GAO: Many Kids Enrolled in Medicaid Lack Access to Dental Care Services
Children enrolled in Medicaid still face difficulty obtaining dental services despite federal and state efforts to improve access to care, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Wednesday, the AP/Oakland Tribune reports.
GAO produced the report as part of a House Oversight subcommittee hearing on pediatric dental care among Medicaid beneficiaries.
In 2007, about one-third of eligible children enrolled in Medicaid received dental care under the program, according to CMS.
Since that time, many states have reported modest increases in dental care access for children enrolled in Medicaid, the GAO report found. However, officials say there is insufficient data to determine how many Medicaid-enrolled children actually are seeing dentists.
State officials say many families have difficulty finding dentists who accept Medicaid. Dentists say low reimbursement rates and skipped appointments make it difficult for them to participate in the program.The GAO report suggests that CMS should help states share promising practices to improve dental care access. It also recommends that CMS review dental care systems in states with low access rates (Sanner, AP/Oakland Tribune, 10/7). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.