Texas organization questions gift cards for new DMO members

Three dental maintenance organization service providers in Texas are using gift cards as incentives for new members, a move examined by the Texas Dentists for Medicaid Reform.

DentaQuest, MCNA and UnitedHealthcare are offering gift cards to new members, according to TDMR. The latest state DMO contract — Dental Services for Texas Children's Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program, Contract No. HHS0002879 — doesn't clarify if this is allowed.

Though Medicaid providers are banned from offering patient inducements even from DMOs, the Texas HHS actually encourages DMOs to do so.

TDMR questioned the legality of the practice and wrote "it is just very strange to us that this is an acceptable practice for Medicaid DMOs but not Medicaid dentists."

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