Re: “State falls short on Medicaid reimbursements” (Viewpoint, 1-10).
Author Brendan Williams points out that our state still has work do to make sure children from lower-income families are able to get the oral health care they deserve.
The Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) program, through which dentists treating young children receive an enhanced Medicaid reimbursement rate, has made our state a national leader in terms of children’s access to dental care. We need to continue building on this success and reduce access disparities.
As we improve oral health for children, the ABCD program offers a good model for improving access for other family members, namely adults. With Medicaid adult dental reimbursement rates among the lowest in the country, it is often a struggle to find a dentist who accepts adult Medicaid patients.
If we want healthy children, we need healthy families. Oral health prevention saves money, supports healthy habits and improves overall health – at any age. When it comes to dental care, our state should continue to invest in healthy kids and increase our investment in healthy adults by increasing the Medicaid adult dental reimbursement rate.
(Block is a Gig Harbor dentist.)