The Idaho Smiles Medicaid Plan: Benefits, Issues, and Effects on Children's Dental Care
Objectives: The objective of this research project is to examine data pertaining to Idaho’s Medicaid dental care payments for children and see if the new program (Idaho Smiles) has effectively increased access and/or quality for low-income children in Idaho. Methods: Data will be obtained mainly from the Medicaid Statistical Information System (MSIS) State Summary Datamart. This is a secondary analysis of semi-raw data and will examine costs to the state as well as how many children were eligible for Medicaid funding and if they received care. Results: This research project is still underway, and the data has not yet been fully analyzed. However, we expect to see increased access to dental care as well as decreased costs to the state because of the switch to the new program. Furthermore, if the amount the state spent went down substantially, we would like to find if the per capita cost went down as well. Conclusions: This will be a discussion of the results found and the significance of this research. Possible conclusions include discussions on the need for further research such as quality, access issues, eligibility issues, etc., and if there needs to be more readily accessible data to fully analyze this topic.