228338 Exploring Incentives Desired by Dentists to Increase Acceptance of Medicaid Patients

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 12:30 PM - 12:45 PM

Rachel Embree , School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Woosung Sohn , Dept. of CRS & E, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Objective: Access to care of the low-income population is limited by practicing dentists not participating in Medicaid. The objective of this study is to explore possible incentives, outside of reimbursement, to increase dentists' acceptance of Medicaid patients. Methods: Possible incentives were determined through a focus group and phone interviews with practicing dentists. A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 500 Michigan Dental Association members through two separate mailings. Respondents' answers were entered to EpiData software and analyzed using SAS (9.1). Results: 206 surveys were received (41.2% response rate). About 55% of the respondents answered that they do not treat any Medicaid patients in their practice; yet about 60% answered they volunteer to provide services to low-income population. Low reimbursement rate is the biggest barrier for their participation in Medicaid: 95% and 82% responded that the minimum reimbursement level they would accept from Medicaid would be 50% and 60%, respectively. Another big barrier was delay in reimbursement (49%). None of the suggested incentives were received favorably by more than 50% of the respondents. The most likely incentive to increase acceptance was a Tax Deduction, in which 49.5% said it would likely increase their acceptance. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that incentives, other than increasing the reimbursement rate and changing administrative barriers, will not likely motivate practicing dentists to participate in Medicaid. However, the results also suggest that a variety of incentive programs need to be developed to target different populations of dentists.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe barriers in that hinder dentists from participating in Medicaid Identify what potential incentives dentists find most desirable to increase their acceptance of Medicaid patients. Assess if an incentive program would be effective in motivating dentists to increase their acceptance of Medicaid patients.

Keywords: Access to Care, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in this project as a student researcher. I conceived the research question and working with my faculty advisor for the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of the results.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.