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AAPD Included in Associated Press Article

CHICAGO, Illinois – An online story by the Associated Press on Jan. 25, reports that three out of four children covered by Medicaid in four states (California, Indiana, Louisiana and Maryland) didnít receive all required dental care over a recent two-year period, according to a report from the Health and Human Services inspector generalís office. The report states that one in four children didnít see a dentist at all, citing such reasons as too few dentists accepting Medicaid patients and a lack of education about the importance of proper dental care.

The article quotes AAPD spokesperson Dr. Amr Moursi of New York University College of Dentistry, who stresses the importance of regular dental care. He states, "We need to get children who are enrolled and eligible for services to actually get them." The article also features photos of AAPD member Dr. Juan F. Yepes treating child patients at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis.

The four states discussed in the report had adopted the AAPD schedule of care, requiring exams and cleanings every six months, but Indiana and Louisiana had coverage policies that didnít allow Medicaid payment for particular services in the established schedule. The coverage policies "were impeding children from getting the services they need and were required to get," according to Meridith Seife, a deputy regional inspector general who worked on the report.

The AAPD has been engaged in ongoing discussions with D-HHS OIG concerning their work on Medicaid childrenís dental issues, offering our expertise to ensure their analysis is as accurate as possible. OIG official Meredith Saife, who is quoted in the article, spoke to AAPDís state Public Policy Advocates during their luncheon in 2014 at the AAPD Annual Session in Boston. AAPD leaders, including Dr. Moursi, had previously met with Ms. Saife and her staff at the OIG regional office in New York City.

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

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