permanente Northwest Region (KPNW), and is responsible for its strategy, dental and financial operations, service and quality of care. The NW Region is the only Kaiser Permanente region to offer its own, branded dental services organization which is uniquely positioned in the marketplace by offering an integrated model that sets the standard for coordinated, accountable care that is high-quality, affordable, and evidence-based.  Dr. Wright oversees the Program’s 19 offices that serve more than 265,000 members in the Portland-Vancouver metro area, Longview, Salem and Eugene and is absolutely committed to a holistic approach to health care that enables coordination of care across the medical-dental continuum, leverages an expanded role for dentists as extenders of primary care, improves patient health outcomes, and results in enhanced service and patient care experiences.

Prior to joining Dental Services, Dr. Wright served as Chief of Dental Services at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Alexandria, La.  He was responsible for overall operation, oversight and performance measures of all Dental Service operations at the center.

Before joining the VA, Dr. Wright had an extensive and distinguished military career that spanned more than 30 years. Now a retired U.S. Navy captain, he served in numerous leadership roles including Chief Executive Officer for the Navy’s largest dental command at the National Naval Dental Center in Bethesda, Md., Chief Operating Officer for Navy Dentistry’s $380 million integrated dental program and Deputy Director, Operations Plans and Policy for Navy Medicine on the Chief of Naval Operations staff.

Dr. Wright is a Board Certified periodontist who earned his DMD and Masters in Public Health from Harvard University, completed his periodontal residency at University of North Carolina School of Dentistry in Chapel Hill and most recently completed the Executive Leadership Program at Harvard Business School.

James B. Bramson, DDS

Chief Dental Officer of United Concordia Companies, Inc

Dr. James Bramson is Chief Dental Officer of United Concordia Companies, Inc.  Jim is responsible for providing clinical oversight of United Concordia’s provider network management, dental policy, quality assurance, utilization review, fraud and abuse protection, product development and dental wellness.  Prior to joining United Concordia, he served as president of Bramson & Company, a strategic consulting firm for the health care industry, and from 2001-2008 Jim was the Executive Director for the American Dental Association (ADA).

Jim began his career in private general dental practice, leaving that for a Hillenbrand Fellowship with the American Fund for Dental Health and ADA in 1986. After his fellowship, he held a number of positions within the ADA before becoming chief executive, officer and board member for the Massachusetts Dental Society from 1997-2001.

With more than 30 years of dental industry experience, Jim has published numerous articles and earned several important recognitions, including a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Iowa in 2003 and Alumnus of the Year in 2004 from the University of Iowa College Of Dentistry.

Jim received his doctorate (DDS) from the University of Iowa City in 1979.


The Data Linking Oral and Overall Health (2017)