Arizona meets five of the eight policy benchmarks for improving children's dental health, which is one more than the state met in 2010. The state reports that its sealant programs reach more than one-quarter of its high-risk schools. But the dire fiscal situation may imperil Arizona's gains.
Although the state still meets the benchmark for Medicaid payments to dentists as a percentage of dentists' median retail fees, rates have fallen by 7 percent—failing to keep up with dental inflation. This situation will worsen because the state's Medicaid program has cut reimbursements for dental services by 5 percent.1 Arizona also cut coverage for emergency dental procedures for adults in 2011.2]
1. “AHCCCS April 1, 2011 Provider Rate Reductions,” November 22, 2010; http://www.azahcccs.gov/reporting/Downloads
/Legislation/2010seventh/ProvRate_FactSheet.pdf, (accessed December 6, 2010)
2. K. Sack, “Arizona's Medicaid Cuts Seen as a Sign of the Financial Times,” The New York Times, December 5, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/us/05transplant.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Arizona's%20Medicaid%20Cuts%20Are%20Seen%20as%20a
20Times&st=cse, (accessed February 7, 2011).