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Children's Dental Health Project

Oral Health Preventive Services by Non-Dental Providers

Project Type: 
Expansion of Service Providers
Amount Awarded: 
$25,000
Year: 
2014

Currently, 40 state Medicaid programs offer reimbursement for non-dental professionals to provide preventive dental services, such as the application of fluoride varnish, oral health assessments, and referral to a dental home. Non-dental providers include, but vary by state and are not limited to physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Although these flexible, innovative policies are in place, it is not known whether providers are actually making use of these new service opportunities. This project aims to establish a baseline assessment by analyzing billing and treatment codes. The next step in this project will be to explore the state policy differences and provider behavioral barriers that inhibit or influence provision of these services. The final phase is to implement the recommendations through national and state technical assistance to expand access to dental care. Through this analysis, CDHP will identify recommendations for expanding use of existing Medicaid policies to increase oral health services and ultimately improve the oral health of children at highest risk for tooth decay.