Wisconsin meets half of the eight policy benchmarks aimed at addressing children's dental health needs. Use of dental services among Medicaid-enrolled children remains stubbornly low, with just three in 10 children receiving care. Likewise, Medicaid payment rates remain far below the benchmark.
Recent news coverage found that nine of 10 dentists in Wisconsin accept few or no Medicaid patients, citing the low reimbursement rates. Rural communities suffer the most, with only about half as many dentists per person as urban areas.1
1. D. Wahlberg, “Too few dentists, too much pain in rural Wisconsin communities,” Wisconsin State Journal, May 23, 2010; http://host.madison.com/wsj/special-section/rural_health/article_82a4d6ae-65c1-11df-9a2f-001cc4c002e0.html, (accessed October 20, 2010).