Publications
 

Access, Utilization, and Cost Outcomes: Iowa Dental Wellness Plan Evaluation 2014-2016

McKernan, S.C.; Momany, E.T.; Ingleshwar, A.; Ayyagari, P.; Singhal, A.; Shane, D.M.; Ghattas, A.; Damiano, P.C.
03/2017

Abstract

 The Dental Wellness Plan (DWP) is the dental plan for members enrolled in the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan (IHAWP), Iowa’s version of the Medicaid expansion. The DWP was implemented on May 1, 2014 with a unique earned benefits structure intended to incentivize preventive dental care. Members are initially eligible for dental check ups and preventive care, large fillings when the decay is near the nerve, and emergency and stabilization services (Core benefits, or Tier 1), including  emergency extractions and complete dentures, and they become eligible for additional covered services (Tiers 2 and 3) if they return at regular intervals for routine dental exams.

This report uses administrative data to evaluate some of the cost and utilization outcomes for the first two years of the DWP (May 2014 - April 2016). Outcomes for the DWP population are compared  with adults in two traditional Medicaid State Plan (MSP) populations where appropriate: Family Medical Assistance program (FMAP) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to provide baseline comparisons and examine earned benefit structure effects. Analytic methods include descriptive, bivariate and multivariate comparisons. Difference-in-difference (DID) models, multivariate regression models, and incremental cost effectiveness ratios (ICERs) examine outcomes while controlling for differences between the DWP and MSP study groups.

The findings in this report are part of an evaluation of the DWP program being conducted by the University of Iowa Public Policy Center (PPC). This report is laid out to follow the DWP evaluation plan approved by the Iowa Medicaid Enterprise (IME) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). It is one of a series of reports providing DWP evaluation results. Only new results are  provided here. Links are provided to previous reports with results for hypotheses that have already been evaluated.