The Department of Health Care Service’s new program designed to expand access to care for Medi-Cal patients has awarded $10.5 million to 40 dentists to pay student loan debt. Approximately 1,300 health care providers, including 350 dentists, applied to the CalHealthCares program, which offers up to $300,000 in debt relief in exchange for meeting certain criteria.
If you haven’t heard, CDA recently launched a new process for members to report issues and questions related to dental benefits. Although CDA members have had access to a dedicated dental benefits analyst and Practice Support resources since 2009, the online submission form makes it easier for dentists to quickly reach out for assistance and submit their issues 24/7.
As part of the finalized 2019-20 California state budget, the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom approved a continuation of supplemental Medi-Cal provider rates, including significant dollars for dentists serving Medi-Cal patients. An additional $20 million was dedicated to dentists through a recently launched student loan repayment program.
The following are the top 10 “post-op” calls related to dental benefits that CDA Practice Support has received from dentists who made a decision, whether through action or inaction, that resulted in an unexpected outcome and ended with a member saying, “I wish I would have called Practice Support before I …” Included are links to relevant articles offering explanations and helpful resources.
Delta Dental of California notified California dentists in its FYI newsletter that dentists should be prepared for a quality assessment review. CDA members are encouraged to review the on-site QA review checklist provided in the April 9 newsletter to ensure compliance.
The 2018-19 state budget signed by Gov. Jerry Brown dedicates $210 million from the Proposition 56 Tobacco Tax revenue to Denti-Cal providers, a $70 million increase from last year’s amount. This effort is the result of years of activity to improve the Medi-Cal dental program and increase access to oral health care for the state’s 13.5 million Medi-Cal enrollees.
CDA Practice Support occasionally hears a complaint from dental offices that a plan granted a preauthorization for treatment and then denied payment when the claim was submitted. Digging a little deeper into these complaints, there may be some confusion between what constitutes a “preauthorization” and what is a “predetermination” or pre-estimate of benefits.
Beginning in the New Year, and with the forthcoming issue of the CDA Update, the dental benefits column will host a semiregular series discussing basic dental benefit issues. The topics covered address questions that CDA Practice Support receives from dental offices and from local dental components. This first installment addresses proper billing for treatment provided by an associate and waiving of co-payments.