Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in America and it is almost entirely preventable if caught early. Because most children see doctors and nurses earlier and more often than dentists, states have turned to medical providers to help prevent tooth decay. Medicaid programs in over 30 states reimburse medical providers for preventive dental health services for children, including the application of fluoride varnish, and often related services such as parent and caregiver education and an oral assessment. The Pew Center on the States and NASHP presented this webinar, which highlighted two state approaches to engaging primary care medical providers in children’s dental health. The findings of a new NASHP publication titled, Engaging Primary Care Medical Providers in Children’s Oral Health, were also presented. Drawing from the experiences of Washington, North Carolina, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), this webinar highlighted:
- The rationale for Medicaid reimbursement for preventive children’s dental health services;
- State options for implementing these policies;
- Partnerships between Medicaid and other entities such as state agencies and foundations to enhance efforts; and
- Lessons learned from leading states, including evaluating progress and tracking outcomes.