An assessment of differences in pediatric dental services provided for a Medicaid population when compared to a federally subsidized (military) clinic
Reimbursement for dental services performed for children receiving Medicaid is reimbursed per service while dental treatment for military dependents provided at a military installation is neither directly reimbursable to those providing the care nor billed to those receiving the care. The purpose of this study was to compare pediatric dental services provided for a Medicaid population to a federally subsidized military facility to compare treatment choices and subsequent costs of care. It was hypothesized that differences in dental procedures for Medicaid and military dependent children would exist based upon treatment philosophy and payment method. A total of 240 records were reviewed for this study, consisting of 120 Medicaid patients at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) and 120 military dependents at Wilford Hall Medical Center (WHMC), Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio. Demographic data and treatment information were abstracted for children receiving dental treatment under general anesthesia between 2002 and 2006. Data was analyzed using the Wilcoxon rank sum test, Kruskal-Wallis test, and Fisher's exact test. The Medicaid recipients treated at UTHSCSA were younger than patients at WHMC (40.2 vs. 49.8 months, p<.001). The university also treated significantly more Hispanic children than WHMC (78.3% vs. 30.0%, p<.001). Children at UTHSCSA had a mean of 9.5 decayed teeth and were treated with 2.3 composite fillings, 0 amalgam fillings, 5.6 stainless steel crowns, 1.1 pulp therapies, 1.6 extractions, and 1.0 sealant. Children at WHMC had a mean of 8.7 decayed teeth and were treated with 1.4 composite fillings, 0.9 amalgam fillings, 5.6 stainless steel crowns, 1.7 pulp therapies, 0.9 extractions, and 2.1 sealants. The means of decayed teeth, total fillings, and stainless steel crowns were not statistically different. UTHSCSA provided more composite fillings (p<.001), fewer amalgam fillings (p<.001), fewer pulp therapies (p <.001), more extractions (p=.01), and fewer sealants (p<.001) when compared to WHMC. Age and gender did not effect decay rates, but those of Hispanic ethnicity did experience more decay than non-Hispanics (9.5 vs. 8.6, p=.02). Based upon Texas Medicaid reimbursement rates from 2006, the cost for dental treatment at both sites was approximately $650 per child. The results of this study do not support the hypothesis that Medicaid providers provide less conservative therapies, which would be more costly, care when compared to a military treatment center.
Dental care|Public health
Johnson, Mary Beth, "An assessment of differences in pediatric dental services provided for a Medicaid population when compared to a federally subsidized (military) clinic" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1450295.