Action for Dental Health: Help Obtain Access to Care
Action for Dental Health is committed to working with state dental directors to advocate for expanded benefits to fill the access gap. And, to help reduce barriers to accessing dental benefits through Medicaid, ADA’s Action for Dental Health offers technical assistance to state dental associations in their advocacy efforts for the inclusion of adequate adult dental benefits.
- Action for Dental Health is helping to streamline the credentialing process to increase access to existing Medicaid dental services.
- California recently adopted a process to expedite Medicaid credentialing for dentists to less than 60 days.
- When Connecticut streamlined its Medicaid administration and more than doubled its funding for dental services to match approximately the 70th percentile of what the market fees were for dental care, there was a dramatic increase in Medicaid participating dentists.
- A nine-fold increase in the number of dentists who accepted Medicaid, from 200 dentists to more than 1,800.
Fight for increased dental health protections and simplified administration under Medicaid (PDF).
This proven solution has dramatically improved access to care in some states. A combination of fee increases and administrative reforms in Connecticut's Medicaid program in 2008 increased the number of participating dentists from fewer than 200 to more than 1,200. As a result, nearly 70 percent of enrolled children had at least one dental visit per year, a rate higher than that for privately insured children and dramatically higher than the 15 percent who saw a dentist prior to the state's Medicaid reforms. But most Medicaid programs remain inadequate for children, while comprehensive coverage for adults is all but nonexistent in most states. Expanding Medicaid coverage and improving the system means more dentists providing more care to more people in need.