Reimbursing Medical Providers for Preventive Oral Health Services: State Policy Options
Tooth decay, while highly preventable, is the most common chronic disease among children, and it disproportionately affects children from families with low incomes. Many state Medicaid agencies are working to increase children’s access to preventive oral health services by reimbursing primary care medical providers for fluoride varnish application, an oral examination or screening, and/or caregiver education about establishing good oral health habits. This report is intended to help states considering adopting similar policies; it draws from the experiences of Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Utah and Washington to describe some of the major elements of policy design and implementation, as well as lessons learned associated with medical provider reimbursement.
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