6 recent Medicaid, Medicare updates

Here are six updates on Medicaid and Medicare dental coverage to know:

  1. Federal officials want to speed up the adoption of Medicare dental benefits after CMS projected that it could take three to five years to implement.
  2. U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., introduced legislation that would provide Medicare beneficiaries additional dental coverage for certain conditions and procedures.
  3. A May study published in Pediatric Dentistry showed an overall decline in emergency department visits for pediatric patients seeking nontraumatic dental care since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, but these visits from children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds increased.
  4. A July 28 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health policy nonprofit organization, provided insight into dental coverage of Medicare recipients in the U.S., including the number of Medicare beneficiaries with dental coverage, dental visits in the last 12 months and out-of-pocket expenses.
  5. The American Dental Association wrote a letter to CMS in July asking for changes that would encourage more dentists to participate in the program. The dental lobby also released a report on how increased dental coverage under Medicaid would affect access to care, racial disparities, health equity and medical care costs.

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