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1 in 4 Californian children have never seen a dentist, study finds
Date:7/7/2010

cluding raising reimbursement rates paid to dentists who serve the Medicaid population and increasing the number of participating Medicaid providers.

"These findings indicate that many poor children in California do not make routine dental visits or simply never receive any dental care," said Finocchio, Dr.P.H., senior program officer at the California HealthCare Foundation. "Even with Medicaid coverage, there are tremendous barriers to getting services."

Despite the disparities, the authors say, having any form of dental insurance significantly increases the odds of seeing a dentist on a regular basis. The studied showed that 54 percent of privately insured children and 27 percent of publicly insured children had seen the dentist during the previous six months, compared with 12 percent of children without dental coverage.

"The data tell us that Medicaid and CHIP have improved children's ability to get dental care," Pourat said. "However, both programs need to do more to reduce disparities."


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Contact: Gwen Driscoll
gdriscoll@ucla.edu
310-794-0930
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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