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J Calif Dent Assoc. 2005 Sep;33(9):705-14.

The role of safety net providers in delivering oral health services for people with special needs.

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Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 11220, USA.


The U.S. health care system, best suited to acute care for adults, struggles to accommodate vulnerable populations (such as the elderly, disabled, and mentally ill), and struggles even more to find or put in place a system to care for special needs populations. Special needs populations require a protective and preventive system--one that helps families anticipate upcoming needs as patients transition through life cycles, and monitors problems as they arise while coordinating services. Developing such a system, using a life cycle methodology, is a critical health policy frontier.

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