OBJECTIVE: This paper describes a community-based intervention to provide a dental home for women covered by Medicaid in Klamath County, Oregon. In 2001, 8.8 percent of pregnant women served by Medicaid in Oregon received care. The long-term goal of the program is to promote preventive oral care for both mothers and their new infants.
METHODS: Pregnant women received home/Women, Infant and Children visits and were assigned a dental home under a dental managed care program [Dental Care Organization (DCO)]. All initial care was provided at the Oregon Institute of Technology Dental Hygiene Clinic under the contract with the DCO. Emergency, preventive, and restorative care was provided.
RESULTS: Between February 2004 and January 2006, 503 pregnant women were identified; 421 women were contactable. Of these, 339 received home visits (339/421, 80.5 percent) and 235 received care (235/339, 69.3 percent). Overall, 55.8 percent of eligible women received care (235/421). Most who did not have a visit either moved or were not the caretaker of the baby. The missed appointment rate was 9 percent.
CONCLUSION: A community health partnership led to a successful and sustainable model extending care to pregnant women and is being extended to promote preventive care for both new mothers and their offspring.