Michigan's at-risk children for dental disease targeted with federal award

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) awarded $9.4 million to the Altarum Institute to reduce the burden of childhood dental disease in Michigan.

May 29th, 2014

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) awarded $9.4 million to the Altarum Institute to reduce the burden of childhood dental disease in Michigan. The award is focused on children up to age 17 who are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Combined, these two insurance programs cover nearly half of Michigan’s children.

The award was one of 12 recently announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as part of the federal health care innovation program. This program provides grants to applicants for testing the “most compelling new ideas to advance health, improve care, and lower costs of health care delivery,” according to a press statement.

Altarum will work in collaboration with the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Delta Dental of Michigan, and the Michigan Department of Community Health to improve the oral health of more than 1 million children across the state.

The three-year project in Michigan targets preventive services to high-risk children, improve the referral pathways between primary care and dentistry, and put in place a statewide dental quality monitoring program using recently validated American Dental Association measures.

“While many young children make it to the doctor, considerably fewer make it to see their dentist,” said Dan Armijo, vice president vice president of Altarum, “We hope to change that and improve the outcome for Michigan’s at-risk children.”

Altarum Institute, which is based in Ann Arbor, integrates research and consulting skills to deliver systems-based solutions that improve health care. Altarum employs almost 400 individuals and has additional offices in the Washington, D.C., Portland, Maine, and San Antonio, Texas.

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