More than 25 percent of Medicaid children received no dental care

A disturbing trend noted in a recent federal report showed that more than a quarter of children enrolled in Medicaid didn’t receive any dental care at all in 2013.

The finding came within a recent Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General report. It was discussed in a recent post on Becker’s Hospital Review.

A number of children covered by Medicaid didn't visit a dentist at all over the course of two years. "We found a significant number of children, 28 percent, who didn't receive any dental services over a two-year period" although they were enrolled in Medicaid, said Meridith Seife, deputy regional inspector general for the Office of Evaluation and Inspections, according to The Associated Press. In addition, the American Dental Association found less than half — 48 percent — of Medicaid-covered kids saw a dentist in 2013, while 64 percent of privately covered kids saw a dentist the same year.

The report urges states to do a better job to make sure family on Medicaid understand the services available to them and to streamline the process for visits.

We concur that such education is sorely needed.