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Advocacy News

Association Asks CMS to Exclude Dentists from Medicare Requirement

March 13, 2014

The ADA last week told the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that a proposed rule could cause unnecessary hardship to Medicare beneficiaries by requiring dental providers to either enroll or officially opt out of the program for the purposes of prescribing medication. While most physicians who prescribe to Medicare beneficiaries may well be enrolled in the program, as CMS noted in its proposed rule (technically a “notice of proposed rulemaking,” published Jan. 10), in a letter to the agency last week the ADA observed that most dentists are neither enrolled in Medicare nor have formally opted out.

Although there would be no direct consequence to a prescribing dentist who is not enrolled or registered, pharmacies that submit claims would have those claims denied if the provider that wrote the prescription was not enrolled or registered. The end result, of course, is that the patient will either have to pay for the medication or go without.  According to the notice, this requirement would take effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

The Association asked CMS officials to exclude dentists from this requirement, citing both the negative impact it could have on patients and the unnecessary administrative burden it would place on dental practices.