Nonfinancial Strategies to Increase Dentist Participation in Medicaid

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Oral health providers participate in Medicaid at a considerably lower rate than primary care physicians.  As a result, many Medicaid beneficiaries are unable to access care. State Medicaid programs have historically examined reimbursement rate increases to increase provider participation; however, when rate increases are infeasible, Medicaid administrators must consider nonfinancial strategies to target nonparticipating dentists.

This document summarizes findings from a Medicaid Evidence-based Decisions Project (MED) report on dentist participation in Medicaid titled Nonfinancial Strategies to Increase Dentist Participation in Medicaid. Center researchers were tasked with identifying existing nonfinancial strategies Medicaid administrators can use to recruit new dentists. Findings are based on case studies and interviews with Medicaid administrators from 5 states with Medicaid dental programs. We identified 9 types of nonfinancial strategies that state Medicaid programs use to increase dentist participation. The 9 strategies are described in this tool and Table 1 has implementation examples for each strategy.