Vermont dentist's retirement leaves Medicaid patients few options: 7 things to know

Medicaid patients in Randolph, Vt., are in need of a new provider with few options available after a local dentist retired and closed his practice, Valley News reported April 8. 

Seven things to know:

1. There are no dental providers in Randolph who accept new Medicaid patients after John Lansky, DDS, retired and closed his practice. 

2. When announcing his decision in a February letter to patients, Dr. Lansky directed patients to Wilson Dentistry, which is in Randolph but accepts Medicaid only for some current patients. 

3. Robin Miller, director of oral health for the Vermont Department of Health, told Valley News the COVID-19 pandemic has created "the perfect storm" for dentistry, with fewer practices accepting Medicaid due to low reimbursement rates and also catching up with the backlog of patients who delayed care. 

4. Nissa James, a spokeswoman for the Department of Vermont Health Access, told Valley News that Northfield (Vt.) Elite Dental is accepting new Medicaid patients, but the practice is about 17 miles from Randolph. 

5. Wilson Dentistry told the health department it would reevaluate whether to accept new Medicaid patients within the next six months, while another practice, Northfield (Vt.) Dental Group, told the department it would consider taking on new patients after catching up on its backlog. 

6. Dr. Lansky's patients can call 211 or visit an online provider portal to find another dentist. 

7. Ms. Miller told the news organization the state recently increased the dental reimbursement rates from $510 annually to $1,000 to encourage more dentists to accept Medicaid.

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