OIG finds many children with Medicaid coverage not getting required dental care

January 24, 2016

Three out of four children covered by Medicaid in California, Indiana, Louisiana and Maryland didn't receive all required dental care over a recent two-year period, according to a report by the OIG's office for HHS. One in four such kids didn't see a dentist at all, the report said. Among the reasons were that there were too few dentists accepting Medicaid patients and a lack of education about the importance of proper dental care. Investigators looked at Medicaid dental claims for 2011 and 2012 in the four states and found the percentage of children not receiving all required dental services ranged from a low of 73% in Maryland to a high of 81% in Louisiana. In California and Indiana, 78% of children did not receive required dental care. Indiana and Louisiana had coverage policies that didn't allow Medicaid payment for particular services in the established schedule of care. The report recommended requiring states to create action plans and more tracking of delivered care. CMS agreed with most of the recommendations, but said it didn't want to add tracking requirements to what's already required of states.