Category Archives: Children's health insurance program
Last week, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and The Alliance for Health Reform sponsored a briefing to discuss oral health care in the United States, particularly for children and other vulnerable populations.
The discussion was co-moderated by David Krol, MD, MPH, FAAP, RWJF Human Capital Portfolio team director and senior program officer. “Oral health is an integral part of overall health,” he said. It faces the same challenges as overall health care, including “racial, ethnic, geographic disparities in disease and access to care, financing challenges, issues of determining and maintaining quality of care, and workforce controversies.” Krol said he would like to see “all conversations on health and health care… naturally include oral health.”
In 2009, preventable dental conditions accounted for more than 830,000 emergency department visits nationwide, Julie Stitzel, MA, of the Pew Center on the States’ Children’s Dental Campaign told the audience. Children were the patients for 50,000 of those visits. “There’s a real opportunity for states to save money because these visits, again, are totally preventable,” she said. “We know that getting treated in an emergency room is much more costly than the care delivered in a dental office, and states are bearing a significant share of these expenses through Medicaid and other public programs.”
A newly released study from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds that children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) have a much harder time obtaining care from medical specialists than do children who are privately insured.
The GAO based its conclusions on its 2010 survey of physicians. Its key findings:
- “More than three-quarters of primary and specialty care physicians are enrolled as Medicaid and CHIP providers and serving children in those programs.”
- “A larger share of primary care physicians (83 percent) are participating in the programs—enrolled as a provider and serving Medicaid and CHIP children—than specialty physicians (71 percent).”