KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Children on Medicaid Still Face Difficulty Getting Dental Care

Many children still don't get Medicaid dental care, state officials told the Government Accountability Office. The Associated Press reports: "Two years after a 12-year-old Maryland boy died from an untreated tooth infection, low-income kids continue to face barriers to dental care despite state and federal efforts to improve access, government investigators said Wednesday. ... State officials told the GAO that many children can't find dentists who accept Medicaid, and dental providers cite low reimbursement rates and patients skipping appointments as challenges to treating kids in the federal-state health insurance program for the poor."

According to the GAO, children's access to dental services has seen moderate increases in many states, but Katherine Iritani, the GAO's health care acting director, said that "there isn't enough data to say how many of the 30 million children signed up for Medicaid are actually seeing a dentist. The GAO released a report as part of a House Oversight subcommittee hearing on the inadequacies of pediatric dental care among Medicaid enrollees" (Sanner, 10/7).

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