PHILADELPHIA - Children with the combined Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program may have a harder time getting a dental appointment, U.S. researchers suggest.
Joanna Bisgaier of the department of emergency medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and colleagues called dental practices and identified themselves as mothers of a 10-year-old boy with a fractured tooth. Each made two calls, one four weeks after the other, Medical News Today reported.
In half of the calls, the researchers said the child was enrolled in the states' combined Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program dental program. The other half said the child had private Blue Cross dental coverage. The calls were identical except for details on insurance coverage.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found out of 170 paired calls to 85 dental practices, 41 of them participating in the Medicaid program, 36.5 percent of Medicaid/CHIP beneficiaries got an appointment while 95.4 percent of privately insured Blue Cross children got an appointment.
Of the dental practices that were enrolled in the Medicaid program, Medicaid/CHIP beneficiaries were 18.2 times more likely than Blue Cross children to be turned down for an appointment.