Senator pens letter to dental Medicaid insurers questioning accessibility barriers

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois recently wrote a letter to three dental Medicaid administrators requesting information to help improve access to dental care.

The letter — sent to DentaQuest, Envolve and Avesis — also raised concerns about certain practices that can lead to decreased provider participation in the state's Medicaid program. Only 24 percent of Illinois dentists accept Medicaid, according to a Nov. 15 news release.

The issues noted in the letter include the time it takes to obtain credentials with managed care companies, limitations on appointment length, prior authorization requirements and claim acceptance.

The letters requested responses to a list of questions about the companies' practices by Dec. 8. 

"We received the letter, as did other MCOs working in the state, and we are working with our state partners to respond as requested. Across the country, DentaQuest is committed to improving access to oral care for all, and we look forward to helping the Senator better understand the important matters raised in his letter," Steve Pollock, president of DentaQuest, said in a statement to Becker's

Becker's has reached out to Envolve and Avesis for comment and will update this story as more information becomes available.

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