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Advancing Prevention and Reducing Childhood Caries in Medicaid and CHIP Learning Collaborative

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the Advancing Prevention and Reducing Childhood Caries in Medicaid and CHIP Learning Collaborative to support state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies’ efforts to improve children’s oral health.

The Learning Collaborative consists of two parts: a webinar series and an affinity group beginning in summer 2020. The webinar series will include presentations from experts in the field as well as tools that states can use to drive improvement in children’s oral health outcomes. States interested in taking action on the concepts and tools introduced through the webinar series will have the opportunity to participate in an action-oriented affinity group, which will support states in designing and implementing quality improvement (QI) projects. Participation in the webinar series is not a requirement of affinity group participation.

Webinar Series

Webinar #1: “Improving Children’s Oral Health Using Fluoride Varnish in Non-Dental Settings”

POSTPONED; new date to be determined.

This webinar will provide an introduction to successful approaches for using fluoride varnish in non-dental settings to improve the oral health of Medicaid and CHIP-enrolled children, and as part of a system of oral health care for children. Presenters will discuss how fluoride varnish is used in pediatric primary care offices. Panelists will share the practice and program barriers they encountered and solutions deployed to remove those barriers.  Panelists will also discuss the data used to identify and drive improvement in integrating oral health care in non-dental settings. 

Registration details to follow.

Webinar #2: “Pathways to Improving Children’s Oral Health Using Silver Diamine Fluoride”

Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 1:00 p.m. ET

This webinar will introduce successful approaches for using silver diamine fluoride (SDF) to arrest dental decay and improve the oral health of Medicaid and CHIP-enrolled children. Scott Tomar, DMD, MPH, DrPH, Associate Dean for Prevention and Public Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, will share an overview of the science and strategies for incorporating SDF into Medicaid oral health delivery models. Bruce Austin, DMD, former Statewide Dental Director, Oregon Health Authority, Kellie Skenandore, Dental Program Manager, Oregon Health Authority, and Zachary Hairston, DDS, Smiles for Children Dental Consultant, Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, will share how they designed and assessed policies and reimbursement strategies to promote the delivery of SDF in their state Medicaid programs.


Webinar #3: “Introduction to the Advancing Prevention and Reducing Childhood Caries in Medicaid and CHIP Affinity Group”

Thursday, June 25, 2020 3:30 p.m. ET

The final webinar of the series will introduce the forthcoming “Advancing Prevention and Reducing Childhood Caries in Medicaid and CHIP” affinity group. Presenters will outline the structure for the affinity group, which will include small group workshops and individualized technical assistance. Presenters will discuss the Expression of Interest (EOI) requirements and the expected commitment from each participating state team. During this webinar, states will have the opportunity to raise questions and hear answers about the affinity group. An affinity group fact sheet and the EOI form will be posted at the conclusion of the webinar.


Affinity Group

States interested in launching a new quality improvement project or expanding a current project on reducing caries and improving oral health in Medicaid and CHIP children will have the opportunity to join an affinity group beginning in summer 2020. The Affinity Group will support state teams to address the delivery of two preventive oral health services: (1) fluoride varnish or (2) silver diamine fluoride. QI coaches and subject matter experts will help state teams improve the delivery of fluoride varnish by primary or community care providers or develop and incorporate strategies for silver diamine fluoride in the context of improving systems of oral health care for children. Participating state teams will receive quality improvement technical assistance support over approximately 24 months (summer 2020–summer 2022) to design, test, implement, and assess a project to advance prevention and reduce childhood caries in their state. An Expression of Interest form will be available in summer 2020.

Please contact the Technical Assistance Mailbox at MACQualityImprovement@mathematica-mpr.com if you have any questions about this opportunity.