Written by Dentistry Today Thursday, 09 September 2010 10:45
The budget cuts in Kansas are having a major impact on some people.
There are some elderly, disabled, and poor people who will not be able to receive the kind of dental coverage they once received. The House-Senate Oversight Committee had a meeting to discuss the issue.
In January, these budget cuts took effect. The cuts impacted a program that began in 2007. In this program the state funded basic dental services for Kansas residents who were elderly or disabled in any way. The goal of the program was to give these people dental coverage while enabling them to remain living in their homes.
The people who lost the coverage will now be forced to spend money they don’t have or simply skip the dental visits.
If people don’t receive the dental care they need, the result will be poor health in other areas. And that will continue to happen because only about 25 percent of Kansas dentists accept Medicaid patients, while about 80 percent of doctors in Kansas accept it.
One of the concerns of dentists who do not accept Medicaid patients is that there are times when the patients don’t show up for the appointment. The dentist then loses the money.
If the dental hygienists perform more procedures, it would be helpful to some of these patients.
The Kansas government will look into the issue as to why most dentists do not accept Medicaid patients. They may decide whether or not this is a major issue for the state and if it should be dealt with accordingly.