ADA urges more state coordination on Medicaid

The American Dental Association (ADA) is urging state dental associations to become more involved in providing leadership on Medicaid dental services in their states.

Such a move will help retain or gain Medicaid services in their states for adults and children, the ADA says.

Specifically, the ADA’s Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations sponsored a resolution that encourages “all state dental associations to work with their state Medicaid agency in hiring a Chief Medicaid Dental Officer, who is a member of organized dentistry.”

The news was [chronicled](http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2015-archive/december/ada-supports-state-level-dental-involvement-in-medicaid?nav=news ) on the ADA website recently.

Dr. Sid Whitman, chair of the Medicaid Provider Advisory Committee and a pediatric dentist, said he has witnessed firsthand in New Jersey, his home state, how state dental association involvement in Medicaid “opens the line of communication” and helps entities learn from each other.

“You really have a nice mix of people who have the welfare of the clients as the centerpiece,” he said, adding, “If you’re not at the table, there’s no way to get things done.”

The push for state-by-state coordination comes amid turmoil across state budgets nationwide as Medicaid dental services sometimes are cut back or not advanced at all.