Eliminating adult dental benefits from a states Medicaid program could lead to a substantial

July 1, 1996
Eliminating adult dental benefits from a state`s Medicaid program could lead to a substantial increase in dental visits to hospital emergency departments, according to an ADA study. The study of Maryland`s decision to cut costs found a 21.8 percent increase in emergency room dental visits by adults in Maryland. Maryland eliminated Medicaid reimbursements to private-practice dentists for treatment of adults experiencing dental emergencies. "The Maryland study is especially instructive as Congress

Eliminating adult dental benefits from a state`s Medicaid program could lead to a substantial increase in dental visits to hospital emergency departments, according to an ADA study. The study of Maryland`s decision to cut costs found a 21.8 percent increase in emergency room dental visits by adults in Maryland. Maryland eliminated Medicaid reimbursements to private-practice dentists for treatment of adults experiencing dental emergencies. "The Maryland study is especially instructive as Congress and the states grapple with controlling Medicaid costs," said ADA President William Ten Pas. "Unfortunately, dental services, especially those for adults, often are among the first to be cut. This study shows that states should think twice before doing so, especially if they seek to control costs."

Judi Hasson

Washington Correspondent

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