Trending Content

Missouri Medicaid: Great Strides Being Made for Positive Changes

By Jessica Emmerich

April 4, 2024

In December 2022, the Missouri Coalition for Oral Health (MCOH) began the work of increasing access to care by increasing dental provider participation in MO Medicaid. With grant support from the Missouri Foundation for Health and Health Forward Foundation, a media campaign targeting dental providers was launched. In addition, the Dental Medicaid Facilitator position was established to work directly with dental providers.

The media campaign, developed by High 5 Communications, a Jefferson City-based consulting firm, sent emails containing information about MO Medicaid to more than 3,000 dental providers and dental students across Missouri. High 5 also created several ads to be used on social media, addressing common Medicaid myths. These ads were viewed more than six million times in the past year and were clicked on more than 36,000 times to see more information about MO Medicaid.

The Dental Medicaid Facilitator worked directly with more than 180 dental providers to answer questions, provide assistance with enrollment and address common concerns. Through this work, additional barriers that prevent dental providers from seeing Medicaid patients were identified. After continued collaboration with the MDA and MO HealthNet (MHD) about these barriers, 18 webinars were conducted to address the barriers and debunk myths about MO Medicaid.

The results of these efforts? The number of Medicaid dental providers in Missouri has increased along with the number of participants accessing dental services.

In State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2023, 184 new dental providers enrolled to offer Medicaid services compared to 101 in SFY 2022 and 95 in SFY 2021. These additional providers were seen in 59 of Missouri’s 114 counties. Because of the increased number of Dental Medicaid providers, 50,180 additional MO Medicaid participants were able to access dental care compared to the previous year.

Dental providers also are seeing the successes of this work. After working directly with dental providers and the collaboration between MCOH, MDA and MHD, MO HealthNet has announced changes to the MO Medicaid Dental benefits.

  • Periodic Exams (D0120) will be added to the limited adult benefit in June 2024. This will allow dental providers to provide a ‘dental home’ for MO Medicaid patients.
  • Also, Silver Diamine Fluoride (D1355) will be available to children under 21, pregnant and nursing home patients.
  • Finally, MO HealthNet has submitted a New Decision Item (NDI) in the SFY2025 budget request. The NDI would raise the dental extraction and sedation rates to 80 percent UCR. These rates were not increased in the previous rate increase, which has been a barrier for providing the necessary care for MO Medicaid patients. This rate increase has not been approved yet, but is being considered by legislators. Watch for a MO HealthNet Provider bulletin with additional details.

These changes to MO Medicaid dental benefits show the collaboration between MCOH, MDA and MHD has been successful and dental providers’ concerns are being heard.

As this work continues through 2024, MCOH will continue to collaborate with partners across the state. The media campaign will continue and adapt to address dental providers’ questions and inform them of upcoming changes to MO Medicaid. MCOH will continue to identify barriers and address those barriers through education, operational improvements and advocacy for policy changes where needed.

If you have questions, contact Jessica Emmerich, Dental Medicaid Facilitator, at or call/text 573-536-2474. Find a Dental Provider Toolkit, Webinars and Trainings, and more at