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Filling an Urgent Need: Improving Children’s Access to Dental Care in Medicaid and SCHIP

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Publication Date: July 2008

Publisher(s): Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Author(s): Shelly Gehshan; Andrew Snyder; Julia Paradise

Topic: Health (Dental health services)
Health (Health services for children)

Coverage: United States


In October 2007, the Foundation’s Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and the National Academy for State Health Policy convened a day-long meeting of policy officials and oral health experts to discuss children’s access to dental care in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and exchange information and perspectives on the strategies have worked best to improve it.

This report summarizes the 15 experts recommendations on a wide assortment of effective actions that states can take related to each of several key dimensions of children’s access to oral health care in Medicaid and SCHIP. In addition, the report includes discussion of larger, systemic barriers to access and care that must ultimately be tackled, and advice on how Medicaid and SCHIP might contribute.


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