Hospital-Based Emergency Department Visits With Dental Conditions: Impact of the Medicaid Reimbursement Fee for Dental Services in New York State, 2009-2013

Sankeerth Rampa, Fernando A. Wilson, Hongmei Wang, Nizar K. Wehbi, Lynette Smith, Veerasathpurush Allareddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: Hospital-based emergency department (ED) visits for dental problems have been on the rise. The objectives of this study are to provide estimates of hospital-based ED visits with dental conditions in New York State and to examine the impact of Medicaid reimbursement fee for dental services on the utilization of EDs with dental conditions. Methods: New York State Emergency Department Database for the year 2009-2013 and Health Resources and Services Administration's Area Health Resource File were used. All ED visits with diagnosis for dental conditions were selected for analysis. Results: The present study found a total of 325,354 ED visits with dental conditions. The mean age of patient was 32.4 years. A majority of ED visits were made by those aged 25-44 years (49%). Whites comprised 52.1% of ED visits. Proportion of Medicaid increased from 22% (in 2009) to 41.3% (in 2013). For Medicaid patients, the mean ED charges and aggregated ED charges were $811.4 and $88.1 million, respectively. Eleven counties had fewer than 4 dentists per 10,000 population in New York State. Conclusion: High-risk groups identified from the study are those aged 25-44 years, uninsured, covered by Medicaid and private insurance, and residing in low-income areas. The study highlights the need for increased Medicaid reimbursement for dentists and improves access to preventive dental care especially for the vulnerable groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-129
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2018



  • Dental care
  • Dentists
  • Emergencies
  • Fee-for-Service plans
  • Hospital
  • Medicaid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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