Dentists’ offices in Texas continue to close after crackdowns on Medicaid dental payments.
Dentists who have already collected their money from the state after treating Medicaid patients are no longer accepting those patients because the dentists’ Medicaid claims are no longer being accepted. There are more than 4,300 Medicaid dentists in Texas.
Thousands of patients are impacted by this. For a point of reference, in 2010 Medicaid paid for braces on 80,000 children in Texas.
Thanks to the more stringent regulations, 91 percent of new claims are being rejected. There are even instances of children having to have their braces taken off with plenty of time left in which they should be worn.
The new Texas HHS dental director is John Roberts, who took over for the previous director after allegations of questionable Medicaid payments.
Despite the new regulations, there were supposed to be policies in place to enable children with braces to continue to receive the necessary treatment in some way or another. The problem is that if these patients are reassigned to new dentists, these patients will continue to receive the treatment that they never even needed. This will cost the state millions of dollars.
An example of this comes from All Smile Dental Centers. This company is being sued for fraud. It is now getting rid of orthodontic treatment at 13 of its clinics. The problem is 95 percent of its dental claims included some type of fraud, according to one