Washington — The ADA is asking the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to prioritize several oral health issues.
In a June 9 letter to the new CMS administrator, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D., and Executive Director Kathleen T. O'Loughlin, D.M.D., said that under her leadership, the new administration is “well-positioned to tackle the most serious issues in oral health care today.”
In the letter, the ADA asked CMS to:
• Ensure that the permanent position of chief dental officer within CMS is filled, a position that has been vacant since 2017.
• Expand the participation of dentists in Medicaid through increased reimbursement and reduced administrative burden, such as the easement of credentialing, audit processes and encouragement of clean claims paid within 15 days.
• Require the CMS Center for Program Integrity to issue guidance to state Medicaid agencies concerning best practices in dental audits and develop standardized training for dental auditors.
• Provide guidance to state Medicaid agencies to streamline dentist credentialing by utilizing the ADA Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare credentialing service or equivalent.
• Establish a benchmark floor for all Medicaid dental fees at 75th percentile of regional dental fees based on ADA survey data.
• Work to enhance consistent adult dental benefits across all Medicaid programs.
• Work with the dental community to establish an appropriate Healthcare Common Procedural Coding System billing code to help address ongoing challenges regarding access to dental rehabilitative services.
• Make pediatric oral health coverage mandatory within the Affordable Care Act’s exchange plans for families with children and include maternal oral health as an essential health benefit for one-year post-partum.
• Promote activities to increase oral health equity, including incentivizing dentists to practice in underserved communities across the United States and strengthening support for Action for Dental Health initiatives.
Follow all of the ADA’s advocacy efforts at ADA.org/advocacy.