Tag Archives: south dakota

Reporters find stories in efforts to address oral health disparities

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: J. Stephen Conn via Flickr

Poor Americans bear more than their share of oral disease. School children from low-income homes are more than twice as likely to suffer from tooth decay as their more affluent peers, according to federal data.

While Medicaid entitles poor children to dental care, adult dental benefits are treated as optional under the program. It is estimated that the majority of the nation’s 60 million elderly and/or disabled Medicare beneficiaries are dentally uninsured. Continue reading

S. Dakota may be model of health-care efficiency

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Jon Walker of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports on how South Dakota’s status as the 47th cheapest market in which Medicare does business may provide a model of health care efficiency which the rest of the nation can follow.south-dakota

The comparisons come from the Dartmouth Atlas Project, which shows the Upper Midwest and Great Plains leading the way. It concludes that economizing does not hurt quality.

Local health officials wish their ability to control costs would spare them from cost-cutting measures included in proposed reform legislation, Walker reports.

“One of our big disappointments with the health care reform package …  is that it does nothing to recognize efficient, high-quality health care,” said Dave Hewett, president of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations.

(Hat tip to Kaiser Health News)