Navigation Links
Pew Report: Pennsylvania Failing to Address Children's Dental Health Crisis
Date:2/22/2010

One of Nine States to Receive an 'F' Grade

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania lawmakers are failing to ensure the dental health needs of its children, according to a report released by the Pew Center on the States. The Cost of Delay: State Dental Policies Fail One in Five Children, released with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the DentaQuest Foundation, grades each state's policy responses to the urgent challenges in dental health among America's children.

Pennsylvania received a failing grade for meeting just two of the eight policy benchmarks in Pew's analysis.  Its school-based sealant programs reach less than a quarter of high-need schools, and just under a third of Medicaid-enrolled children in the state received dental services in 2007. The state recently created a Medicaid pay-for-performance program to award bonuses to dentists providing continuous care to children (and other vulnerable populations such as pregnant women), but it does not reimburse primary care physicians for providing preventive dental health services. Pennsylvania provides fluoridated water to just over half of its population, well short of the federally recommended goal of 75 percent.

"Pennsylvania's policy makers need to do more to expand dental care to reach more children," said Shelly Gehshan, director of the Pew Children's Dental Campaign. "By enacting a handful of effective policies, Pennsylvania can help eliminate the long-term health and economic consequences of untreated dental disease among kids."

February is National Children's Dental Health Month. Nationwide, an estimated one in five children, or 17 million, goes without dental care each year and two thirds of states do not have key policies in place to ensure proper dental health and access to care for children.

Pew scored all 50 states and the District of Columbia, using an A-F scale, on whether and how well they are employing eight proven policy solutions at their disposal to ensure dental health and access to care for children. These policies fall into four categories: cost-effective ways to help prevent problems from occurring in the first place; Medicaid improvements that enable and motivate more dentists to treat children; new workforce models that expand the number of qualified dental providers; and gathering data to gauge progress and improve performance.

Six states merited "A" grades: Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, New Mexico, Rhode Island and South Carolina. These states met at least six of the eight policy benchmarks and had policies in place that met or exceeded the national performance standards. Eight states and Colorado received a grade of "B": Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, Texas and Washington. Twenty states received a grade of "C" because they met four or fewer of the eight policy benchmarks. Six states and the District of Columbia earned a "D" grade: Alabama, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada and Utah. Pennsylvania and eight other states earned an "F," meeting only one or two policy benchmarks: Arkansas, Delaware, New Jersey, Hawaii, Louisiana, Florida, West Virginia and Wyoming. No state met all eight targets.  New Jersey ranked lowest in the nation, meeting only one benchmark.

There are many solutions that can be achieved at relatively little cost and the return on investment for children and taxpayers will be significant. Americans are expected to spend $106 billion on dental care in 2010. This includes many expensive restorative treatments – from fillings to root canals – that could have been mitigated or avoided altogether with earlier, easier and less expensive ways of ensuring adequate dental care when they were children.

Report Shows Need for Low-Cost Solutions

The Pew report highlights four proven solutions that can improve both the dental health of children and their access to care:

  • Sealants -- protective coatings applied to the teeth by a dentist or hygienist -- cost one third as much as filling a cavity and have been shown to prevent 60 percent of cavities. School-based programs are the most cost-effective strategy for providing sealants to disadvantaged children, yet this strategy is vastly underutilized.  
  • Water fluoridation counteracts tooth decay and strengthens teeth. Fluoride occurs naturally in water, but the level varies within states and across the country. In addition to being the most far-reaching preventive measure states can enact, fluoridation also offers an unmatched return on investment, saving $38 in dental treatment costs for every dollar spent.  About 30 percent of the population on community water systems does not yet receive fluoridated water.  
  • Medicaid improvements could enable and motivate more dentists to treat low-income children.  Only 38 percent of Medicaid-eligible children received dental care in 2007, largely because too few dentists are willing to treat them.  The number of children receiving dental services more than doubled over just four years in several states that have increased Medicaid reimbursement rates.
  • New workforce models can expand the number of qualified dental providers who can fill the unmet needs of children.  A growing number of states are exploring innovative models that increase the involvement of physicians, hygienists, and new types of dental professionals.

The report can be found at: www.pewcenteronthestates.org/costofdelay

The Pew Children's Dental Campaign works to promote policies that will help millions of children maintain healthy teeth, get the care they need and come to school ready to learn.

Pew Center on the States

The Pew Center on the States is a division of The Pew Charitable Trusts that identifies and advances effective solutions to critical issues facing states. Pew is a nonprofit organization that applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life. www.pewcenteronthestates.org

SOURCE The Pew Center on the States

Back to top

RELATED LINKS
http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org/costofdelay

'/>"/>

SOURCE The Pew Center on the States
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Pew Report: New Jersey Failing to Address Childrens Dental Health Crisis
2. Pew Report: Iowa Is a National Leader in Addressing Childrens Dental Health
3. Pew Report: Florida Failing To Address Childrens Dental Health Crisis
4. Pew Report: Connecticut is a National Leader in Addressing Childrens Dental Health
5. Pew Report: Colorado on Track in Providing Children with Dental Health Care They Need
6. Pew Report: California Off Track in Providing Children with Dental Health Care They Need
7. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
8. New Report: $1 Cigarette Tax Increase Would Raise $65.3 Million for Iowa and Cut Youth Smoking
9. New Report: $1 Cigarette Tax Increase Would Raise $113.9 Million for Colorado and Cut Youth Smoking
10. New Report: $1 Cigarette Tax Increase Would Raise $43.3 Million for Utah and Cut Youth Smoking
11. New Report: $1 Cigarette Tax Increase Would Raise $24.8 Million for Wyoming and Cut Youth Smoking
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/17/2017)... FL (PRWEB) , ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... software tools that allow for the electronic prescribing of controlled and non-controlled substances ... , Ninety percent of pharmacies in the United States now accept electronic prescriptions, ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Empowering each person's mental functions, ... each and every seminar, session and class she offers. At the International ... which help energize creativity, focus mental functions, enhance athletic focus and skill sets, ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... , ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... the HIMSS17 Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., February 19-23. Visitors to the ... the most widely used electronic patient signatures solution in healthcare . ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Pharmica Consulting attended ... all facets of clinical trial planning and management. Pharmica discussed the importance of ... In addition, attendees stopping by Pharmica’s booth were able to demo its cloud-based ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... 17, 2017 , ... Like most hospitals across the nation, Onslow Memorial Hospital ... the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), the return of a patient to the hospital ... the nation. While many providers are struggling to leverage limited resources and technology, Onslow ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/17/2017)... Cryoablation, Electrical, Endometrial Hydrothermal, Laser/Light, Microwave, Radiofrequency, Ultrasound, Cardiovascular, Gynaecology, ... expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.4% from 2017-2022 and ... at a CAGR of 9.5% from 2017 to 2027. The market ... ... benefit you Read on to discover how you can exploit ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... 2017 Arvinas LLC, a private biotechnology company ... degradation, today announced the presentation of new preclinical data ... poster session at the American Society of Clinical Oncology ... Orlando, FL. "The new ... the potential of PROTACs to drive durable and robust ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... and Markets has announced the addition of the "Pharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing ... ... the US, Canada , Japan , ... of World. Annual estimates and forecasts are provided for the period 2015 ... Market data and analytics are derived from primary and secondary research. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: