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The Effect of Medicaid Primary Care Provider Reimbursement on Access to Early Childhood Caries Preventive Services

Keywords: Medicaid; reimbursement; early childhood caries; preventive services

Objective: To examine receipt of early childhood caries preventive services (ECCPS) in two states' Medicaid programs before and after the implementation of reimbursement to medical primary care providers (M-PCPs).

Data Sources: Enrollment and claims data from the Florida and Texas Medicaid programs for children ≤54 months of age during the period 2006–2010.

Study Design: We conducted time trend-adjusted, difference-in-differences analyses by using modified Poisson regressions combined with generalized estimating equations (GEEs) to analyze the effect of M-PCP reimbursement on the likelihood that an enrollee had an ECCPS visit after controlling for age, sex, health status, race/ethnicity, geographic location, and enrollment duration.

Data Extraction Methods: Enrollment data were linked to claims data to create a panel dataset with child-month observations.

Principal Findings: Reimbursement to M-PCPs was associated with an increased likelihood of ECCPS receipt in general and topical fluoride application specifically in both states.

Conclusions: Reimbursement to M-PCPs can increase access to ECCPS. However, ECCPS receipt continues to fall short of recommended care, presenting opportunities for performance improvement.

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