About the Dental Claims Data

This page provides information about dental/oral health service use among Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) recipients (ages 0 to 85+ years) eligible for Medicaid/Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare. 


Which pages include the data?


What do the data tell us?

  • The number and percentage of MHCP recipients who had dental/oral health service visits by year, MHCP program, age group, and county of residence
  • If dental/oral health service use among MHCP recipients is going up or down over time
  • If dental/oral health service use is higher or lower among certain MHCP programs, age groups, or counties

Why are the data important?

MHCP recipients represent low-income populations, including individuals with disabilities, older adults (65+ years), pregnant mothers and children who may experience higher and more severe rates of dental disease and oral conditions.


How can we use the data?

  • Inform educators, oral health, medical and public health professionals, researchers, grant makers, policy makers, and the public
  • Focus resources and program activities towards MHCP recipients, age groups, or counties with low dental/oral health service use
  • State and local program planning and evaluation

What will the data not tell us?

  • Dental/oral health service use among Medicare (65+ years) patients (i.e., those not dual eligible for Medicare and Medicaid/Medical Assistance)
  • Dental/oral health service use among low-income individuals not eligible to participate or enrolled in a MHCP
  • Specific types of dental/oral health service use (e.g., dental cleaning, root canal, etc…)

What are the oral health measures/indicators in the data?

Dental/oral health service use (enrollees served): The number and percentage of all Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) enrollees (0 to 85+ years) with a paid dental claim within the calendar year.


How are the measures/indicators calculated?

Dental/oral health service use (enrollees served)

The number of paid dental claims divided by the total number of Minnesota Health Care Programs enrollees during the calendar year, multiplied by 100-percent.


Which populations do the data represent?

Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) enrollees.MHCP programs include Medicaid/Medical Assistance (MA) and MinnesotaCare (MNCare) programs.

MHCP Eligibility may change from year to year.  Eligibility and the level of insurance coverage depend on income, household size, age, pregnancy or disability status, and the type of qualifying healthcare program.


What are the limitations of the data?

  • Medicare recipients are not included in the dataset unless they are dual-eligible (i.e., have Medicare and Medicaid/Medical Assistance).
  • Claim year is calculated by calendar year (January 1 through December 31)
  • An individual may be enrolled in more than one major program during a month and during a calendar year.
  • MHCP recipient age is calculated as of the end of each calendar year.  Enrollees without a recorded birthdate and enrollees who are more than 100 years of age are excluded.
  • Data includes paid dental claims (both fee-for-service and managed care)
  • County of Residence: The country recorded in the dataset is the MHCP recipient's county of residence.  The county of residence is not necessarily the county where the recipient received a dental/oral health service.  For each calendar year, the person is counted within the county of residence on record for the person's last month of enrollment.
  • Dental Service Recipients: A person is counted as a dental/oral health service recipient in each calendar year if at least one dental-related fee-for-service or managed care encounter claim was paid for by MHCP with a service date during the calendar year.  A recipient is counted only once in each calendar year regardless of how many services were provided.

What is/are the source(s) of the data?

Minnesota Department of Human Services.The Department of Human Services Data Warehouse stores information produced by the Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) to track fee-for-service claims activity and encounter data from managed care health plans.


How should I cite the data and information?

Minnesota Department of Human Services.Minnesota Health Care Programs Dental Services Recipients by County of Residence, Program Category and Age.  Reported by the Minnesota Oral Health Statistics System, Minnesota Department of Health, Oral Health Program, August 2015.


Where can I find more technical information about the data?

Please send questions or comments to: Minnesota Department of Health, Oral Health Program.