Medicaid and Dental Care

October 31, 2008

In June of 2008, the ADA’s Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations (CAPIR) conducted a one-day Medicaid symposium at it’s headquarters in Chicago. The purpose of the symposium was to provide background information for attendees of the Access to Dental Care Summit, which is scheduled for March 2009.

The primary goal of the Symposium was to gain an understanding of the challenges in providing care to
Medicaid recipients, and discuss strategies to integrate Medicaid patients into private practice
settings.  Participants included representatives from each trustee district, who had at least 1,000 Medicaid or State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) patient visits in the last calendar year.

Read the report.

Browse recent articles regarding dental care and Medicaid, as indexed in PubMed.


Blog Action Day: Oral Health and Poverty

October 14, 2008

Wednesday, October 15th is the second annual Blog Action Day. This event aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters to post about the same issue on the same day with the goal of raising awareness, triggering global discussion, and making a difference.

This year’s theme is POVERTY.

Blog Action Day calls for all bloggers to examine the issue of poverty from their own unique viewpoints and perspectives.

Poverty has long been a concern for Eastman dentistry.  In 1916, George Eastman established the Rochester Dental Dispensary so that indigent children could receive preventive dental care.  Today we offer a variety of services to the impoverished through our Community Dentistry and SMILEmobile programs.  Moreover, we look forward to increasing access to Rochester’s underserved residents with the help of our recent HEAL NY grant award.

For more information on oral health and poverty, check out these resources:

Millions of Children Estimated to Have Untreated Tooth Decay: New Report

September 29, 2008

On September 22, the Government Accountability Office released a report stating that more than 6.5 million children who are currently enrolled in Medicaid have problems with tooth decay.  Furthermore, children in Medicaid remain at higher risk of dental disease compared to children with private health insurance.  In fact, children in Medicaid were almost twice as likely to have untreated tooth decay.

A summary, with links to the full report, may be found here.

A list of recent articles on Medicaid and Oral Health may be found in PubMed.

Community Efforts to Expand Dental Services for Low-Income People

September 26, 2008

The Center for Studying Health System Change recently published an issue brief exploring the oral health of low-income people.  The brief identifies key barriers and attempts that are being made to provide dental services to these individuals.

The report includes sections on:

  • State Medicaid and SCHIP Policy Affects Dental Access
  • Significant Gaps in the Dental Safety Net
  • Community Efforts to Expand Dental Services
  • Implications

The authors conclude that low-income people will continue to lack access unless there is more involvement from the dental community and state and federal policy makers.

Read the full brief here.

Children’s Dental Health: New Pew Center Initiative

September 19, 2008

The Pew Center on the States is launching a major effort to improve access to dental care for disadvantaged children.  They are mounting a national campaign to raise awareness of the problem, recruit influential leaders to call for change, and showcase states that have made progress and can serve as models for reform.

For additional information see the fact sheet or visit the Pew site.

Kaiser Commission Releases New Reports on Dental Health Coverage and Access

July 30, 2008

At the July 25 Capitol Hill briefing, “Dental Health: Time to Address the Health Care System’s Neglected Stepchild?”, the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured released the following new reports and briefings:

  • Access to Affordable Dental Care: Gaps for Low-Income Adults
  • Filling an Urgent Need: Improving Children’s Access to Dental Care in Medicaid and SCHIP
  • Dental Coverage And Care For Low-Income Children:  The Role Of Medicaid And SCHIP

The reports, and a webcast of the briefing, may be found here.

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