Thursday, May 2, 2013

More on dental care in Washtenaw County, MI

This is from the website of The Washtenaw Health Initiative, "a voluntary, county-wide collaboration focused on how to improve access to coordinated care for the low-income, uninsured, and Medicaid populations."

Among the findings of the WHI is this:

Dental Care for Low-Income Adults: Lacking and In Great Need 
18,417 adults in Washtenaw County had Medicaid coverage with dental benefits in 2010. Yet, in a 2007 survey of community dentists, only 15% said they accepted Medicaid benefits and only 8% (five practices) said they were accepting new Medicaid patients (more practices accept Medicaid benefits for children under 18 years old). Medicaid’s low per case reimbursement is one of the main reasons dentists said they do not accept Medicaid coverage.[emphasis added]
While there are some community outreach efforts, just three clinics (Hope Clinic, Community Dental Center and the U-M dental school) currently provide low or no cost dental care on a routine basis to adults in the county. Restrictions on who can receive care at such clinics further limit patient options. Emergency departments recorded 4,667 dental-related emergency visits in 2008. The 28 hospital admissions with disorders to the teeth and jaw cost about $534,000 – about $19,000 per patient. [emphasis added]

For the record, Washtenaw County is the home of the University of Michigan with a dental school ranked in the top ten in the country. That has not helped much in delivering good dental care to low-income people.

No comments: