Dental industry reacts to proposed Medicare expansion: 5 notes

As Congress considers a $3.5 billion reconciliation bill with expanded dental benefits under Medicare, several industry stakeholders have expressed support or opposition to the bill.

Here are five notes on the dental industry's reaction to the bill:

  1. The American Dental Association asked dentists to contact members of Congress to oppose the dental expansion. The ADA said the proposal does not consider the difference between physician offices and dental offices, would not properly reimburse dentists and would include requirements that would not serve older patients' best interests. ADA President Daniel Klemmedson, DDS, MD, also sent a letter to Congress proposing a separate program that would provide dental coverage to low-income Medicare seniors.
  2. The National Dental Association voiced its support for expanded dental benefits under Medicare in a statement, saying the proposal would improve oral health equity by removing the financial barrier to oral care for elderly people and people with disabilities. It also listed several provisions to strengthen the bill before final passage.
  3. The American Dental Education Association released a statement Oct. 12 in support of the proposal, citing it as an opportunity for Congress to recognize the importance of oral health to whole body health.
  4. New York-based dentist Richard Levy, DDS, urged dentists to resist the proposed Medicare expansion in a letter published by The Wall Street Journal on Oct. 7.
  5. Two dentists shared with Becker's what they think of the Medicare expansions, including their concerns about how the plan will be managed and its effect on the industry.

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