Aims of this study are to determine (1) the association of oral health services (OHS) provided by nontraditional providers with the percentage of Medicaid children 0 to 5 years of age who receive ≥1 preventive services from all provider types in the United States; and (2) characteristics of state Medicaid policies associated with provision of OHS.
We conducted a time-series cross-sectional study of preventive services provided by nontraditional (OHS) and dental (PDS) providers for Medicaid-enrolled children from birth to 5 years of age in all states during 2010 to 2013 (204 observations). We applied panel data multiple regression analysis techniques to exploit year and state variation in aggregate data available in Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reports (form CMS-416). Total preventive dental services (TPDS =OHS + PDS) was predicted by months since state enactment of a policy to reimburse medical providers for OHS.
The 44 states with a policy reported 4.3% of children per state per year with any OHS. For all states, an average of 30.1% received PDS and 34.5% TPDS. The delivery of OHS was associated with a small increase in percentage with TPDS. One year of Medicaid OHS availability was associated with an increase of 1.5% in the percentage of children with TPDS per state per year.
Implementation of policies by Medicaid programs to support integration of OHS into primary care is associated with increases in overallTPDS use, but efforts are needed to improve implementation in practice to achieve national impact on access.