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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 to improve children’s oral health.

The Learning Collaborative consists of two parts: a three-part webinar series and an affinity group. The webinar series includes 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, that will support states in designing and implementing quality improvement (QI) projects.

Webinar Series

Webinar #1: “Pathways to Improving Children’s Oral Health Using Silver Diamine Fluoride”

May 20, 2020

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.

Pathways to Improving Children’s Oral Health Using Silver Diamine Fluoride(audio (MP3, 3.53 MB))(transcript (PDF, 106.38 KB))(May 2020)

Webinar #2: “Improving Children’s Oral Health Using Fluoride Varnish in Non-Dental Settings”

September 18, 2020, 2:00 p.m. ET

This webinar will feature successful state approaches for advancing fluoride varnish use in non-dental settings to improve the oral health of Medicaid and CHIP-enrolled children. Amy Belisle, MD, MBA, Chief Child Health Officer, Maine Department of Health and Human Services, and Cassie Grantham, MA, director, Child Health Programs, MaineHealth, will share how Maine engaged in a quality improvement initiative to increase the uptake of fluoride varnish in primary care practices. Rhonda Stephens, DDS, MPH, public health dentist supervisor, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and Mark Casey, DDS, MPH, dental officer, North Carolina Medicaid, will share updates from North Carolina’s long-standing, evidence-based initiative, Into the Mouths of Babes,  that trained medical providers to deliver preventive oral health services, including fluoride varnish application, to young, Medicaid-enrolled children. Speakers from both states will discuss how to leverage fluoride varnish programs as a pathway to connect Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries to a system of care that addresses their oral health needs.

Click here to register

Information session “Introduction to the Advancing Prevention and Reducing Childhood Caries in Medicaid and CHIP Affinity Group”

October 15, 2020, 3:00 p.m. ET

The information session will introduce the forthcoming “Advancing Prevention and Reducing Childhood Caries in Medicaid and CHIP” affinity group. Natalia Chalmers DDS, MHSc, PhD, Dental Officer, CMCS, will provide an overview of national Medicaid trends in childhood caries, access to dental services, and the use of fluoride varnish. Mathematica, CMCS’s technical assistance provider will then outline the structure for the affinity group, which will include small group workshops and individualized technical assistance discuss the Expression of Interest (EOI) requirements, and the expected commitment from each participating state team. During this session, states will have the opportunity to raise questions and hear answers about the affinity group. An affinity group fact sheet and the EOI form are posted below.

Click here to register

Webinar #3: “Oral Health Care Coordination & Effectuated Referrals” 

Fall 2020

This webinar will feature state initiatives that successfully advanced care coordination between medical and dental providers for Medicaid and CHIP-enrolled children. Participating states will share insights on the successes and challenges of the models they implemented to connect Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries with ongoing sources of dental care.

Registration details to follow.

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 January 2021. QI advisors and subject-matter experts will provide state teams with individualized guidance on using QI tools to (1) improve the delivery of fluoride varnish by primary or community care providers; and (2) connect beneficiaries with ongoing sources of dental care. Participating state teams will receive quality improvement technical assistance support over 24 months (January 2021–December 2022) to design, test, implement, and assess a project to advance prevention and reduce childhood caries in their state.

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