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VA Medicaid Recipients Get Dental Care at Emergency Rooms

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(AP) A new state report found that many Virginians on Medicaid often go to emergency rooms for dental issues that could have been prevented or treated at a dentist's office.

A recently released report by the Department of Medical Assistance Services found that about 16,000 Medicaid recipients visited emergency rooms about 19,000 times in 2018.

More than half of those 16,000 were treated for “non-traumatic dental conditions” like tooth aches and loose teeth.

The majority of emergency room visits were by adult Medicaid recipients, who do not qualify for preventative dental coverage like children do.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.