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The Effect of Medicaid Payment Rates on Access to Dental Care among Children

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Listed:
  • Thomas C. Buchmueller

    () (Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and NBER)

  • Sean Orzol

    (Mathematica Policy Research)

  • Lara D. Shore-Sheppard

    (Department of Economics, Williams College and NBER)

Abstract

We examine the effect of payment rates on access to dental care among children on Medicaid and on dentists’ participation in Medicaid. Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation combined with data on dental fees from 2001 to 2010 and conditioning on state fixed effects, we find a modest positive relationship between Medicaid payment rates and dental care utilization. We test whether higher fees increase the number of dentists accepting Medicaid patients using data from annual surveys of dentists conducted by the American Dental Association between 1999 and 2009. We find a positive, though small, effect of Medicaid payment rates on whether a dentist treats any publicly insured patients and the percentage of the practice’s patients who have public insurance. The estimates imply that increasing Medicaid payments to the level of private market fees would increase access to care, but at a high cost of inducing additional visits.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas C. Buchmueller & Sean Orzol & Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2015. "The Effect of Medicaid Payment Rates on Access to Dental Care among Children," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 1(2), pages 194-223, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:amjhec:v:1:y:2015:i:2:p:194-223
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1989:79:9:1220-1226_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2004.056523_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jonathan Gruber & Kathleen Adams & Joseph P. Newhouse, 1997. "Physician Fee Policy and Medicaid Program Costs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 611-634.
    4. Laurence C. Baker & Anne Beeson Royalty, 2000. "Medicaid Policy, Physician Behavior, and Health Care for the Low-Income Population," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 480-502.
    5. Long, Stephen H. & Settle, Russell F. & Stuart, Bruce C., 1986. "Reimbursement and access to physicians' services under Medicaid," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 235-251, September.
    6. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marianne P. Bitler & Madeline Zavodny, 2014. "Medicaid: A Review of the Literature," NBER Working Papers 20169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sonchak, Lyudmyla, 2015. "Medicaid reimbursement, prenatal care and infant health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 10-24.
    3. Decker, Sandra L. & Lipton, Brandy J., 2015. "Do Medicaid benefit expansions have teeth? The effect of Medicaid adult dental coverage on the use of dental services and oral health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 212-225.
    4. Thomas C. Buchmueller & Sarah Miller & Marko Vujicic, 2014. "How Do Providers Respond to Public Health Insurance Expansions? Evidence from Adult Medicaid Dental Benefits," NBER Working Papers 20053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Thomas Buchmueller & John C. Ham & Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2015. "The Medicaid Program," NBER Chapters,in: Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, Volume 1, pages 21-136 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Thomas Buchmueller & Sarah Miller & Marko Vujicic, 2016. "How Do Providers Respond to Changes in Public Health Insurance Coverage? Evidence from Adult Medicaid Dental Benefits," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 70-102, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health economics; economics; health; medicaid; children; dental care; health insurance.;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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