Health Policy Institute releases new research on Medicaid dental care programs

Research brief titled Dentist Participation in Medicaid: How Should It Be Measured? Does It Matter?

The ADA Health Policy Institute has released new data-driven research that underscores how different the Medicaid landscape is for children compared to adults and how much work needs to be done to improve adult dental benefits in Medicaid.

Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., HPI chief economist and vice president, and Chelsea Fosse, D.M.D, HPI senior health policy analyst, presented the first look at the findings during an Oct. 4 webinar. They were joined by Zachary Hairston, D.D.S., from the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance.

In the webinar, HPI discussed new analyses on Medicaid programs in the U.S., including updated comparisons of Medicaid reimbursement to private dental insurance rates for child and adult services, revised methodology for measuring dentist participation in Medicaid incorporating the number of Medicaid patients served, and dental care use patterns among Medicaid-insured versus privately insured children and adults.

“A better understanding of dentists’ Medicaid participation will help inform how we can build a more robust dental care safety net to provide care and promote oral health for the growing number of people with Medicaid coverage,” the research brief’s authors wrote. “The integrity of the dental care safety net depends upon meaningful participation of dentists in Medicaid.”

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