Coverage Alone Might Not Reduce Dental Emergency Department Visits, AHRQ Study Indicates
More Americans may gain dental coverage under Medicaid, but access to dental providers remains a challenge, according to a new AHRQ-funded study. The Affordable Care Act extends Medicaid coverage to millions of Americans, but in many states adult dental coverage is not included. The study indicated Medicaid dental coverage could result in fewer emergency department (ED) visits because patients with that coverage are more likely to visit a dentist for care that can prevent the need for costly ED visits for dental conditions. The study examined county-level rates of ED visits for nontraumatic dental conditions in 29 states in 2010 in relation to dental provider density and Medicaid coverage of nonemergency dental services. It found that higher dental provider density was associated with lower rates of dental ED visits by patients with Medicaid in rural counties but not in urban counties, where most dental ED visits occurred. The study and abstract, “Medicaid Dental Coverage Alone May Not Lower Rates of Dental Emergency Department Visits,” were published in the August issue of the journalHealth Affairs.
Health Aff (Millwood). 2015 Aug 1;34(8):1349-57. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.0223.
Medicaid Dental Coverage Alone May Not Lower Rates Of Dental Emergency Department Visits.
Project HOPE—The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.
Medicaid; dental health; dental insurance; dental providers; emergency department utilization
- [PubMed - in process]