Project Summary

Finding dental care for children is important but was difficult at times until the Health Resources & Services Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the States’ Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) created a web-based locator tool to match kids enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP with oral health providers who will treat them.

Project Team

Team Members
Terri Lynn Cohen, HRSA
Nancy Goetschius, CMMS
James Resnick, HRSA
Sanjoy Chakraborty, HRSA
Keith Adams, SAIC
Barbara Gandy, SAIC

Project Details

In 2007, 12-year-old Deamonte Driver died from complications of an abscessed tooth.  His mother could not find a dentist who accepted Medicaid.  This tragedy spurred Congress to include language in the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009, which required easily accessible contact information for the Medicaid and CHIP participating dental providers in every State on the Insure Kids Now! (IKN) website.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which administers the Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs, partnered with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which focuses on improving access to care and runs the IKN hotline.  Together, with at least 150 State Medicaid and CHIP agencies and their managed care organizations, they collected the dental provider data and developed Find Dental Providers.

HRSA and CMS devised an easy-to-use electronic submission capability and automated validation tool to improve data quality and reduce administrative burden on States. This “bridge” brings the dental information from the State’s platform to the IKN platform and updates the data hourly.  Geospatial and analytical processes transform the provider data for use in a locator tool so that, for the first time, a parent or guardian can search for an oral care provider by name, benefit plan, zip code, map location and driving instructions via a simple click.

Additional Information


HHS Innovates is one of the ways we are building an innovative culture at the Department of Health and Human Services. HHS Innovates is a contest that recognizes and rewards action taken on good ideas. To date, HHS employees have submitted nominations of innovations for nearly 500 exciting new staff-driven innovative projects, and our employees have cast over 60,000 votes to select 42 finalists over seven rounds. This project is one of the finalists of HHS Innovates. Learn more about HHS Innovates.