Increasing Oral Health Care Services for Medicaid-Enrolled Children

Statement of Problem

Although dental caries is a preventable disease, the use of preventive oral health services, such as fluoride treatments and oral exams, is woefully inadequate among children across the country. Studies suggest that in particular, low-income children are the least likely of all children to access preventive oral health services. 

How many Medicaid-Enrolled Children in Pennsylvania receive Preventive Dental Care

The use of preventive dental care among Medicaid-enrolled, US-born children in Pennsylvania increased from 2005 to 2010. 

This project aims to identify strategies to increase the use of preventive oral health care services among children in immigrant families, particularly those with low incomes. We do so by using detailed state Medicaid data to identify places in Pennsylvania where these children are getting enough preventive oral health care. Then, we will identify what best practices have made these areas so successful as compared to the state as a whole. We will specifically look at healthcare processes, systems, and programs that have led to these local successes. From our findings, we hope to help identify, disseminate, and implement highly effective solutions to improve the health of this group of US children.

Next, we hope to identify best practices that have made some groups of children so successful compared to others groups of children in Pennsylvania.   In addition to research focusing on race/ethnicity and parental nativity, we plan to examine differences between regions of the state. We will then specifically look at healthcare processes, systems, and programs that have led to these local successes. From our findings, we hope to help identify, disseminate, and implement highly effective solutions to promote preventive oral healthcare use among all Medicaid-enrolled children in the state. 

Suggested Citation

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PolicyLab. Increasing Oral Health Care Services for Medicaid-Enrolled Children [Online]. Available at: http://www.policylab.chop.edu [Accessed: plug in date accessed here].