South Dakota Legislature authorizes higher Medicaid reimbursements for dentists

The South Dakota Legislature approved a bill that would increase Medicaid reimbursements for dentists, Keloland reported Feb. 16. 

HB1103 could improve access to dental care for Medicaid recipients because higher reimbursements could encourage more dentists to participate in the program. Current reimbursement rates are 62 percent of what private insurance would pay, according to the American Dental Association's Health Policy Institute.

The South Dakota Department of Social Services is tasked with determining the new reimbursement amounts based on current normal and customer dental fees in the state. Paul Knecht, executive director of the South Dakota Dental Association, said the agency will work with the department to decide new payments. 

The bill was sent to Gov. Kristi Noem for signature Feb. 15. The Legislature will also vote on a separate proposal to expand its Medicaid program in November.

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