Grays Harbor child dental care results improving
Washington is leading the nation in providing dental care to low-income children, according to new federal data.
Locally, a program called Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD), is actively involved in ensuring that children from low-income families have access to dental care and has been instrumental in making Washington a national leader. Largely because of the ABCD program, which now operates in all 39 Washington counties, Washington is the best state in the country for delivering dental care to low-income children, according to new data from the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services. More than 54 percent of Medicaid-enrolled children under age 6 are currently receiving dental care.
The program was initially developed in Spokane in 1995 because too few low-income children were receiving dental care, even though they were eligible through Medicaid. Since then, the ABCD program has been expanded county by county with the help of three-year start-up grants from the WDS Foundation.
In Grays Harbor, the ABCD program has helped the rate of Medicaid-eligible children receiving dental care go up from 40 percent in 2005 to 45 percent in 2012, according to the state Health Care Authority.