Impact of Chronic Condition Status and Severity on the Time to First Dental Visit for Newly Medicaid-Enrolled Children in Iowa

Chi, D.L.; Momany, E.T.; Neff, J.; Jones, M.P.; Warren, J.J.; Slayton, R.L.; Weber-Gasparoni, K.; Damiano, P.C.


Objective: To assess the extent to which chronic condition (CC) status and severity affected how soon children had a dental visit after enrolling in Medicaid.

Data Source: Enrollment and claims data (2003–2008) for newly Medicaid-enrolled children ages 3–14 in Iowa.

Study Design: 3M Clinical Risk Grouping methods were used to identify CC status (no/yes) and CC severity (less severe/more severe). Survival analysis was used to identify the factors associated with earlier first dental visits after initially enrolling in Medicaid.

Conclusion: While newly Medicaid-enrolled children with a CC were significantly more likely to have earlier first dental visits, we failed to detect a relationship between CC severity and the time to first Medicaid dental visit. The determinants of first Medicaid dental visits were heterogeneous across subgroups of newly Medicaid-enrolled children. Future studies should identify the sociobehavioral factors associated with CCs that are potential barriers to earlier first Medicaid dental visits for newly Medicaid-enrolled children.