Project Details - Ended
- Contract Number:290-07-10039T-1
- Funding Mechanism:
- AHRQ Funded Amount:$89,861
- Principal Investigator:
- Project Dates:6/30/2010 to 6/30/2011
- Care Setting:
- Medical Condition:
- Type of Care:
- Health Care Theme:
Disparities in access to quality dental care between privately and publicly insured beneficiaries are a well-documented and longstanding concern for children in public programs and dentists who could provide their care. The lack of essential dental care results in consequential functional impairments and lost educational opportunities for children. For dentists, the failure to engage in public insurance programs represents lost opportunities to serve a large population that has significant need.
Dentistry lags behind other medicine disciplines in adopting health information technology (IT) and benefiting from the implementation and meaningful use of health IT systems. One key barrier is the absence of certified dental IT software that meets the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid’s Meaningful Use criteria. As a result, vendors should accelerate efforts to create electronic health record (EHR) and electronic dental record applications for dentists to meet these requirements.
This project helped to identify the impact of Meaningful Use incentive payments on dentists serving Medicaid-eligible children and how these payments might expand access to quality oral health care for children enrolled in Medicaid and/or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The results offer a valuable opportunity to bring together individuals in various disciplines to offer recommendations for ways in which health IT, payment incentives, Medicaid, and the children's oral health fields can work together to better provide access to oral health care for low-income children. The specific objectives of the project were to:
- Develop a background report on health IT and dentistry for the expert panel meeting.
- Invite participants and convene an expert panel meeting.
- Produce a final report and PowerPoint presentation.
The team held an expert panel that included individuals from the fields of Medicaid and CHIP, dentistry, and health IT. The panel made recommendations on ways to use health IT to increase access to oral health care for children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. Project staff drafted a final report that included barriers and opportunities for health IT adoption by dentist; barriers to and opportunities for dentists to meet Meaningful Use requirements; and strategies for using the functionalities of health IT to increase access to quality oral health care for Medicaid and CHIP enrollees.