Child being shown by a dentist how to brush teeth Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate?

Children between the ages of birth and 6 who are covered by Apple Health (Medicaid) can participate in the program.

Who are the partners involved in the program?

ABCD is a collaborative effort of the Washington Health Care Authority’s Medicaid Program, the University of Washington School of Dentistry, Arcora Foundation, the state Department of Health WIC Nutrition Program, the Washington State Dental Association, local dental societies, local health jurisdictions and community organizations.

How does the program work?

The ABCD program in each county is administered by the local health department or another community agency that contracts with the state Health Care Authority’s Apple Health (Medicaid) Program. Local ABCD programs work closely with a local dental champion and the local dental society to recruit and train dentists to participate in the program. Local programs also work with community agencies, schools, and health care organizations to identify and recruit children and families for ABCD.

How do you identify eligible children in your community?

The ABCD program in each county or region uses many strategies to reach out to families with eligible children. One of the most effective approaches is to orient and involve in recruitment efforts those agencies that work directly with Apple Health-eligible (Medicaid) children, including Head Start, WIC, child care centers and early childhood programs, community resource and referral programs, hospitals, community health centers and social service agencies. Information about ABCD is also distributed through Community Service Offices (CSO’s), health fairs, childbirth education classes, new baby packets, school nurses, and referrals from a variety of other sources.

What happens if the family moves away?

A family with a child, from birth to age six, who is enrolled in Apple Health (Medicaid) is eligible for ABCD services throughout Washington, as long as they receive services from an ABCD-certified dentist.

How do dentists get involved?

All dentists are trained using a curriculum developed by the University of Washington. To learn more about becoming an ABCD certified dentist, see Become a Provider.

What dental services are covered? What are the reimbursement rates for these services?

Covered services include family oral health education, certain preventive and restorative procedures and fluoride varnish application.  ABCD certified dentists receive enhanced reimbursement for selected procedures for Apple Health (Medicaid) enrolled children, birth to six. Learn more under Techniques and Enhanced Fees.

What happens when a client is a no-show for a dental appointment?

 There is no hard-and-fast rule; each program can set up its own standards with participating dentists. Generally a client should be referred back to the local ABCD program for additional coaching.  If a dentist prefers not to attempt to see the client again, the program can refer the family to a different dentist.

Can existing clients in a practice be enrolled in ABCD?

Yes, existing clients can be enrolled, preferably soon after the dentist becomes an ABCD provider. The dental office decides whether or not the client family needs the ABCD orientation.