State underpays dentists, causing care shortages, report concludes

  • Article by: Jeff Hargarten , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 14, 2013 - 6:57 AM

Some refuse Medicaid clients because repayment rates are so low, legislative auditor's office finds.

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upnorth85Mar. 13, 1310:19 PM

I know of some people on Medicaid who can't find a dentist that will take on new patients. When the rates become too low, the incentive to work goes down. Same principle applies for socking the "wealthy". The person who can take on more work to earn more is disinterested when the tax rates go up and up. When they earn less, they spend less. But many fiscal liberals believe taxing more from wealth creators is only fair little realizing that most of the world where this principle applies are poor. We will soon join those ranks as we forget how the US became a great country. Now everyone wants to sit in the cart and assuming some one is going to pull it. Alas everyone is now sitting inside and waiting for a sucker to come and pull the cart.

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thisisinsaneMar. 13, 1310:23 PM

"A recent report from the Minnesota Department of Health said about 55 percent of third-graders surveyed in 2010 had experienced cavities.">>>>>>>This has nothing to do with Medicaid reimbursement levels. It's because the kids are not brushing properly morning and night. It's the parent's (not government) responsibility to teach their kids to brush their teeth well starting when they are young. Any kid who brushes properly 2+ times a day will NOT get cavities. My kids are teens and have no fillings. Btw, they don't have dental sealants either.

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thisisinsaneMar. 13, 1310:25 PM

You can go to any of the many dental hygiene colleges and get your dental care done for very little money if you don't have dental insurance.

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snickelodeonMar. 14, 13 5:38 AM

I'm glad thisisinsane's kids have no dental fillings. But the claim that "any kid who brushes properly" will NOT get cavities is simply false. Genetics play a significant role here, and some kids who brush three times a day will get a mouthful of cavities, while others with poor dental hygiene will get very few. What's actually insane is to assume that one's personal experience is universal and proof of some general truth, in the face of science that says the opposite.

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justin117Mar. 14, 13 6:24 AM

My son is a single dad working a job with NO benefits. He tried to find a dentist for himself and my grandson and none of the seven in our town was taking Medicaid patients. I know the U of M has a dental school but for someone who lives 80 miles away it is not easy to get there, plus the cost of gas makes it hard.

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asdfasdfMar. 14, 13 6:50 AM

I'm glad this was from a student reporter.... I would expect a professional to have scratched beneath the surface a bit. Before anyone feels bad for the dentists plook up how much the spent on lobbyists to keep mid level providers out of MN. They have been able to manufacture an artificial shortage of providers by stalling common sense reform. As a matter of fact the U of M has a licensure program for these mid level providers (think NP or PA) even though they can't practice in this state. If anything we should pay them less until the pressure for reform becomes a mandate.

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EleanoreMar. 14, 13 7:24 AM

This is what a collapsing system looks like. There are still people alive today who can remember a time, before insurance companies put healthcare out of reach for the less fortunate economically to access it, when people could simply pay the dentist out of pocket for routine things. Same goes for Doctors. Until we eliminate insurance (more specifically the excessive profits and non-profits they instigate) from this system, more and more people are going to be using emergency rooms for their untreated dental problems.

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EleanoreMar. 14, 13 7:25 AM

And we need to remove the lobbying, the cash for public dollars, aspect of healthcare as well. Very good point.

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somedude2Mar. 14, 13 8:15 AM

The easiest way to increase your billing is to frequently find cavities and suggest crowns.

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timandtiaMar. 14, 13 8:39 AM

I had the most wonderfull dentist a couple of years ago (I am on State Medical Assistance). Unfortunately I moved far away from her and have not gone back to her. I can tell you one thing, this dentist did not care that I was on Medical Assistance. She was just that good!

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